Elsie’s DIY Dining Room Table

Elsie's DIY Dining Room TableNever in my wildest DIY-dreams did I think we would build a gigantic kitchen table! After searching (a LOT) and not finding the perfect table, we started to consider making our own. We talked about DIYing a table, but didn’t have the courage until we saw Rachel’s and Emma’s beautiful DIY tables. They gave us the confidence to know it could be done! We spent some time choosing how we wanted the table top to look, including the width of the boards and the color of the finish. Then we jumped in with both feet… why not? Here’s what happened:

How to assemble a DIY tableFirst we planned out how large we wanted the table to be. Our new house is an older house, so many of the rooms are regular sizes (compared to more standardized, modern homes). With these measurements, we then went to a local hardware store and bought our lumber: 4 long planks for the top, 9 smaller planks for bracing and framing the bottom, and 2 longer small planks to frame the outer edges. We used mostly pine (because it is pretty and affordable) with a few oak pieces among the 9 small planks to go on the bottom. Oak is a harder wood, so our goal was to add stability. If you plan to replicate this project, feel free to adjust what lumber you buy based on your dining room size. The important thing to note is how the bottom of the table is assembled (see photo above).

I think we used right around 90 screws, most of a 100 piece box. 🙂

And we used four 3-prong hairpin legs, each is 28″ tall.

Note: We spent about $350 on the supplies for this table that seats 8. 🙂

Under the tableOnce we had all our supplies, we spent a couple days (with a lot of help from Emma and Dad—thanks, guys!) putting the table together. The goal was to create a stable surface with framing wood around all the edges so it would look more finished. We assembled the table upside down, then flipped it over, sanded, and prepped it for staining.

Tips for staining and sealingTips for staining and sealing: Consider other woods or colored surfaces in your dining room before choosing a stain. The floors in our home are sort of a honey color, so we tried to choose a stain that mimicked (but not matched) this tone. Be sure to wipe down and allow your table to dry before applying stain. Use a brush to lightly coat a small area and then use an old towel or cloth to wipe up any excess stain. You can always add more if needed, so go light for your first coat. Consult the product label for dry time recommendations.

After staining, we sealed our table with a polyurethane (pictured above). This gives the finish an extra coat of protection and makes it a little easier to clean/wipe down after meal times. I still recommend using coasters on a table like this with cold drinks though.

Elsie's DIY Dining Room Table I am completely happy with our finished table. I love the woodgrain, the honey-colored finish and the simple hairpin legs. As a bonus, I’m so happy we were able to create a table that our family can grow into for such a reasonable price!

I know that a DIY on this level isn’t for everyone. Our dad helped us (a LOT… thanks again, Dad!), and it only took a few days to complete (including the building, staining and sealing) once we had all the supplies figured out.

DIY Dining Room Table (by A Beautiful Mess)DIY Dining Room Table (by A Beautiful Mess)DIY Dining Room Table (by A Beautiful Mess)DIY Dining Room Table (by A Beautiful Mess)I hope that this post encourages some of you that you really can build your own dining room table! We’ve done a lot of DIY projects in our new home, and I am most proud of this one. We saved thousands of dollars and ended up with our dream table! Thanks for reading. xoxo. Elsie

PS. I posted about our mismatched yellow chairs here.

  • If anyone is still searching for the dimensions. From what I can tell, the main board is made up of 4 pieces of 1″x12″ boards. Not sure about the length but you can make it to fit your dinning room. The frame underneath looks to be strips of 1″x2″.

  • Can you post me measurements for the boards? I would live to recreate this table.

    • That’s just the cost of all the supplies. If you find cheaper sources feel free to post them here in the comments. I still think that is a great price for a large table that we’ve now used for more than six years. 🙂

  • Hi! Beautiful table. Can you tell me the length and width of your top boards each and or the final width and length of the full table?


  • Do you by any chance know/remember what stain you used on this? Love the colour!

    • Sorry! It was so long ago now, I can’t remember. Probably the lightest option. xx!

      • Hi Elsie!

        Do you have the dimensions for your table?

        Thanks so much,

  • Can you please email me the dimensions you used? I really want the same size you have.

    • I’m sorry! This post is from 2012, and Elsie doesn’t have the table anymore. <3

  • Hi! I love this!!!! I am searching for a table and would really like to build it myself. I’m handy in every sense expect when it comes to making exact cutting calculations. Is there anyway you could share the dimensions and cut sizes of all of the wood?


  • Do you have a list of the different widths of lumber pieces you bought? I know the lengths would vary depending on the overall size of the table, but it would be helpful to know what to go buy. I’ve been DROOLING over this table for a couple of years now and I’m finally close to being able to afford all the supplies.

  • LOVE!!! I’ve been wanting to build a new dining table since we moved into our house last year. I recently found the hairpin legs on Pinterest and fell in love. Curious- I’ve read mixed reviews… how do they do as legs for you dining table? Are they sturdy? I have a very active 5 year old and our table needs to withstand lego building, coloring/homework, as well as its intended purpose for dining.


    • Hi Melissa,
      We have had our same hairpin leg table now for about four or five years. It’s great! I am not a parent, but we have kids in our house on a VERY regular basis and I’ve never had any issues.
      Highly recommend! xx

  • Your table is gorgeous, do you put the screws in from the back/bottom? How do you keep them from coming through the top of the table? Thanks!

  • I know this is and old project but do you know how long/ wide the top planks are? Love this table!!

  • This is one sweet looking table. Did you have any problems with level? Does it rest perfectly on the floor?

  • This is absolutely gorgeous! Totally worth the cost of supplies. I love the knots in the wood and the stain color you chose. Great job!

  • Love the yellow chair & polka dot seating cover! So cute!



  • Wow,you have done an incredible job bye making this table!Looks like it`s really difficult!


  • I absolutely love this table! I cannot imagine a better use of lumber from Toronto! I’m moving into a new home soon and need a dining room table. I think this may be the best choice for me, especially for the price! Thanks again for sharing this! http://www.hanfordlumber.com/products.htm

  • The table is cute, but I love the baby’s breath used as cenerpieces!


  • Wow, you ladies are remarkable. I did not think that building a table can be done without a lot of knowledge of working with wood, but you did it beautifully. Thanks for sharing.


  • Gosh that is lovely, I do love all of your yellow painted furniture, a colour I would never have initially chosen, but this looks gorgeous. Love the little vases too, may have to copy you on this one! TPS x

  • This is a really lovely table. I love the honey stain, it’s gorgeous! Great handiwork and what a great piece of furniture around which to share food with friends.

  • So gorgeous! We need a desk, might just try something similar but smaller 🙂

  • Awesome! I so want “my husband” (lol) to make us a table. We are also having a hard time finding one we really like.

  • its beautiful. ive been wanting to do something similar for a bench. where did you get the pin legs from?

  • This is ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL! LOVE the table, and ADORE the yellow chairs!

    -Daisy Nguyen from the PS BANANAS! fashion blog: http://psbananas.com

  • I would love to make my own table after reading this. should probably take on some smaller projects first, but this is definitely going on my to do list! x

  • Amazing. I love that yellow. Painted our nursery furniture that yellow. Love table. May copy you on that one.

  • This is amazing. I love what you’ve done with the place. The yellow is so bright and lovely!

  • That looks great and easy. Nice idea lika always. Have a great day


  • Elise–I love reading about your process of settling into your new home–and all the great ideas you come up with for making it truly your own. I am a few years from settling in to a place of my own, but I am sure I will look back at these posts for inspiration when the time comes! Most of all, I am impressed with your patience and slow development of a beautiful home that fits you two just right.

  • My mother actually just made a breakfast bar in our kitchen, but I’ve always wanted a farmer’s style country table like that. So beautiful.

  • babys breath in mason jars? um… perfection!

    (the table aint bad, either) x

  • AMAZING!!!
    I especially love the tables legs
    their so unique


  • this is the best. I have been looking for a table for AGES too, and nothing seems to fit. in the new year, I am definitely doing this.

  • We’ve been wanting to DIY a table JUST like this since moving into our new apartment. This inspires me to get that project underway. Thank you for posting!

  • You guys never cease to amaze me! You are indefinitely crafty and always coming up with the best ideas. I dont know how you do it!

    Keep it up ladies!

  • This is so awesome!!! I’ve been looking for a post about a DIY table and this is perfect!!! My cousin got a table similar to this from pottery barn and it cost her $3000!! No way am I paying that much for a dining table… So ya I’m happy I found this post:) also where did u get that chandelier??

  • Love this!

  • It’s lovely!! I love the combination of colors (brown and yellow) in a dining room 😀

  • Wow! The table looks amazing and those chairs are gorgeous. Well done!

  • I don’t know how you manage it to have such good DIY’s all the time… I guess your heads must be bursting with ideas.

    When I finally have my own place I am going to browse through your blog again and make my own things 🙂



  • My husband and I (a similar age as you and your hubby)just bought our first house too. Although not as old as yours, we managaed to find the ONE house in our cookie cutter SoCal town that was built in the 1950’s (Well 1959). I am inspired daily by your updates and DIY-ing of your own house! Keep the ideas coming. Thank you:)

  • Oh wow that’s beautiful! 🙂



  • This is beautiful, Elsie! I love it. I will have to show my bf because he has been wanting a rectangle dining table & it’s been so hard to find a lighter wood (our kitchen is super woody & dark). This is a great idea and reasonable as far as expense. I also love the mismatched chairs! 🙂 THank you so much for sharing!!!!!! 🙂 🙂

  • Your table looks fantastic! I am working on making nightstands with the same concept, but at a less scary level.

  • This is amazing and beautiful and perfect! Your table looks extraordinary good in this space! Well done!

  • I knew you would make your own table 🙂 You can can DIY with anything! I love the color of the stain, and I can definitely see this table with a rather large price tag $$ at a furniture shop. Making a homemade table is much more satisfying.


  • Wow, what a beautiful table. This DIY made me miss my dad a little, He lives in a different state to us, I know he would love to jump in and help out, just like your dad did!

    I’m so envious of your 8 seat table. When we moved into our current house we bought a 6 seat thinking SURELY that was enough, but we recently had a dinner party for six people and I desperately wanted to invite more people…only I couldn’t because where would they sit?

  • This is so inspiring and shows me so much DIY can be done with home decor and that is so nice!

  • fabulous! i’m doing a similar project but can’t find a stain color i like. what brand and color stain did you use? thanks!

  • Looks great!! We just made one for our house too!! I love unique look and how you can customize it for your personal space..no cookie cutter tables here! 🙂

    You can see it here http://ashflynn.blogspot.com/2012/11/build-this-dining-room-table.html

    xx Ashleigh

  • Love it! You’ve given me a bit more courage to build my own table. I’ve never been a fan of the ones I’ve seen in stores! Especially after the price tag!

  • The table and chairs are lovely, with the yellow is more modern but I am not sure about the carpet, maybe it´s me… anyway everybody did a great job here, your house looks much better, i love the architectural details, and that lamp OMG, so cute.

  • This table is stunning, I love that you took on a big project like this, it was clearly worth it!

  • Hi Elsie ! Hi Emma !

    Just a word to say that your blog is SO AMAZING ^^ I really appreciate that moment every night when I come back home : I make tea and I look at your blog (kind of ritual …)

    Thanks to you and your precious advice, I finally launch my own blog : www.oselespaillettes.com (this is in french, “Ose les Paillettes” means Just dare glitter) and I recently did a DIY glitter vase with flowers just like yours in this post 🙂
    ==> http://www.oselespaillettes.com/?p=894
    I also add a link to your blog, I hope this is ok for you ?

    THANK YOU for the smile I have when I look at your posts ! I wish you happy Christmas holidays !


  • This turned out really great, but I’m way too lazy to DIY something like this! I think I’d rather just thrift & repaint if I’m going to spend $350 🙂

    Strive to Thrive,

  • Hi guys! We got our hairpin legs here- http://hairpinlegs.com/ you can also get them on Etsy & eBay like a commenter said above! 😀

    So happy you’re thinking of making one!

    • What size and tupe of screws did you use? And what size thinkness underplanks did you decide to buy?

  • It’s gorgeous and looks way more expensive than it’s $350 cost! A x


  • That’s one professional looking table! Well done everybody!!


  • This is the sort of thing that if I told my Mum I was going to do, she would raise her eyebrows and say ‘why?’ but I LOVE this! im so inspired!

  • This is really good and you make it look very easy to do! DIY is clearly the way forward! I love it!

  • Amazing! I loved both Rachel’s and Emma’s tables and seeing you (Elsie) do one of your own just seals the deal: I’m going to make one of my own!! Can’t wait!!!

  • Beautiful idea and great when you have a lot of guests 😉 xx


  • I love everything about this. The stained table, the mismatched chairs looking all so good, and the polka dots. LOVE 🙂

  • Wow you guys… I’m so inspired. The hard work really paid off, what a wonderful heirloom to have Elsie!!

  • DIY tip I learned from my Dad: for any kind of wood ‘decking’ (including a table top), examine the cross cut and make sure the “rings” curve downward, rather than upward like a cup. Even with all those screws, the natural drying and warping of the wood will – over time – cause the slats to curl up at the ends.

    Love the look of the table. Has that sturdy rustic look but the pin legs make it not AS prohibitively heavy as a table that size would normally be

  • So beautiful! The wood you chose is gorgeous and I adore the little jars of babys breath on top!

  • Wow it’s beautiful! It’s a good idea to make your own table if you can’t find one that suits your room!

  • I’d love to know where you bought the hairpin legs…I’ve been looking around for them

  • we’ve been looking for a table for our kitchen but you’ve inspired me to make our own – this looks so good!

  • this is exactly what i’ve been bugging my boyfriend to help me build for months! where are the hairpin legs from? I’ve seen some etsy and ebay dealers, which is where I’ll probably get them from.
    maria anne

  • Oh, yes yes yes! I love it. Thanks for sharing and daring to do this! It makes me feel like we could too…

  • Oh Lordy! What a beaut & the perfect size. Usually when I run into pin legged tables they aren’t as large as this puppy. Thanks def going into my file of DIYs for when I move out.


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