11 Budget-Friendly DIY Coffee Tables

Best Of Hometalk
by Best Of Hometalk
6 Materials

Let’s be real. When it comes to the living room, it’s all about the coffee table these days. It’s the place where we set our hot chocolate on those cold days, kick up our feet while watching television, or where our kids set up their coloring books and board games.

DIY Coffee Table (shutterstock)

The coffee table is a great functional statement piece in living room decor! Whatever your personal style, there’s a coffee table out there for you! It’s the perfect real estate to showcase who you are and a small enough space to go as wild as you like. And building your own coffee table is just as easy as clicking ‘buy’ and often more budget-friendly too.

Eager to learn how you can make a DIY coffee table? Scour second hand stores for discarded items like old doors or large wooden spools. Many of our creative Hometalk contributors reused old wood pieces, leftover fence posts or pallets salvaged from a big box store to make their DIY coffee tables, all in styles reflective of their unique personal tastes. And they often spent $100 or less for a custom piece of furniture and many of them were beginners to the art of woodworking!

So pull out your tools and gather your lumber! Here are 11 of the best low-budget high-style DIY coffee tables from farmhouse to industrial to pallets and crates.

Farmhouse Coffee Table from Wooden Crates

Coffee tables can be expensive but Hometalker Tara used wooden crates purchased - with a coupon - at her local craft store to make a farmhouse-inspired coffee table. Thanks to a rich colored stain, these pine crates not only look like something from a pricey designer catalog but offer ample storage. Something we can always use more of! Add caster wheels so you can move the coffee table around the room for game nights or get-togethers.

The farmhouse decor trend is hotter than ever these days! Since most of us can’t get up and move to the country, bringing that warm and comfortable look to your home is easy to replicate with rich, dark stains or “vintage” chipped paint.

DIY Crate Coffee Table (Tara @ Anything & Everything)

See Post: Tara@ Anything & Everything| DIY Crate Coffee Table

Old Fence Post Wooden Coffee Table

Got leftover fence posts gathering dust in the backyard? Those old boards you are saving for “someday” can now be put to use today! And that’s exactly what Madison did when she was taken by a gorgeous wood slat coffee table she saw online. And like every DIYer, she was inspired to make her own budget-friendly version!

Using leftover fence posts and pallet boards, she painted and sanded the boards until she created that old weathered look she was going for. She added large upholstery tacks around the perimeter of this DIY coffee table for that high-end designer look.

Coffee Table Made With Leftover Fence Boards (Madison McGahan)

See Post: Madison McGahan | Coffee Table Made With Leftover Fence Boards

Faux Metal Coffee Table (Sara)

See Post: Sara| Faux Metal Coffee Table

Ikea Bookcase Turned Coffee Table with Storage

Since the coffee table is such a substantial part of the living room, why shouldn’t it also be a functional storage piece? And that was the case for Steph who loved her college dorm room coffee table because of all the storage it provided.

So when this old coffee table started to look ragged, she knew she wanted to find something new with ample storage and portability with the addition of caster wheels. So, she used an Ikea bookcase - laid on its backside - as the coffee table base. With the addition of metal trim, a plywood siding top and a really cool faux leather hack with paper, Steph finally got her storage-friendly coffee table back!

Coffee Table With Storage (Mother Daughter Projects)

See Post: Mother Daughter Projects| DIY Industrial Coffee Table With Storage

Old Coffee Table Into Memory (Clök Concept)

See Post: Clök Concept| Turning Old Coffee Table Into Memory

Metal Trough Farmhouse Coffee Table

A livestock water trough forms the base for this “ Farm Style Living” coffee table. Junk Love Boutique blogger turned an old metal water trough into a pretty and practical DIY farmhouse coffee table with cute wooden legs and a beautiful hinged top. The addition of rope handles give it the perfect touch of farm living.Who would’ve thought that a water basin for farm animals would offer such ample storage? Because a trough is so large, it’s also a great place to store extra pillows and cozy throws. A few coats of weather-protective polyurethane make this metal trough coffee table suitable for outdoor patio use as well!!!

Livestock Water Trough Turned Coffee Table (Junk Love Boutique)

See Post: Junk Love Boutique| Livestock Water Trough Turned Coffee Table

Easy DIY Square Coffee Table

Six pieces of materials and $50 is all that Ari spent to make her simple square coffee table. She and her handyman (read: her husband) used 2x2 boards to form a simple wooden coffee table base. She then gave it a dark stain finish followed by several coats of white paint for an easy DIY cheat to get that aged, weathered look.

This simple two-toned coffee table looks great in front of a sectional sofa or in small space living. The coffee table top is made with some 1x5 wooden slats for a nice touch of modern farmhouse.

DIY Wood Coffee Table (Ari Goldberg)

See Post: Ari Goldberg| DIY Coffee Table

Faux Leather Coffee Table

Have you ever used paintable wallpaper? It’s so fun (and easy) to work with because the effects are so transformational! Alicia started with a plain wood coffee table and gave it a good sanding. She then applied a large section of paintable wallpaper to the middle of the coffee table. She painted it a vibrant red color (which she admits was a little much) but the addition of a dark glaze gave her the dark red leather look she was going for. Once she added upholstery tacks, she achieved the gorgeous, designer look she wanted.

Wallpaper is a stylish and budget-friendly way to update furniture without having to replace it. Look for easy-to-work with wallpapers like paintable or peel and stick.

Faux Leather Coffee Table (Alicia Wilkerson)

See Post: Alicia Wilkerson| Faux Leather Coffee Table

Natural Tree Trunk Coffee Table

Natural tree trunk coffee tables are so expensive and way out of the budget for this Hometalker. She located a local lumber yard in her hometown that sells camphor wood slices and paired this gorgeous piece of wood with …stainless steel toilet brush canisters! She cut these canisters down to the desired height and used hanger bolts to attach them to the underside of the camphor. The contrast between the modern legs and the rustic, warm wood slice is amazing!

Natural wood can work in any home decor style, from modern to traditional. The type of wood used doesn’t necessarily matter; be sure you like the shape and structure of the wood slice or stump. One design challenge will be envisioning the wood in its raw form as a functional part of your home decor.

Wooden Crate Coffee Table DIY (DIY Tutorials y mucho más)

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DIY Pallet Coffee Table

Pallet boards have become so trendy in recent years. And for good reason! They offer that rustic farmhouse charm and can instantly warm up any space. Pallets are often seen horizontally on the wall thanks to Joanna Gaines love of shiplap. But you can easily accomplish the same cozy effect, on a much smaller and more manageable scale, with a pallet board coffee table.

And that’s what Hometalk contributor 99 Pallets did when they turned a discarded pallet board into a coffee table with mid-century modern hairpin legs. It’s amazing to think that those plain wood pallets you so often see in warehouse stores can become a beautiful and functional part of your living room. Keep the pallet in its natural state or give it a coat of dark or colored stain.

Pallet Coffee Table DIY (99 Pallets)

See Post: 99 Pallets| Pallet Coffee Table With Metal Hairpin Legs: DIY

Pallet Board Coffee Table with Glass Top

Hometalk contributor Andrew was also inspired to get in on the pallet board trend but built his DIY pallet coffee table with a frosted glass top for an equally awesome DIY table.

Using four pieces of pallet board and an old 4x4 post, he created a simple table frame. He designed a recess area so the frosted glass could “sit in” the coffee table while still be protected by a lip around all four sides of the table.

Repurposing pallet boards are a great way to be eco-friendly and contribute to a more sustainable environment. Look for free pallets in your community at warehouse stores, department stores or local factories.

Pallet and Glass Coffee Table (Andrew @Scrappy Geek)

See Post: Andrew @Scrappy Geek| Easy Pallet and Glass Coffee Table

How to Decorate a Coffee Table

Let’s admit it, decorating the coffee table is almost more fun than building it! From trays to flowers to stacks of books, the decorating options are endless. An empty coffee table is a lost opportunity to showcase your beautiful and most interesting things. Think of the coffee table as a blank slate to test out the latest trends.

Use your coffee table surface to show off your latest interests from books to your latest travel souvenirs. Rotate these pieces as you get bored and your interests change or update pieces for the seasons with pine cones or colorful ornaments.

Since the coffee table is both function and design, some basic things to kick start your coffee table decorating include a serving tray, coasters, large vase or pillar candle and a fun statement piece such as metallic orbs or ceramics. With tabletops and trays being horizontal, experiment going vertical with plants, vases of flowers or tall tapered candles.

But nothing screams ‘clutter’ more than a collection of knick knacks. Try to limit the coffee table accessories to a small number of items, always working in odd numbers like 3, 5 or 7.

11 Best DIY Coffee Tables to Make Today

Most of us love to stay home and cuddle up with a drink or snacks with our feet up on the coffee table while we binge on the latest Netflix show. Aside from being a functional part of the living room, the coffee table is often the most comfortable spot within the home to sit around and chat with friends.

This seriously cool decor accent is often easier to DIY than to buy. Making your own coffee table is a great way to try your crafty hand at woodworking without the overwhelm of a large-scale project. It’s an easy way to give your home a face-lift without a lot of money and work as well as create a statement piece that is truly reflective of your personal style.

Start with what features you want in a coffee table, the colors or finishes and how confident you feel in your DIY skills. Do you want a simple square coffee table or something with storage? Do you want to paint it a fun, bold color or give it a dark, rich stain? With a building plan and budget in mind, you are ready to set off on your coffee table building.

So try your hand today at making a coffee table. Save money and have fun ...and get your guests talking around your own DIY coffee table!

Written for the Hometalk community by: Victoria

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2 of 10 comments
  • Ann Ann on Mar 24, 2020

    I tried the crate table idea. The only problem is that items like pens and such fall down through the gaps between the boards and then (because of the furniture placement) it is difficult to get them out again. It needs to have a solid top put over the crates.

  • MarianM MarianM on Nov 30, 2022

    It seems so simply, but on the other hand it takes a lot of afforts like here.