How to Make a Concrete Side Table With a Cool Optical Illusion
Today, I’m going to show you how to make an elegant concrete side table using an old towel! My DIY concrete side table was inspired by the illusion table by John Brauer, which looks like fabric floating on its own.
This optical illusion table is actually super-simple and cheap to make, as you only need a few materials. Let’s get started!
Tools and materials:
- Old towel
- Spray paint
Here are some illusion tables I was inspired by.
1. Mix the concrete
Mix concrete with water until the consistency is as smooth as possible.
2. Make the shape
Stack two buckets one on top of the other, then drape the towel over them to create the shape you want. I’m using a marker for where I want the table “legs” to end.
Cut away the excess fabric.
3. Dip the towel in the concrete
Now it’s time to get messy! Dip the towel in the concrete. You’ll need to twirl it around until it absorbs all of the concrete and there’s no part of the towel that is not covered.
Tip: use gloves!
4. Make the tabletop
Draw and cut out a circle in the shape of your bucket top; this will be the tabletop.
Place the circle on top of the buckets.
5. Drape the towel
Drape the towel over the buckets and make sure the ends are even. Remember, all four corners of the towel need to touch the bottom for the “legs” to balance.
Then, adjust the folds to the places that you like the best.
6. Remove the buckets
Two days and many, many showers later, the concrete table is almost completely dry. This is actually the most delicate stage of the project. You want to remove the buckets without breaking or cracking the concrete.
Tip: shake it from side to side and be very careful.
Sand the concrete to make it as smooth as possible.
Tip: mixing your concrete well at the start will make this step so much easier.
Spray-paint the table with your preferred choice of color. I wanted something neutral, so I went for white.
Leave the paint to dry for 2-3 hours.
Concrete side table
Here’s the finished concrete side table! What do you think of this DIY illusion table? I really like the effect, plus it was so simple to make.
Let me know your thoughts and feedback in the comments section below!
Enjoyed the project?
Resources for this project:See all materials
Frequently asked questions
Have a question about this project?
Join the conversation
Sherri Roll on Mar 13, 2023
Great idea! Thank you for sharing!!
Robin Romero on Mar 13, 2023
You did an amazing job, I love it!
I'm wondering if you could find a high gloss paint, probably spray paint, to try to duplicate the shiny black table you sowed? What about building up layers of spray silicone to get an ultra-smooth finish?
Also, with just the legs supporting not only the weight of the rest of the concrete, but also the items you place on the table, how much added weight will it safely handle?
How much concrete did you need for this table?
Could you use portland cement instead of concrete?