DIY Coffee Table

6 Materials
3 Hours

Last summer we got a new sectional for our three-season porch, that we love! We also bought the coordinating ottoman because who doesn't like to put their feet up while lounging on the porch?? Well, the first time we purchased the ottoman it came with a stain on the cushion so we sent it back. The second time we purchased the ottoman the wicker was coming apart. So... we quickly decided that the $200 ottoman wasn't worth a third try, especially because it really was only big enough for one person to use at a time. Enter my DIY coffee table that serves as both a place to rest feet when it's just us lounging and a place to put snacks and drinks when hosting guests!

I set out to make this table solely out of 2x4s and almost did that. I ended up using 4x4s for the legs because I liked the look better but it could definitely be done with 2x4s for the legs. What's great about a DIY project like this is that the size is totally customizable. I decided our table would be the width of eight 2x4s (plus trim) and that the length would be about 52 inches.

Materials: The bare minimum you'll need for materials are 2x4s and 2.5 inch screws. The number of 2x4s you need for your table depends on the length your table will be. I bought 8ft (96 inch) 2x4s. I needed 10 of these for the 52 inch pieces but was able to use scraps from these pieces for the smaller cuts. I also used a finish nailer to attach pieces in the places that were harder to screw into but you can make screws and a drill work!

Cut and assemble table top

First, cut eight 2x4s to length and line them up next to each other. Then, cut perpendicular supports for the eight 2x4s. I used 3 supports (one on each end and one in the middle) and attached them with 2.5 inch screws. The picture below also shows trim pieces on each short end, which we'll get to in the next step!

Add trim pieces

Next, use 2x4s to trim out the table top. Turn the 2x4s so that the smaller side is facing up, this creates some distinction from the rest of the table top. Attach these with screws or a finish nailer into the sides of the table top. You should do this while the bottom of the table top is facing up (like in the picture from step 1) to make sure the top pieces are flush with each other.

Build legs

Then use 4x4s to create your table legs. I wanted our table to be low (about 18 inches) so that it could also serve as a foot rest, but any height will work. Once these are cut to length, I suggest standing them on the ground and placing the table top on top of them to make sure the lengths are even and the table does not wobble. When you are ready to attach the legs, use 2.5 inch screws screwed in at an angle. The legs should sit on top of the perpendicular supports that you put under the table in the first step and will be supported by the trim pieces.

Add cross supports

Then, use 2x4s to create the cross supports between the legs on each short end of the table. The table is definitely sturdy without these supports, they're honestly more for looks! Hold the first 2x4 up and use a pencil to draw a line against the 4x4. This will help figure out the angle to cut the cross pieces at.

Draw a line on both ends and cut both angles using a miter saw. You may need to make adjustments but ultimately, this piece should slide in between the 4x4s. Use a finish nailer to attach this piece to the legs. Follow the same process of drawing the angles and cutting to make the intersecting pieces). The picture above shows the stage at which I'm measuring and cutting the third cross piece.

Sand and stain or paint

Your finished table will look like this!

You can use the table like this or sand and stain to give it a more finished look. I used an orbital sander to smooth the surface and then stained and covered with a protective top coat.

Now, enjoy hosting friends and spreading snacks out or kick back and put your feet up!

Resources for this project:

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