Do you often dream of creating and crafting your very own coffee table?
Do you wish you could welcome guests into your living room and have them be wowed and dazzled by your show-stopping centrepiece?
Do you fantasise about seeing their eyes flash with jealously and a splashing of bitterness once you reveal it was made entirely from your hand?!
Well, admittedly that last part might just be us talking, but it’s no secret that DIY coffee table ideas and plans are taking the internet by storm these days.
Whether you’re looking to save money on your decor or have a yearning to test your eye for interior design, a coffee table is a great piece of furniture to start with and so it’s no wonder there’s a hotbed of do it yourself examples out there.
However, not all of us have a fully-fledged workshop in our garage and so naturally the sanders, power tools and other carpentry kit required to fashion some tables into life is quite far beyond the average person’s reach.
But don’t let that dishearten you, because thankfully not every design requires you to be a master craftsman!
To help homemade beginners still get a chic-look for their living rooms, we’ve picked out five of our favourite coffee table design plans, all of which could be achieved by even the biggest DIY newbies!
So what are you waiting for?
Pick an option, grab your toolbox and get cracking!
A Show-Case Table
One of our favourite DIY coffee table trends of recent times is the vintage suitcase-style table, an upcycling marvel which doesn’t require any carpentry skills and is as chic as any designer bit of decor!
Incredibly easy to put together, a suitcase table is as simple in structure as it looks – consisting of just a vintage trunk with table legs attached!
To craft your very own, all you’ll need is:
- A suitcase or vintage style trunk
- 4 Table Legs (with sufficient strength and girth to hold your case)
- 4 Leg Mounting Plates (with screws)
- Measuring Tape
- Paint & Paintbrush
- A Drill
And that’s it!
With so few parts, it’s no wonder it’s a doddle to put together and its construction can be achieved by merely following the five steps below:
- Screw your table legs into your leg mounting plates before painting with the colour of your choice. Do this in thin and multiple coats to encourage a quick drying time and thorough coverage.
- Leave the legs to dry overnight and unscrew the leg mounting plates. Then with the bottom of your case facing up, lay the leg mounting plates on the case and use a tape measure to correctly place them at the same point at all four corners of the case.
- With a pen or pencil, make marks on the case at each plate’s drill holes. These will typically be four small holes at the corner of each plate. You can then remove the plates and drill through the marked points on the case, which should make 16 holes in total.
- Place your plates back in their position, lining up the plate’s drill holes with the holes in the case. Then place screws into the holes to securely attach the plates into the bottom of the case.
- Once the legs are dry, simply screw them into your plates to create a fashionable and fun table trunk!
For those who prefer arts and crafts to a bit of woodwork, it’s the stress-free way to grab yourself a conversation-starting centrepiece.
If you are a dab hand with a saw and feel your suitcase needs a little bit more craftsmanship, you can optionally measure out the inside of your case and then cut out a piece of plywood to be placed perfectly inside like a wooden insert.
At the point where you are drilling holes, drill them into the wood too so that the plates can be screwed into the wood through the suitcase.
This will supply extra support and stability, helping to make your suitcase a stronger surface.
There’s no better way to stun your guests than with these staggered old tree stumps which create a farmhouse feel without any hassle.
Although not strictly a table, we love the natural look it brings to a living room and it certainly makes for a far less conventional showpiece for your home.
What’s more, they cost practically nothing and can take as much wear and tear as you please, as it will only serve to make them look even more aged and rustic!
Now obviously we wouldn’t expect anyone to go out and moonlight as a lumberjack to make this work, and so if you’re not au fait with the chopping block, we’d suggest sourcing stumps from those who may have some going spare.
Places like timber yards and salvage yards would be a good place to start, and a trip to a furniture manufacturer might even be fruitful!
Getting them is the hard part, but once they’re yours, very little needs to be done!
Before bringing a stump or stumps into your home, just ensure that they are fully dry by letting them sit in your garage or porch, or by using a heater to dry them out. This ensures no hidden moisture saps out onto your floor and when heated can also cause splits in the wood, enhancing their natural look.
After they are definitely dried out, how much you want to customise them is up to you!
You can paint them, use a palm sander to soften surfaces and edges or just place them as is at the centre of your room!
And remember, if choosing more than one stump, make sure to choose ones of varying heights to add levelling and a bit of interest to the piece!
Wire Basket Table
For a minimalist modern look, creating a DIY coffee table is sometimes as simple as merging together an old wire basket and a wooden surface. Seriously.
The undisputed king of DIY coffee table plans, wire baskets make the perfect base for a slender and on-trend side table, as they allow you to create an interior design look for a fraction of the price.
And when it comes to constructing one, it’s a fraction of the effort too!
First, choose either an old wire basket you’re not using anymore or go out and purchase a sleek and attractive wire design to determine what your leg/base structure will be.
And don’t let the colour of a wire basket put you off either, as to avoid it looking like an upturned wastepaper basket we heartily recommend spray painting the structure an attractive rose gold or copper colour before pairing it with a tabletop.
Once you’ve got your chosen basket, measure it’s circumference at the base or rim so that you have a good idea as to what size tabletop you want to attach to it.
It’s up to you how large this is as you may want it to be bigger as a design choice, however you definitely don’t want it to be smaller if you want an actual functioning table!
When purchasing your piece of wood/tabletop you ideally want it to be rounded, with a little bit of weight behind it to ensure that your table stays sturdy and is not easily knocked over. You can then do what you like with it – varnish it, clean it, paint it – whatever style you want to bring to it is up to you.
Believe it or not, that’s actually all you need to do if you so wish, and by joining your painted wire basket and treated wood together you have already have a ready-made side table
By placing the heavy wooden tabletop onto the basket, it should provide enough weight to keep the structure sturdy and in place, with no need for any secure attachment. This also means you can lift off the top at any time and store cushions and other objects inside the wireframe, which is great if you value storage as much as aesthetic!
However, if you don’t trust yourself around an unsecured tabletop, you’re more than welcome to structure the basket and wood together with a glue gun or super glue!
Just Add Hair Pin
A modest yet classy coffee table look that seemingly never goes out of style, the hairpin-legged surface is still a favourite amongst many homeowners.
They last a lifetime, look good in your living space and are a more humble and multi-use piece of furniture than your average attention-seeking coffee table showstopper.
But while a brand new one might be £50 plus in most furniture stores, a homemade, piece of wood and hairpin combo will cost you less than half the price and will bring a more personal touch to your home!
All you’ll need is:
- 4 Hairpin Legs
- A Laminated Wooden Panel (in a size of your choice)
- Two 2 x 4 Plank of Wood (you may need more of these if your wooden panel is large)
- Measuring Tape
- Small nails (around 1 inch)
- Wood filler
- Wood Stainer
To create it, follow these simple steps below:
- The first thing you need to do is create a sound and secure frame structure to attach your legs to!To do this, measure your wooden panel lengthways and then from your 2 x 4 planks of wood, cut out two planks that are the same length as your panel. Place these on top of the panel base, with both of them running along the perimeter of either side of the panel.
- Measure the distance from the inside of one plank to the other to determine the width of your frame, cut out two more smaller planks of wood from your leftover 2 x 4’s that are the same length as this measurement.These two planks should fit perfectly in the gap between the two planks, allowing you to fashion a perfect square frame around the base of your table surface, in line with the perimeter!
- Using a hammer and nails or a drill and screws if you feel more comfortable doing so, begin securing this frame to the base of the wooden panel. Remember to use small once inch nails to prevent them coming out through the other side of the panel!
- Then with a measuring tape at hand, place your hairpin legs at the corner of each part of the frame and make sure they are all equally placed and are not too close to the edge. About a quarter of an inch should do!
- Then drill through the holes of the hairpin legs and screw them in place.
And that’s it for the construction part. No really, it’s that easy!
However, your table is going to be looking pretty rough and so we’d suggest giving it a little more TLC after you’ve completed the basic putting together part.
At the sides of the table, use a wood filler to fill the visible gaps between where the frame structure and base meet to smarten things up and down the rough edges of the panel to give it a smooth curved edge rather than a recently cut look!
Then your last step is simply to give it some authentic colour! Use a wood stainer to give it a rich, natural wooden colour.
It really doesn’t get much more basic for beginners, and even if it goes wrong, it’s hardly going to break the bank, so it’s a great first option for those looking to do a bit of DIY coffee design
If you’re a little more confident with DIY, perhaps consider going for a more artsy direction with your tabletop by repurposing some old wood or an unusual bit of furniture!
Crate Coffee Table
This coffee table crate design has become really popular in the last few years thanks to the ample storage space it provides, the attractive pattern created by the placement of the crates and the neat leftover space in the middle for display and decoration.
Best of all, they’re less than half the price of most designer wooden tables, yet manage to provide double the style!
This one admittedly requires a little bit more handiwork than the others, but fashioning it together is still incredibly easy, and doesn’t require any intense DIY skills!
- 4 Wooden Crates (preferably a classic fruit crate with panels)
- A 2 x 4 Plank Of Wood
- Paint & Paintbrush
- Measuring Tape
- A Drill
- An extra piece of plywood
Then follow these simple steps:
- First, use sandpaper to smooth off your crates and take away rough edges and get a sleek furniture feel!
- Using the measuring tape, measure out the length of your plank of wood. Then divide that total length by four and use the saw and the tape to cut the plank into four equal parts. These four new planks will provide the base for the table!
- In your chosen colour finish, paint the four crates and four planks of wood. Then wait from the to dry.
- Now here comes the confusing bit! To create great storage features, you need to structure the crates together so that the opening at the top of the crate faces outwards.To do this, take one crate and place it upside down so that it’s opening is covered and that you are looking at the bottom of its base.Then, place one of the other crates on top of the base, with it’s opening facing you and resting on one of it’s smaller sides so that it is standing at full length. This should only cover half of the other crate’s base.
- Holding the two crates together, drill four holes through the inside of the top crate down into the base of the bottom crate. Then screw these crates together.
- Repeat the same process with the remaining two crates so that you have two sets of what look like L-shapes.Then put these structures on their sides and place the two L’s together to form what will be your square table of four. There should be a small square gap that runs through the centre of your crate table.
- Measure the central gap and then cut out a small, square piece of plywood which fits perfectly into it.Place the piece of plywood at the top of the gap and then drill and screw the two sets of crates together to cement the table. The plywood should hold automatically, but if not, place some screws in the hole to act as a catch to stop the insert falling down the gap.
- To make a base, take the four equal parts of wood and hammer and nail them together into a square frame. Then drill and screw it onto the side of your crates which still has a gap to act as the base of your table.
Then you’re all set to display!
Just fill the openings with blankets, cushions or books and gadgets and then place an attractive centrepiece on top of the plywood covered gap to finish up!