we managed to spend our first eleven months of marriage sans coffee table, and i won’t lie, i kind of liked it. the pros were so enticing: one less surface to dust, more open space in our little home, not spending more money on more furniture (especially since whenever i’d look, i couldn’t find anything that suited our space and style). over time, though, the cons slowly crept their way into the deepest, most neurotic recesses of my brain:
why do the dogs just assume that this open space is their playground?
seriously? i have to straighten the (dog-trampled) rug again? it would stay so neat if it a table sat atop it and held it down.
where am i supposed to rest my feet while i watch tv? on the floor? quelle horreur!
alas, they won. the cons triumphed, and i knew i needed to get serious about finding a coffee table. then i went to my friend merridith’s house and saw the coffee table her husband had built, and i realized it was exactly what we needed, too. merridith’s coffee table is like cady heron’s army pants and flip flops, if you catch my drift.
the design of the table is so simple, i almost feel like it doesn’t need explaining, but since i already had one friend ask how we made it, i’ll give you a quick step-by-step tutorial. i apologize in advance for the blurriness and bad lighting in some of the photos; it was early and cold, so i moved indoors to quickly assemble the table before setting off to work for the rest of the day.
Modern + Rustic Coffee Table
along with the following supplies, a drill is especially helpful in making this process quick and easy.
- two planks of wood cut to your preferred size (we bought a 2″ x 10″ x 8′ and had two 40″ pieces cut)
- one set of four hairpin legs, like these ones by industrial by design
- sandpaper, stain + poly, and foam brushes
- three small metal braces with holes in them <<< these may have a technical name, but i just called them the things with the holes. see photos below for clarification.
- sixteen screws to fit inside the holes on the things (we used #6 x 1.25″ wood screws by hillman)
- sixteen screws for mounting the legs (we used #10 x 1″ by hillman)
- sand and stain all sides of your wood. this is when a stain + poly combo comes in handy, but i understand if you’re a purist and prefer to do them in separate steps. we did a second coat on the sides we determined would be the table’s top along with all of the edges. let dry overnight
- once the wood is dry and ready, place the planks face down on the ground (so the underside of the table is facing up) and line them up so the ends are even and the planks are flush to each other. if you want to use clamps to maintain the boards’ flushness, hop to it. i did it without clamps, though, and just made sure that my edges remained straight and tight
- arrange your three braces over the boards with one in the middle and one toward either end, like this
- starting with your middle brace, choose two holes on each plank where you put your screws, keeping weight distribution in mind. i chose the hole closest to the center (holes 5 + 6 from left to right) and the second closest to the end (2 + 9) on each side. mark your holes with a pencil or pen, then drill a small pilot hole. once pilots are ready, drill a screw into each hole until it is securely fastened
- repeat step 4 with the other two braces
- now that you have a table top, all you have to do is decide where to put the legs. i kept mine close to each corner, leaving around half an inch on each side
- i chose not to put a screw through the large hole in each leg, opting only to fill the four smaller holes instead. just like with steps 4 + 5, mark your holes and drill pilots. fill each hole with #10 screws, securing each leg firmly to the wood.
- pull a missy elliot and put the thing down, flip it, and reverse it. (stand the table right side up)
done. could that have been any easier? methinks not. now decorate your hipster heart out and try to remember to get a pedicure if your feet are going to be in a photo.