Inspired by Design
Aside from the couch, the coffee table (or cocktail table) might be the most-used piece of furniture in the house. You place drinks and snacks on it; it’s home to your books, magazines, and remote control; and most important, at the end of a long day, you rest your feet on it. We've pulled together some of our favorite DIY coffee tables, like this version made from old apple crates, to help you find—and then create—a table to soothe your tired soles (and soul).
A rustic take on the industrial look, this easy DIY incorporates plumbers’ pipes as the table legs. A reclaimed wood top is ideal, but the worn appearance can be forged with stain, sanding, and forced distressing. As with all the coffee tables on our list, be sure to adjust the leg lengths to coordinate with your couch's height.
Factory Cart Table
You’d be hard-pressed to find a factory-cart-cum-coffee-table at a flea market or antiques store these days—the coveted items are snatched up quickly. Many furniture stores are producing their own versions, but they come with a hefty price tag. You can, however, build your own; it’s a more complex DIY project than others listed here, but the payoff is worth it.
This DIY coffee table takes pallet furniture to the next level. After pallets have been disassembled, the wood is applied in a herringbone design to a plywood backing, which then tops another pallet. It's all mounted onto wood block legs. The epitome of earthy sophistication.
Cool Recycled Spool
Left raw or painted a dark hue, this recycled cable spool could easily swing industrial, but as shown here, lightened by a coat of white paint, it gives off a country feel. Although the wheels are optional, the convenience of a mobile coffee table outweighs the effort of installing them.
Magazine Rack Hack
This magazine rack coffee table can be made in less than an hour with wire deck, zip ties, and plexi-glass. It's high industrial style on a low budget, with no tools required.
This clean and contemporary DIY coffee table is nothing more than a custom cut piece of glass set on top of some hand-built wood blocks. Don't want to make blocks? Substitute any chunky wood supports you like. It will bring a unique, streamlined look to your living space.
An assemblage of tree stumps, sealed and painted white, makes for a cool and sophisticated coffee table in this modern living room. They're also sturdy, and surely won't slide when you put your feet up.
Our next IKEA hack requires more elbow grease, but you’ll emerge with a table no one would ever guess originated at the big-box retailer. The Klubbo tabletop serves as a built-in mold for a concrete top. The neutral look of the raw material complements any modern home
The bones of this side table project are simple and straightforward—you may even be able to find enough material in your leftover scraps to assemble it. Take this austere look to the next level by painting the table in a bold or bright hue.
An ingenious way to make sure tires aren’t relegated to the dump, this DIY coffee table is made of a discarded tire wrapped in rope. Using different colors of rope elevates the design and gives the table a more refined appearance. We suggest leaving the legs off and stacking several of these. If extra guests show up, voilà!—floor cushion seating.
Nobody would ever guess this mirrored coffee table was built in your home workshop! A reflective piece of furniture brings instant glam to any room, and with this DIY version, you can achieve that look on a budget. Precise measurements are key to constructing this mirror-covered plywood showpiece.
IKEA Lack Hack
Any DIYer worth his salt relishes a good IKEA hack. The one seen here makes use of the ubiquitous Lack table. It doesn’t get any simpler than this—just add brass corners for an instant upgrade. As a bonus, the enhancement doubles as protection for the table's easily chipped corners.
We love the "holed up in a log cabin" vibe this table gives off. This is another one of the more complex projects on our list, but you’ll wind up with a unique place to rest your feet. Although it appears that the table is composed entirely of logs, it's actually a plywood box surrounded by logs and topped by 1-inch-thick log rounds.
An old door, cut and mounted onto a castored platform, not only serves as a DIY coffee table, but also creates a storage cubby for your relaxation essentials. It's practical shabby chic, which is the very best kind.
If you're looking for more on DIY furniture, consider:
Weekend Projects: Build a Better Bookshelf
10 DIY Storage Ideas to Help Corral Your Kids' Clutter
If you have the money to hire a handyman for every household woe, go ahead. But if you want to hang on to your cash and exercise some self-sufficiency, check out these clever products that solve a million and one little problems around the house. Go now!