Looking for a super affordable and pretty side table for your living room or bedroom?? I’ve got the DIY Side Table for you!
The idea for this pretty little DIY Side Table came from a woodworking challenge on Instagram. The IG Builders Challenge account on Instagram hosts 2 or 3 woodworking challenges a year and I love it! The first day of the challenge always starts with the release of building plans for a random piece of furniture. You never know what you’ll be building until that day. Then each participant modifies the plans to show off their skills and creativity. Fun, right.
Last Spring, I was awarded 1st Runner Up for my L-Shaped Backyard Bench entry. Whether you’re a woodworker or just a fan of DIY, you should follow that IG Account. And, while you’re there, I’d love for you to follow me on Instagram too. You’ll see all the behind the scene’s details and sneak peeks on my builds, remodeling, and DIY’s.
The original challenge plan for this side table was released as a single table built from 1 – 8′ long 2×4. You can see the original design below. The original challenge plans came from Jedidiah Shultz (IrishCraftsemen7 on IG) and drawn by Mark Chapnell (Chapnell on IG).
For my version of this DIY side table, I decided I could use some new bed side tables for my guest room. So, I built two. I modified the taper in the legs, added a lower shelf, and switched the top to 3/4″ plywood. I love how simple and elegant my changes turned out. How about you?
Woodworking Note: I’m providing instructions for doing this the easiest way, with the best materials. BUT, for the challenge I actually built this by resawing a 2×4 into 2×2’s with standard 2×2 squared edges. I’m going to skip explaining that for today. It will just confuse the build. A store bought Select Pine Board, or similar, 2×2 will provide a much smoother, cleaner, straighter piece of wood for this build.
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Disclaimer: Make sure to always read the directions for any products or tools you use while building. Always check for square and double-check those measurements too. Read the full disclaimer.
Materials for 1 DIY Side Table
- 4 – 26″ long 2×2’s
- 4 – 9″ long 1×2’s
- 4 – 13 1/2″ long 1×2’s
- 1 – 18″ x 13 1/2″ piece of 3/4″ Plywood
- 141/2″ x 10 1/8″ piece of 3/4″ Plywood (cut after assembling the frame, you may need to modify size slightly per build)
- Zinsser 123 Primer, or your favorite
- DecoArt Americana Outdoor Living Paint, in this beautiful yellow shade
- Minwax Clear Matte Polycrylic
- Foam Brushes
- 2 – 1″ Corner Braces
- Wood Filler
- Wood Glue
Tools to Make 1 DIY Side Table
- Kreg Jig & Kreg 1 1/4″ Coarse Thread Screws
- Various clamps
- Miter Saw or Circular Saw
- Optional: Table Saw for tapering the legs and this awesome Taper Leg Jig
- Jig Saw (to notch out the lower plywood shelf)
Directions to Build 1 DIY Side Table
- Make your cuts using the measurements above. Remember, don’t cut the plywood for the lower shelf until the table frame is fully assembled so that you can double-check measurements before cutting.
- Optional: I’ve tapered the bottom 10 1/2″ of my legs. Using this Taper Leg Jig with your table saw makes tapering easy for experienced table saw users!
- Use your Kreg Jig, set to 3/4″ thick wood, to put 1 pocket hole on each end of the 1×2″ boards (8 boards, 16 pocket holes total)
- Sand all of the wood with 120-grit sandpaper. Sand all 4 sides of apron and legs and smooth down, or knock down, the hard corners to give the piece a softer, more finished look. But keep the short edges on the rails that connect to the 2×2″ legs square.
- Use the Kreg Drill Bit, Screws, and glue to assemble the table. The top apron should be level with the top of the legs. The top of the lower apron should be 11 1/2″ from the top. I used a scrap piece of 1/8″ thick paneling to get the 1/8″ set back on the apron. Make sure to always wipe away glue with a damp cloth as you go.
- Measure the inside of the lower apron to get the exact measurements for that shelf. Remember to notch out the corners, for the legs, with your jigsaw.
- Use your Kreg Jig to add 6 pocket holes to the bottom of your plywood shelf. 2 holes on each long side, 1 on each short.
- Sand the shelf, then clamp in place. I set this 1/8″ lower than the apron. Screw the shelf in place.
- I attached the top shelf with 2 – 1″ Corner Braces.
- Now you should have a completed frame. Wipe away any excess glue again. Then let everything set and dry.
Finishing this DIY Side Table
- Use wood filler, as needed and sand smooth with 120-grit sandpaper.
- Prime with Zinsser 123 or similar primer.
- Apply 2 – 3 coats of the paint. I used this pretty shade of yellow from DecoArt.
- Once you have achieved a solid, finished look with the paint, apply 1 to 2 layers of the Polycrylic.
Build done. Step back and admire your amazing talent and beautiful table! 😉
How about another DIY Furniture Build? Check out my beautiful Upholstered Bench Plans.
Feeling inspired? Now that you know how to build this sweet Side Table, get out there and build your own. Follow the links above to get the things you’ll need. Have fun and let me know if you have questions. Or post pictures of your work and tag Abbotts At Home on FB, I’d love to see it!