If, like us, you love making coffee at home, you’ll want a fabulous place to serve it! There are a lot of coffee tables out there, but how about creating something with a personal touch?
A DIY coffee table can give you something unique at a fraction of the high street price. So are you ready to get started?
Here’s our list of 27 awesome coffee table ideas you can DIY today!
#1 Use crates to create an individual coffee table
Wooden packing crates are about the easiest things to turn into coffee tables. Just turn one upside down, and add wheels to move it around easily.
If you’re feeling extra creative, combine more than one in different configurations. Leave them unfinished for an industrial effect, or sand them down and varnish.
This photo from SkippersWordworks shows how great the results can look.
#2 Or how about wooden pallets?
Another cheap and easy component for your coffee table is the pallet. As with crates, a quick clean and rough sanding to remove any large splinters may be all you need. Alternatively, sand carefully and use stain or varnish to bring out the grain of the wood, or paint to match your color scheme.
Take a look at this outdoor coffee table for inspiration.
#3 More confident DIYers can build from scratch
If you know your way around a miter saw, you can build your coffee table from scratch with one of the many 3D designs available online.
You don’t need to be an expert, but you will need to invest in some tools and materials and be prepared to take your time. This example of a farmhouse coffee table design shows what you can achieve.
#4 Try re-purposing old shelving…
You can get some great results by using old furniture creatively. Scour thrift shops for designs you can easily convert.
Cubbyhole shelving is a great bet. Just clean up the wood and add legs – they’re easy to find online, or you can cannibalize other thrift shop finds.
Follow for inspiration and step by step instructions.
#5 …Or perhaps an old window frame?
We think this is one of the cleverest bits of upcycling we’ve seen in a while. Turn an old window frame into a coffee table top, and you’ll have not just a striking piece of furniture, but a useful space to display your collectibles.
Take a look here for step by step instructions to create your own version.
#6 Incorporate an old ladder for a vintage effect
A vintage ladder can be a great way to inject some character into your coffee table. Cut out a section and use it to hold a piece of glass for your tabletop.
Alternatively, secure a piece of wood behind the ladder and use the rungs as frames to display books or interesting objects. This image shows how good it can look.
#7 Buy cheap and customize with wallpaper
Inexpensive coffee tables do the job but can be a bit dull. It doesn’t have to be that way. With a little imagination and a few extras, they can look a million dollars.
This $20 Lack coffee table from Ikea looks like a designer original thanks to some wallpaper, paint and decorative nails. Take a look to see how it was done.
#8 Use a cable spool for a coffee table with bookshelves
If you enjoy reading whilst sipping your coffee, you’ll love this idea! Take an old wooden spool – the kind used for storing cables – and paint it. Now add some dowel rods between the top and bottom discs.
Hey presto – you have a coffee table with space to store your books underneath! These step by step instructions show how to make your own.
#9 Or use your books to decorate your coffee table!
Have you got books that are falling apart? Maybe their pages are turning that lovely old yellowy color?
Why not immortalize them as decoration for your coffee table? Old book pages can make a stylish cover, especially when accessorized with circles of wallpaper or wrapping paper.
#10 Or even use books to make your coffee table!
If you’ve got lots of old volumes you can’t ever see yourself reading again, why not turn them into a coffee table?
A clever circular arrangement shows off the spines to good effect. Even with a simple cardboard table top, this table from the blog 100 Classics Challenge looks amazing.
#11 Make use of old luggage for a coffee table with storage
A vintage suitcase is the perfect basis for a coffee table. What’s more, it offers built-in storage.
Some people simply place it on the floor. That’s fine, but it can be a pain to reach down that low for your coffee. Add some legs, and you’ll create a piece of furniture that’s a real feature.
#12 Bring the outdoors in
If you want a rustic look, wooden logs make a striking coffee table. Make a simple box out of plywood and attach the logs to the outside. Then add discs of wood to the surface and grout between them. This gives the illusion of a table made completely of logs, whilst being a lot lighter!
#13 Use a whiskey or wine barrel
This has to be the ultimate bachelor pad coffee table!
Turning a whiskey barrel on its side and cutting it in half will give you a table that can also be used for storage. And what better way to use it than as a drinks cooler?!
#14 Create the illusion of space with mirrors…
Mirrored furniture is great for creating a sense of space by reflecting its surroundings – but it comes at a price. Make your own mirrored coffee table using some plywood and mirrored panels. It’s easier than you think!
#15 …Or go one better with infinity in your living room!
With the lights off, this looks like any other table. But switch them on, and your coffee table becomes a gateway to infinity!
You’ll need a couple of mirrors, some lighting strips, plywood and hardwood for this project.
#16 Use an old door for vintage character
Old doors are a great source of vintage wood. Use one for a coffee table and create a unique talking point.
There are endless ways to get different effects. Place a piece of glass over a barn door to display the grain, or use the wood to make matching drawers.
#17 Make use of reclaimed lumber
If you’re lucky enough to have access to reclaimed lumber, use its rustic charm to create a striking coffee table.
You’ll probably find that with old, well-seasoned wood, you’ll need some heavy duty tools. And you’ll want to add a clear varnish to protect its natural beauty.
#18 Decorate your coffee table with bottle caps…
Turning your old coffee table into a piece of art can be simple.
First, add some square doweling around the edge to form a frame. Then carefully arrange your collection of bottle caps (or beer mats or buttons) inside it. Finish with a glass cover and you’ll have a table like no one else!
#19 …Or if you have kids, let them decorate it every day!
This chalkboard coffee table is an inspired idea for households with children. Let the kids scribble away to their hearts’ content, and get a new look coffee table every day!
All you need is a thrift store table and some chalkboard vinyl. It really doesn’t get any easier than this.
#20 Hideaway toys in this storage chest coffee table
For a classy storage solution, use a galvanized tin tub as the body of a coffee table. Tidy away your little ones’ toys, and avoid primary colored plastic littering your grownup space!
This version uses rope to secure the wooden table top – so no need to worry about finding your coffee on the floor.
#21 Turn your trash can into a coffee table stand
Turning a wastepaper basket upside down is a great way to create a stylish stand for a small coffee table. Add a wooden top and it’s ready to go. A cable spool end does the job perfectly.
You can also customize your tabletop with varnish or paint.
#22 Create mid-century style with MDF
Mid-twentieth century furniture is all the rage right now, but unfortunately has prices to match. Create your own take on Scandinavian chic with a piece of MDF, gloss paint and some tapered table legs.
You can find a great design and step by step instructions here. The result will be yours for under $50.
#23 How about an aquarium coffee table?
That’s right – it really is possible to build your own aquarium coffee table! At about $110 for the materials for a 10 gallon version, it’s not cheap. But it’s still only a fraction of the price of ready-made versions.
What’s more, you can find all the materials you need at any good DIY superstore.
#24 And while we’re on the animal theme – what about a chicken coop version?
This has to be one of the most inventive ideas for a coffee table we’ve seen! Take an old wooden chicken coop, attach legs, and carefully stain it. Add a glass top – and the result is quite simply beautiful.
Who would have guessed that Chicken Little’s old home could look this good?!
#25 Use old picket fencing for a factory cart style coffee table…
If you’re replacing your old picket fence, why not use the wood to create a coffee table?
The weathered condition may present some challenges – but don’t be put off! With a little perseverance, you can create a fantastic piece of furniture. The factory cart style is bang on trend too.
#26…Or use scaffolding boards for another take on industrial chic
There are a lot of designs out there for tables made from scaffolding pipes and hardwood boards. But why not go one better, and use scaffolding planks for your coffee table too?
This great design from ratandpallet.com is for a dining table. Shorten the legs, though, and it works just as well for your cup of Joe.
#27 For warmer tones, use copper piping
The copper piping used by plumbers is brilliant when it comes to making DIY furniture. Handy fixing pieces called elbows and tees help create the shapes you want. And though you’re supposed to solder copper to fix it together securely, gorilla glue seems to work just as well!
We hope you’ve enjoyed our list of fabulous DIY coffee tables.
Whatever your budget, and whether DIY beginner or a seasoned pro, there’s a fabulous design out there for you. And when you’re done, you’ll have a unique piece of furniture, and the satisfaction of knowing it’s all your own work.
We hope we’ve convinced you to give it a try! Please tell us what you think in the comments. And if you’ve enjoyed this article, please share it with your friends.
My name is Kathy Gallo, Editor of Ag Ferrari, a Coffee buff. The guide you find here is designed exactly for you, and it is our hope that you find it not only interesting but also actionable.