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Coffee Table Build

Updated: Nov 20, 2023

I found a beautiful coffee table online but it was over $2000!

Here's how I made a similar one, custom to our living room, for under $300 worth of lumber.



Equipment used:

tape measure


scrap cloth for staining

paintbrush for polycrylic


Step 1- Cut plywood to size. You can have Lowes or Home Depot do this for you, especially if you can't fit a 4x8 board in your vehicle. My only suggestion is to go ahead and designate which side of the plywood you like best for your table top. You want it free of knots, as knots in plywood are often filled with wood filler to give a smooth/even finish, but doesn't look as nice stained. You also want to take into account how big you want your overall a size to be, and subtract 2.5 inches from the perimeter for the 1x3 boards to trim it out.

Step 2- cut 1x3s to fit the plywood top. I cut the longer pieces at 59", the same length of the plywood. Then had the the end pieces overlap. I used the dimensions from a Pottery Barn coffee table and also looked at my sofa to coffee table ratio. You want your coffee table to be 2/3s the length of your sofa.

Step 3- drill pocket holes. I drilled 2 holes on either end of the long boards and then 4 holes along the length.

Step 4- attach 1x3 boards to plywood with pocket hole screws. I did have a two bumps where I over drove my screws in so be careful. It wasn't enough to pierce the other side but it did put slight bumps in the plywood. I reversed the screws in those places and its hardly noticeable.

Step 5- attach framing pieces to the legs. I put the legs exactly where

I wanted them, giving me a 2.5" overhang and then measured the distance between all 4 legs, cut the 1x3s to size and drilled my pocket holes. Then using pocket hole screws I attached the leg framing pieces to the legs.

Step 6- I also added 2 pieces of 1x3s to the inside for added support because my kids are crazy.

Step 7- before finally attaching the legs, sand and stain the top part. I made sure to round my corners and edges off because I have small children.

Step 8- seal 2 to 3 times with a matte polycrylic!


Click here to watch mini tutorial video on instagram!

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