Sunday, December 15, 2013

simple DIY sofa tables.

I'm taking a bit of a detour from the Christmas crafts, and sharing something that's making this girl's days as of late.

If you follow me on Instagram, you would've seen a picture of our couch-less living room (which looked like it was overtaken by the baby). We lived like that, watching TV while trying to find a comfortable way to sit on a dining room chair, for about three weeks. THREE WEEKS! crazy.
Until finally, we found a sectional we both loved:

The living room still looks a tad baby-consumed, but we were happy that it was a thousand times more comfy than a dining chair! We were so excited about it, I had my hubby put up my frames I've been holding onto for months... hence the awkward picture.

With an idea and my Father-in-law in tow, I went to Home Depot & bought three 1x8x10 plank of knotty pine for $16 each:

With the first piece of wood, we used it for the tabletop, and cut it to the length we wanted (I wanted two separate tables, so I made sure to divide the total length of this plank in half).

I wanted the legs to be the same width as the top (think: cheap version of a parson's table), so with the second and third piece of wood, we cut our legs. Here is what we needed for each table:

When inside the house (with better lighting), I started with the underside of my first table top. I made a mark an inch and a half away from the edge (I wanted the legs to be a bit under the top, not perfectly flush to the edge). I made two more marks at an inch and a half down the edge,

and using a handy L square ruler, I made a line connecting the marks, ensuring it was perfectly perpendicular to the side.

With that line drawn, I measured and marked an inch and a quarter away from the edge (which from the line was the width of the leg that would be attached there):

Then I measured out 3/4 of an inch away from the side of the table top. These were all to leave markings for where the L-brackets would go.

Then I placed the bracket down, using the markings as my guide,

and with the advice of my FIL, placed a larger piece of wood where the legs would go (gives a more accurate idea of how the L-bracket will sit with the leg against it),

and I drew circles to mark the holes.

After removing both the bracket and large wood block, I used an awl to create holes for my screws, and drilled them in with the L-bracket there (I'm missing a photo of that).

With the L-bracket secured to the bottom of the table top, I then held the leg up against the bracket, drew in the spots for the screws,

and screwed them in place.

This is what it looked like:

I also had a cutie of a helper, who helped immensely by hitting everything with a screwdriver (as my husband puts it: 'checking the structural integrity').

And of course we had to seal the occasion with our very own 'stamp' ;)

For the centre leg, I measured my table top, divided it by half, and left a mark. Then I did the same steps to attach a leg on as I did with the other ones.

We also got a smaller piece of pine for a piece to secure the back:

We wanted it screwed to the back of the legs, to also help with keeping them straight & in place (instead of spreading apart like they naturally did).

Here I am drilling holes into both pieces... pre-drilling, pre-showered, pre-primped (my FIL insisted he take a picture, even though my forehead is glossier than the wood. gross).

And here is one of them ready to be stained! (I know it's not something you'd see selling at Pottery Barn, but I wanted it simple... it would be hidden behind the couch anyway :)

I gave it a good sanding, 

and for my stain, I decided to go with this:

I liked that it had polyurethane already in it, but really after it was completed, it could've used another coat or two of straight poly.

Here's my boy again 'checking out the structural integrity' with a little superhero stance (while donning his jeggings):

After he deemed it safe, he left me to do the grunt work.
I gave the tables two coats of stain, waiting well over the 8 hour drying time recommended in between coats.

I decided to only stain the outsides and any faces of the wood that could be seen, and left the inner parts natural (I'm not sure if my jegging-wearing boss would approve of me cutting corners, but I did anyway;)

So, let's do a quick recap:


I haven't quite finished the whole styling part yet (as you can see from my sad lonely lamp), but I'm glad I have a solid place to keep my remotes away from baby fingers, and to place drinks while watching TV...

With my small winter display in the middle, you can barely tell these are two separate tables!

and I'm loving the colour of the stain!
And seriously, I don't think it gets any simpler than this sofa table...

Now... I'm starting to think of what I could shop for to spiffy up those tables! ;)

9 days left until Christmas, can you believe it?!
Hope you're safe & warm, wherever you are!


  1. Ahh thats so neat! I think with your blog I'm gonna diy my whole room/apartment! lol.

    1. Awesome! That would make my heart sing if you did! ;) thanks Darianne!

  2. So simple and so beautiful! Love it!!!

    Can't wait to get a house in Sauga and bug you to help me with alllllll my renos and DIY decor. Kekeke.

    1. :) I look forward to that, ms. Baker Yoon!

  3. They look awesome! I'm pinning - been wanting to do this, but couldn't come up with an easy idea! Thank you soooo much! Julia

    1. My pleasure, Julia! I hope you enjoy yours as much as we do ours :)

  4. Your table looks awesome! I may need something like this for our basement, thanks for the tutorial.

    Tammy @

  5. Awesome idea! Especially if you don't have room for a coffee table. Our living room is awkwardly small so we don't have a table, just shuffle TV trays around when needed. This idea is so simple and totally practical. Pinning!

    1. You're totally right; these are especially handy when coffee tables aren't around. Since making these, we've actually stopped using our coffee tables! :)

  6. this is perfect! i love that extra bit of room it gives you!

  7. I need this! Going to show my husband this DIY when he gets home. He will be thrilled...

  8. First, congratulations on your baby! This is my first time visiting your site and I find it very pretty and informative. I may be a bit older than some of the visitors who respond to you (54 year old lady). I LOVED this idea of your table behind the sofa! I watch a lot of home decorating shows, read lots of home decor books and material and this idea is great! It's a keeper :-) I'll be keeping your site here. Happy Holidays to you and your family!

    1. Hi Frauline! Thank you so much, and welcome! :) happy holidays to you too! :)

  9. Great idea! I love it! I really need to make one of these!!

  10. This is such a great idea! And you can't tell at all that they are 2 separate units. I love it! Looks super expensive, so way to go!

  11. So simple and yet would be very useful. I like the idea. Thanks for sharing.

  12. Featuring you on Monday Funday this week, as my personal fave! Thanks for linking up!

  13. What a great project! Simple, but so pretty and functional too!

  14. Just wanted to let you know I made this using your directions last night! My husband LOVES it when we have snow storms, after a day or two of being stuck in the house, I always think of something to do in the house. This snow it was crank out this table! I have been looking for a sofa table for the entire 13 months we have been in this house- but couldn't find anything I loved. Your DIY table was perfect and the even I could follow the tutorial! We busted it out last night when he got home from work. THANK YOU! :)

  15. I absolutely love this idea and have saved it for a future project. Making your own furniture is truly the way to go and it also allows you to take pride that you did it yourself. I haven't made any wood projects since being in wood shop in middle school and high school (which was many, many moons ago), but think I can handle it...luckily my husband has most all of the tools I should need for a project like this...:) Thanks for sharing!

  16. Thanks for sharing those wonderful photos. The project looks like it turned into a fun family time. Good read.

  17. Finally. A table that's simple enough and easily readable instructions (I've been looking for for a while). So, thank you!

  18. This exact idea has been floating around my head for years and now you have provided me with a VISUAL! I absolutely love what you did!! My husband is a pro carpenter and I'm going to ask him to make this for me.
    I also adore that sectional and I'd love to know the store you bought it from. :)



I love reading your comments! Thank you for taking the time to respond and I look forward to hearing what you have to say!