Finished DIY Console Table

There are endless uses for console tables. You can use them as a convenient entryway table, a pretty sofa table, or in any room to display some cute decor. In whatever setting you choose, it’s important for your console table to be the appropriate size for the space. I recently struggled to find a console table (or sofa table) for behind the loveseat in our living room. It seemed they were all either too short or not long enough. In addition, they were all well above $100. So, I thought, why not just make my own? I was able to construct a simple custom console table with the exact dimensions I needed in one weekend! Read on to learn how to make your very own DIY console table.

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DIY Console Table Pinterest Pin

First, the dimensions. How did I come up with them?

  1. I knew I wanted my DIY console table to be almost as long as the loveseat it would stand behind. This way, it would look like it truly belonged with the loveseat. The back of the loveseat measured 55” long so I made the table 50” long.
  1. I wanted the top of the console table to sit flush with the back of the loveseat. The back of the loveseat reaches 33” high so that’s how tall I planned the table to be. Of course, it ended up being 32 ¾” tall but that ¼” difference was due to the actual lumber sizes I’ll discuss below.
  1. The width of the table wasn’t so much my decision as it was an attempt to keep this project as simple as possible. The wood I wanted to use as the top of the table was 11 ¼ inches wide so, that’s how wide the console table was going to be!

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A note on lumber sizes:

The advertised size of a piece of wood in the store is not the true size of the wood. For example, the 12×1 piece of wood for the top of this table was actually 11 ¼ x ¾ (making the table height ¼” shorter than anticipated). Similarly, the 2×2’s for the legs were actually 1 ½ x 1 ½ inches.

The reason for this has to do with the shrinking that occurs in the wood due to the drying process ( It makes sense but it can certainly wreak havoc on the plans of someone who’s unaware of these discrepancies.

Moving on, your project dimensions can be completely customized to fit your space! Feel free to adjust the height or length of the table based on your specific needs.

Here are some rules of thumb if you wish to make sizing adjustments to this DIY console table:

  • If you wish to decrease the length of the table, you’ll need to shorten the length of the long 44” supporting pieces.
  • If you wish to increase the width of the table, you’ll want to increase the width of your legs to provide the necessary stability. Take the desired width of your table and subtract 4 inches. That’s how wide (from outer edge to outer edge) the new legs should be.

Tips for success in building your own DIY console table:

  • Make sure all of your 32” 2×2’s are exactly the same length. These will be the vertical leg pieces and will play a huge role in whether your table is level or not.
  • Similarly, check the wood for warping or bowing prior to purchasing. A bowed tabletop will result in an unlevel table.
  • Using a convenient folding work table like this one from Amazon will keep you from having to work on the ground and save your knees!

Let’s get started!

Here are some diagrams to help you get a better understanding of the structure of the console table:

Here’s what you’ll need to construct this DIY console table:

  • A 50” long piece of 12×1 wood for the top
  • 4, 32” long 2×2’s for the legs
  • 4, 4” long 2×2’s for the legs
  • 3, 5 ¾” long 1×2’s (or 2” thick scrap wood)
  • 4, 44” long 1×2’s
  • 2” wood screws
  • 2” finishing nails
  • A Drill (I love this one by Black+Decker)
  • Hammer
  • Tape Measure
  • Sandpaper
  • Wood stain or paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Pencil
  • To get the cut wood pieces listed in this supply list, you’ll need the use of a saw. There are a number of methods to cut this wood but we used a circular saw for the big tabletop piece and a miter saw for the other pieces. You can find both the miter saw and the circular saw I used on Amazon. As always, please use caution when operating power tools.

If you don’t have access to a saw and don’t want to purchase one, Home Depot will usually either make some cuts for you or allow you to use one of their handsaw stations to cut your own.

Here’s how to make your DIY Console Table:

Video Tutorial:

Written Directions:

  1. On the top of the tabletop, lightly mark where two 44” long, horizontal supports will go when placed on the underside of the tabletop. They should sit parallel to each other, 2” from the long front or back side and 3” from the short sides of the tabletop. You’re making these marks on the top side so you’ll be able to perform step 2.
  1. Insert 4 finishing nails (2 on each side) halfway into the top of the tabletop wood right above where the supports will be underneath. The very tip of the nail should be poking out the bottom side. Then, flip the tabletop over and place the long supports (with the 1” side down) on top of the nail tips. Clamp in place.
  1. Flip back over and finish tapping the nails in completely. Don’t worry if the long support piece wants to lift away with the nail. Just flip it back over and tap the piece of wood down onto the nail tip again. Add 2-3 more nails down through the supports for additional stability.
  1. Repeat steps 2 and 3 for the other horizontal support piece.
  1. Next, add the small 5 ¾” supports in between and perpendicular to the long horizontal supports (see diagram). Use the same method as used previously when attaching the long supports.

Now it’s time to build the legs!

  1. Use 2 of the 32” 2×2’s and 2 of the 4” 2×2’s to make a rectangle. Simply insert the short wood pieces in between the long wood pieces and use finishing nails to nail them together. Refer to the diagram and video tutorial for a visual. Use all of the 2×2 pieces to make two sets of legs this way.
  1. Next, with the tabletop side down, clamp the first leg against the bottom of the tabletop and the tabletop supports. Pre-drill 4 holes through the leg and into the supports. (See video for a visual) Then, insert 4 wood screws to hold secure. Complete this step on the other side as well.
  1. At this point, you should have 2 more long 44” 1×2’s left for the bottom support pieces. Position them horizontally, connecting a leg on one side to the leg on the other side. Ensure these pieces sit level on the floor and do not cause the table to lift. Pre-drill a hole going through the bottom of one side of the leg and into the end of the long support piece. Insert a screw to secure. Complete this step three more times to attach both sides of both bottom supports.
  1. Now it’s time to sand! Give the whole table a good sanding. The goal is to eliminate sharp edges and rough spots. Then, give it a good wipe down with a damp towel.
  1. Next, you can stain or paint your table however you’d like! I mixed a combination of weathered oak and antique walnut wood stain to create a custom color.
  1. Once the paint or stain is completely dry, I recommend adding a coat of polyurethane to the entire project and then two more coats to the tabletop for durability.

A word on stability:

For the safety of all, please make sure that the table is anchored down if you wish to place any heavy objects on top. While this table is a relatively stable table, console tables are, by definition, thinner tables that do not have the same stability as a larger, wider table does.

And there you have it! A beautiful, custom DIY console table you can make in just one weekend!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this tutorial and have fun making a console table of your own!

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