18 Surprising DIY Coffee Table Plans [List]

diy coffee table plans

Looking to build your own coffee table?

We've got you covered- we've compiled a list of 18 DIY coffee table plans.

There are a bunch of interesting styles to choose from. #2 is a metal/wood combo; #11 is an LCD coffee table; #12 is made from a huge tire; and #17 is made from a fishtank!

Whatever your level of skill, there's a plan on this list to fit your ability.

Click the 'View Plans' button to access the free, step-by-step instructions! 

18 DIY Coffee Table Plans

1. Coffee Stained Coffee Table Blueprint

This table is ironically made with coffee rings and stains on the surface. You can use any table, though this builder used an Ikea Lack side table. You’ll also need gesso, coffee, sandpaper, clear polish, and paint brushes. First, use the sandpaper to roughen up the surface and give it some texture. Then apply some gesso and use a coffee cup to make genuine stains in whatever pattern you like. When you’re finished, apply a few layers of clear coat and you’re finished.

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2. Metal and Wood Coffee Table Idea

This table is a refreshing mix of metal and wood. You’ll need aluminum square tubes, planks of oak, stain or paint, a chop saw, and welding tool. You can take this basic design and scale the measurements up or down. Once you have your metal frame, cut the oak or plywood to the right size and then polish or stain them. Once that has dried, you can insert the wood into the frame and even add tabs to support the oak.

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3. Basic Coffee Table Project

If you’re looking for a simple and easy DIY project, this is it. You just need wood glue, screws, aluminum tubes, and some pieces of wood or medium density fiberboard. The tubes will be crossed and placed underneath to give the table support. Because they will be visible, you can paint them an accent color or make them match the rest of the table. The end result should be a table that’s sturdy but also lightweight and easy to move.

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4. Minimalist Coffee Table Plan

This table is perfect for a chic and minimal look. Composed entirely of beech wood, you’ll need a variety of tools to put this together, like a miter saw, band saw, table drill, power sander, and bench chisels. This is also assembled without any wood glue or fasteners – instead the wood is joined with long and short aprons and long and short stretchers. This DIY plan might be better suited for experienced builders, though it still shouldn’t take more than a few hours.

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5. Coffee Table with Text Plan

A coffee table is meant for, well, coffee! This DIYer focuses on this idea by using stencils to paint the phrase “Life begins after coffee” on the side of the table facing you. Made out of timber strips, maple, walnut, a metal channel, biscuits, and a reinforcing bar, this also requires a sliding miter saw and biscuit joiner to build. You can also get very creative and write whatever phrase you like or even repeat the phrase across the surface of the table too.

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6. Rustic Coffee Table Blueprint

This rustic and unfussy table was inspired by old pallets-turned-tables and the builder wanted to recreate this look with more functionality. You can use wood boards you have and cut them to size or go to Home Depot and have them cut the wood for you. This table is also quite shiny – that’s the result of two bottles of epoxy. If you want a more matte look, you can just apply a thin sealing layer of wax or polish.

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7. Arcade Coffee Table Idea

If you’re a fan of video games and physical computing, give this DIY project a try! The hardest element of this table is connecting and programming the controller and Raspberry Pi with games. For the actual table, this builder bought an old one from a thrift store and repainted it to make it look like new. You’ll also need some tools like a skill saw, drill, Dremel, sandpaper, spray paint, and a jigsaw. Once finished, you can play games right on your coffee table.

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8. Fireplace Coffee Table Blueprint

This table uses an ethanol burner to create a fire, which is perfectly safe to have open and without a vent or chimney. Materials needed include shop clamps, brad nails, an orbital sander, drill press, wood filler, cement, hardwood, and fireplace fuel. This will definitely take a whole day to build and may be challenging for novice builders. When you’re ready to turn off the flame, just wait 15 minutes before putting anything on the table or touching it with your hands.

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9. Ouija Coffee Table Idea

Whether you like to have seances or want a table that’s truly unique, this is a great DIY idea. Costing only around $120 to make, you will need pine, steel wool, vinegar, a miter saw, sandpaper, laser printer, screws, pocket hole jig, and polyurethane. This builder actually created the design in Photoshop though you can just Google photos of an Ouija board and use those as a template. Once you transfer the image onto the surface with acrylic gel, immediately seal it with a few layers or polish.

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10. Computer Coffee Table Project

This table also uses a Raspberry Pi to allow you to play games, browse the web, and even check your email! Depending on how you want your table to look, you can buy an LCD screen that’s larger or smaller. This designer also rounded the corners to prevent injuries for his small children, though you can also leave the edges square. A lot of wiring goes into this and you’ll also need a wireless keyboard and mouse to fully use the computer.

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11. LCD Coffee Table Plan

If you have an old computer screen laying around, put it to use. Not only does it look cool, but it can perform as a PC or be hooked up with your television or other smart devices. If you don’t want to build a table from scratch, you can buy a used one or upcycle one that you already have. First disassemble the screen, pop in the panel, and configure the computer. You could also paint the table a matte black to blend in with the screen.

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12. Upcycled Tire Coffee Table Blueprint

You probably never dreamed you could make a coffee table out of an old tire, but you can! You’ll need quite a few power tools, like a router, belt sander, drill, band saw, table saw, impact driver, and disc sander. Materials required include wood screws, plywood, and a threaded rod. This builder chose to make only three legs in a tripod shape, though you could also make four. Also, don’t forget to clean your tire thoroughly before assembly.

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13. Stop Sign Coffee Table Idea

If you love collecting things and being apart of history, this is a great and simple DIY plan to tackle. The old STOP sign was acquired from the builder’s local traffic division and destined for the trash. Use the sign as a template and cut a piece of plywood in the same shape for the bottom. Even the sign has eight sides, this builder made only six legs and fit them in with notches. Its also a good idea to clean, sand, and polish the sign before assembly.

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14. Piano Coffee Table Idea

This project may seem daunting, though it is actually not that difficult. Using a broken or discarded piano, table legs, plywood, palm sander, wood glue, tempered glass, power drill, mineral spirits, and a circular saw you can make this. You’ll need to get the glass cut to your exact dimensions. Disassembling the piano and fitting the keys together once the table is finished may also be a bit tricky. You can also stain the table to match the color of the piano.

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15. Pinball Coffee Table Idea

Although not functional, this fun table does light up and is guaranteed to be a conversation starter. You will need a 6v battery, rocker switch, wood glue, tempered glass, pinball playfield, and table base including the legs. eBay or Craigslist would probably be the best place to find old pinball parts to buy. Once the frame is ready, add the ledges and attach the base, molding, and glass. Hooking up the switch and power may take some time if you’re not familiar with wires and electronics.

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16. Rustic Epoxy Table Idea

Tables with epoxy resin inlays are very popular now, though expensive to purchase from furniture stores. Using a beautiful slab of wood, in this case walnut, is very important. Prepare, sand, and clean the wood before working with it. If you’ve never used epoxy before, it would be a good idea to practice with it on some other materials before making this table. Even though you’ll be following the natural cracks and lines of the wood, there is little room for error.

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17. Fish Tank Coffee Table Idea

Aquarium tables will cost you about $700 to buy. If you want a similar look, you can follow this DIY plan for half of the price. The materials list for this is quite extensive – you’ll need things like plywood, plate glass, under gravel filter, dowel pins, table saw, wood glue, oak board, an air pump, and clamps. When you’re finished with this, however, you’ll likely not want to put anything on the table and just admire the beautiful fish and your handiwork.

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18. Topographic Map Coffee Table Idea

While most people will think your wood grain is a pretty pattern, this designer craved a map of his hometown of Chesapeake Bay into the tabletop. Supplies needed include oak, sandpaper, stain, pipe, bar camps, biscuits, and pipe flanges. Drafting and milling the map will take a few hours but be well worth it. You can get creative with the design and even use resin or paint to fill in certain areas. It is also very important to use multiple coats of sealant on this.

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What's Reddit Saying?

Furniture Friday

Over in the male living space Reddit forum, they are popular Furniture Friday Series profiled coffee tables.

Furniture Friday – Coffee Tables from r/malelivingspace

If you’re unaware of what the subreddit is all about, it’s a space for men to share interior design tips. So whether you’re living in an apartment or a country bungalow, men help each other find the best deals as well as provide DIY hacks for improving the style and design of their living space.

One poster shared an image of a coffee table he purchased at an antique vintage Thrift Shop saying that it only cost him $40.

He says the style is reminiscent of the 1960s as congruent with his own personal aesthetic preferences.

Indeed, the design is minimalist and very sharp- it provides a small space in his living room to store various knickknacks and reading materials besides his couch.

Another poster share turd an image of his low lying trapezoid shape coffee table. It’s quite visually arresting with a glass panel storage cubby and white huge elements that sit on four wooden legs.

A great place to store a potted plant, computer accessories and space for a MacBook to do some remote work. While really cool looking, he says that it’s too low for him, even though he isn’t very tall, he can’t stretch his legs out under the table, which means it’s hard to eat off of when reclining in the couch.

Another poster said that he is leaving home for the first time and it stressed out about making decorating choices and his rental apartment.

Posters recommended that he fill out his new living space with essential oils at first, for example sourcing a couch and a bed and then selecting a complimentary coffee table.

Single Sheet Plywood Challenge

DIY Coffee Table I Built For A One-Sheet-Of-Plywood-Challenge from r/DIY

Over in the Reddit DIY Community, a poster submitted a DIY coffee table that he constructed from a single sheet of plywood.

He says that regarding how hollow it is, if you knock on it the half-inch material prevents it from sounding Hollow.

Another poster said that the biggest challenge she experienced is transporting the full sheets of plywood back to his woodworking shop.

While there is an amazing lumber store under 30 minutes away from his home, it’s always a challenge deciding whether to purchase a U-Haul to transport the lumber or figure out some alternative means of lugging all of that plywood back to his home.

An option one user suggestion was going on to Craigslist and finding some local providers – perhaps someone that will do the transportation for you or even somebody selling lumber that’s willing to deliver the wood to your front door.

Another poster said that his own father, after he retired, has a lucrative sideline wood delivery business, he says that he will meet you at a Home Depot, Lowe’s or other lumber supply store and then use his truck to haul all of your purchases to your home, as long as it’s within a 50-mile radius.

Elm And Resin

Elm and resin coffee table from r/oddlysatisfying

Another interesting design idea came from the Oddly Satisfying Reddit Forum- it’s described as an Elm and resin coffee table.

In essence, it is a sheet of wood embedded and a transparent resin, creating a visually striking coffee table surface.

Upcyclding A Tree Stump

I turned a 400-year-old stump into a coffee table with a lake. from r/DIY

Another DIY hobbyist submitted an indoor gallery to Reddit that demonstrated how he upcycled a 400-year-old tree stump into a coffee table with a lake design.

He inlaid a piece of blue-green glass so that it was flush with the tree stump slab.

He started off initially with this massive stump that he found in a customer’s backyard- he was gifted it for free because the customer knew that if you kept it any longer rainwater would begin rotting it.

Studio Space

Coffee table for living room from r/malelivingspace

Back over in the Male Living Space forum, a user solicited advice for purchasing or building a coffee table for his studio living room.

And his case, space was a premium consideration.

As with many urban city-dwellers, they don’t live in a big apartment so lack the space for truly outlandish or grand designs. They prioritize space-saving furniture. One user suggested swapping out coffee table with a small ottoman.

Exploded Pixels

I made an “exploded pixel” coffee table from a single sheet of plywood. This was easier to build than it looks! from r/DIY

Another interesting design idea came from the DIY Reddit forum. A user submitted a YouTube video of an exploded pixel coffee table constructed from just a single sheet of plywood. It has what looks like a honeycomb base with a bluish clear slab of glass resting on top of it.

Concrete Slabs

Concrete slab coffee table from r/ATBGE

Another user posted it a concrete slab coffee table. Capitalizing on the industrial design trend, this particular option is literally a slab of disintegrating concrete propped up on a wood block.

Users were somewhat divided about how attractive this piece looks, though they all agree that stubbing your toe on something like solid rock in the middle of the night would be incredibly painful.

White Oak

Making the coffee table from r/woodworking

Over in the Woodworking forum, a user submitted an image of his PDF construction process. It is a handsome design featuring some lattice work and breadboards. Users were impressed, with one, in particular, commending the quadrilinear legs made from White Oak.

Homesid Styles

Over in Homeisd, they list out a variety of different styles so you can construct something- styles include: industrial, quick and stylish tile, copper pipe, pallet glass, balustrade, school bookcase, rustic wood, two by four, upcycled suitcase upcycled door, mid-century modern, lift top design, Danish Modern, storage, display, basic, Tryde, Rhyan, Farmhouse, geometric, factory cart, artsy mission, stately, reclaimed, chunky, tree branch designed, marble topped, West Elm-inspired, pallet wood sawhorse, statement piece, and rustic round.

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