An antique coffee table can finish a room beautifully. They are centrepieces of the home and there are many different types of coffee tables available. Unfortunately, coffee tables take a beating because they’re so often used, regardless of whether you have young children running about at home. And it can cost a fortune to buy a new coffee table every few months. Fortunately, there are lots of great antique coffee tables to create from home. So, what are the best DIY ideas for a coffee table?

Prices and images pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:

1. A Wooden Coffee Table

One of the best features of a DIY wooden table is that you can design it as out-there as you like. For instance, you can get some planks of wood and attach them together. They can be all different shapes or sizes and be as rustic as you like. Or you could opt for a simple rectangular wooden table with a small shelf underneath. DIY wooden tables are often easier to work with rather than plastics and glass but can look fantastic. Also, you can create a size suitable for your requirements.

2. A Purposely Distressed Coffee Table (with Additional Storage)

Classic wooden tables might seem boring, however, there are lots of simple tricks for you to do to make them more appealing. One of the simplest ideas is distressed wooden coffee tables. For instance, you create a basic wooden coffee table and purposely paint the lower outer sides of the table. You then use sandpapers to create the distressed look. It’s a simple way to create a unique coffee table. Of course, you could repurpose an older table and give it a new lease of life or add a drawer if you wanted additional storage space.

3. A Rustic Farmhouse Coffee Table

Wooden tables remain popular because they offer a charm and quality that draws in the eyes subtly. DIY rustic farmhouse tables can be simple to make and not too expensive either. You can choose from veneer boards or opt for the more expensive oak solid wood. Farmhouse tables are comfy and not overly difficult to make at home. And they can be used to decorate a room but still be small enough to fit in any space given.

4. DIY Wooden Table Finished with Hairpin Legs

DIY projects don’t get any simpler than this. You can use repurposed wood and create a square tabletop with metallic hairpin legs. It isn’t as difficult to create as you think but offers a lovely finish. Its cost-effective too. One of the best things about this simple DIY idea is that you can opt for a basic square design with a sanded finish or opt for a painted distress look. The actual finish is down to your personal likes or tastes.

5. A Repurposed Pallet Coffee Table

As strange as it sounds, wooden pallets can be used as a coffee table. In fact, this has become quite a popular choice for many households and it’s a great DIY project to undertake at home. While some work is needed to create a coffee table, the results can be fantastic. It’s rustic but charming and very inexpensive to create too. Pallets can be picked up for next to nothing and are extremely versatile too. You can use two different types of pallet, so you get a contrast between lighter pieces of wood and darker pieces.

6. Rustic Circular Coffee Table with Hairpin Legs

If you want your coffee table to be somewhat different, why not opt for the hairpin legs with a rustic circular tabletop? It’s simplistic but effective as it’ll look stunning in any home. You can create a basic circular tabletop and attach the hairpin legs for next to nothing. Then, you can sand or stain the wood however you like. While you don’t usually see any additional storage, it makes an interesting conversational starter. It can be as rustic as you want or as subtle as you like.

7. Round, White-Washed Small Coffee Table

If you have a smaller living space then you may want to consider the round, white-washed DIY coffee table. It can be a lovely, but compact, table to use in your home. Surprisingly, it’s incredibly easy to make this table when you’re a beginner and it offers a lovely expert finish. You use smaller 2×6 inch wood boards to create the legs and can look amazing. If you wanted to be more adventurous, you could finish the tabletop with glass. However, it should be tempered glass as this is tougher and doesn’t shatter into a thousand pieces when broken.

Of course, if you have smaller children, a glass finish may not be the smartest idea. If you’re opting for a wooden finish, you could sand the entire table down and apply with a white glossy paint. It’ll give it a nice shine and offers a European-Nordic feel.

8. A Shutter-Inspired DIY Coffee Table

While this might sound like a very strange concept, it’s a use useful idea. You can recycle an old window shutter and create a versatile but stylish coffee table. You’ll need to remove the old window attachments, of course, and apply (preferably) hairpin legs. It can then be finished with a good sand down and coat of varnish or paint, depending on your preferred look. What’s more, this is a cost-effective way to create a DIY table from home.

DIY shutter coffee tables can be versatile, but it’s important to opt for a shutter in good condition so that it’s strong enough to hold coffee cups and magazines. Fortunately, this isn’t a costly item to make as most materials can be picked up for less than fifty dollars, if not far less. You could even attach two shutters together for added strength.

9. Plywood DIY Coffee Table

It’s thin, modern, and has a Nordic-feel to the finish. Plywood is affordable and is extremely easy to work with. Best of all, it can look fantastic in any home and can work beautifully as a basic coffee table. Now, if you have a smaller home or limited living space, plywood DIY coffee tables are going to be ideal for you. A basic square or rectangular design with hairpin legs can look great and can be finished to match any décor too.

10. Solid Oak DIY Coffee Table Finished with Roman Numerals

If you have a little more money to branch out but still want to take on a DIY project, you could opt for a solid oak wood coffee table. You could create a beautiful round tabletop with four, interlocking legs for support. It doesn’t need to be painted, just a good sanding and stain would be nice. However, if you want to get more creative, you could apply a roman numeral finish to the tabletop. It’s charming and a nice way to make a standard coffee table a little different.

11. DIY Irregular Coffee Table

What’s so special about this coffee table? Well, you can create any unique or irregular shape you like. For instance, instead of a basic circular shape, you can shape the wood so that it resembles the base of a tree or whatever shape you like. It’s creative and adds a unique element to your home since yours is a true one-off. The coffee table can be finished with hairpin legs or wooden ones, depending on the style you’re aiming for.

12. The Industrial Theme Table

While industrial-style furniture is hugely popular now, it’s also expensive to buy. However, that doesn’t mean to say you can’t achieve the same look with a DIY industrial-inspired coffee table. You can pick-up old industrial style pieces for next to nothing, depending on where you source them from, and go from there. You can add darker finishes to create a more industrial feel too. Remember, industrial pieces tend to be finished with dark overtones and are often blocky. You could opt for a simple rectangular shape.

Woodwork Tools to Create an Antique Coffee Table

Upcycling antique coffee tables – or creating an entirely new antique-style table from scratch – is a smart idea; however, it does require the necessary tools. If you want to get the job done right, you may need a few of the usual DIY tools, along with some specialist ones. Fortunately, these are incredibly easy to pick up and shouldn’t cost too much. So, what tools might you need to start a DIY antique-themed coffee table project?

DIY Router table Router table

  • A Router Table

Router tables are versatile and hugely popular among the woodworking and DIY community. This, surprisingly, handles a lot of simple tasks involving cutting and trimming materials. It also makes difficult tasks slightly easier too since there’s more precision. You could read router table reviews to find the one that suits your needs.

  • A Router

Woodworker and DIY enthusiasts usually have a router on hand to help. These are handy for a variety of projects and are functional too. Routers tend to be portable so can be easily used for trimming, shaping, and cutting materials such as metals, woods, and plastics. You may want to read a few router reviews to match the appropriate router up.

Bosch 1617EVS 2.25 HP Electronic Fixed-Base Router

  • A Belt or Orbital Sander

Sanders are the ideal tools because they strip the finish of the wood so that you’re left with an even top surface. Instead of sanding by hand, the belt or orbital sander can cover wider areas in little time and can be ideally used to prep a table for varnish or paint. Power sanders are often more effective.

  • Circular and Plunge Saws

You may require a variety of saws, including a plunge and slide mitre saw. However, circular saws will be able to do the bulk of the cutting requirements. It’s faster than by hand and can offer clean, precision cuts.

  • A Wrecking Bar

Also known as a crow or pry bar, the wrecking bar is often an underestimated woodworking tool. These make it easier to pry apart old pieces of wood and can be useful if you’re breaking down pallets or want to recycle specific parts of the wood. While it isn’t widely used for the bulk of the work, it’s useful, nonetheless.

  • Power or Hand Plane

You have the option of a hand or electric plane. Both are widely used but hand planes require more forced or power by you and are used to shape wood. Planes are ideal when you’re trying to shave or shape smaller areas.

  • A Claw Hammer

You’re probably familiar with a claw hammer. This is the standard hammer found in most homes and can be used to force nails into wood or remove them. It’s a simple tool to have but one which tends to be vital.

  • Thicknesser

This is an entirely optional tool. A thicknesser isn’t going to be something every DIY enthusiast will need, have room for, or will be able to afford. However, if you plan to do lots of DIY jobs soon and plan to do everything from scratch, a thicknesser can be useful as it trims wooden boards to a specific thickness.

  • Sash Clamps

If you ever need to glue or attach anything onto a piece of wood, metal, or plastic, a sash clamp is vital. This helps to secure the pieces together – without damaging them – until the glue is set. While you won’t need many of these clamps, they’re useful to have available, especially when dealing with tabletops.

  • A Biscuit Jointer

Lastly, a biscuit jointer joins wood together. Jointers or joiners, as they’re also known by, create crescent-shaped holes in wood. While some DIY enthusiasts will opt for other saws and cutting tools, the biscuit jointer is useful to have.

The Joy of DIY

Creating a DIY antique coffee table can be fantastic and there are lots of different styles to choose from as well. There is nothing more satisfying than designing and crafting a coffee table by hand and it can be as outrageously or as subtly designed as you like. An antique table can be a simple piece of furniture, but it makes a huge difference.