Coffee Table

When I first moved into my apartment in Atlanta from Athens, I was fortunate enough to get furniture hand me downs from my sister. As the youngest, I used to get hand me downs for EVERYTHING. And I hated it. My first word was “mine?” Not “mine.” “Mine?” As in, is this mine only? Yeah, like I said, I hated hand me downs as a child.

But as an adult, when my sister told me they were getting all new living room furniture because of their young children (my adorable nephews Caleb (6) and Nolan (3)), I was pumped! This furniture was very nice and classy looking and it was going to save me a ton of money. It’s funny how your outlook changes when you’re the one that has to front the bill…

Fast forward 3 years, and I was moving all of the same furniture in to my new house with Andy – who came with absolutely nothing but himself and the most clothes I’ve ever seen a guy own. The furniture was still pretty nice in the scheme of things, but I was getting sick and tired of having a glass coffee table and end table. You can just not keep these things clean for more than 5 seconds. Not to mention that the coffee table had beer (and who knows what else) spilled all over it during a law school party, and it just never really lost that sticky icky feeling.

So. What to do about these tables? The side table I found a replacement for pretty quickly on Joss&Main – probably the most addicting furniture website ever. I decided to go with a console table instead of a side table due to room placement. I also chose a unique color to balance off the room and allow myself different color options for furniture in the future. And it actually worked out very well! The table was sturdy and came assembled. Awesome!

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The coffee table, however, was causing me migraines. This table HAD TO GO. And yet, every coffee table that I found that I liked on Joss&Main or anywhere else was WAY out of my price range. Who wants to pay $1000+ for a coffee table?! That is the price of a nice bed! So I decided to go another route.

I went to one of my favorite DIY websites,, and looked through all of her wonderful (and free!) coffee table plans. And low and behold, she had one that I absolutely loved! The corona coffee table ( was exactly what I needed for my living room space – square, natural wood, and just plain awesome. Best part about it? All of the wood was going to cost about $250 total (including pre-carved table legs)… I think I went into the wrong business! Talk about mark up!

To build this coffee table, I also followed the pictures and steps provided by Shanty2Chic. Considering this was our first big furniture build, the pictures were truly helpful.

I went ahead and bought all of the wood while I was in Athens with my dad one weekend. Andy was annoyed that I was planning  on asking the Home Depot workers to make the necessary cuts for the table. He is of the opinion that if you want something done right, only he can do it… He has trust issues. And while I would generally agree, he just doesn’t realize how much sway a blonde girl has when she walks into a Home Depot! The cuts were all perfect (of course) so when I got them home, I got to sanding.


All of the wood is pine except for the PureBond Plywood which is maple. We had to buy a lot of tools for this project, but these are tools that will be used continuously throughout our DIY explorations… So I don’t really count those costs in with the cost of this project. The two most helpful tools we acquired are our RIDGID electric sander and our Kreg Jig. My Black & Decker electric drill also came quite in handy. And yes, you heard correctly – my drill.

We used the Kreg Jig to create pocket holes for the screws – this allowed us to build the table with no screws showing.


So, after a lot of sanding and a lot of drilling, we began to put the table together. I will say this, the cuts do have to be exactly right in order for this table to go together properly.


The top of the table proved pretty difficult for us. Every time we tried to screw the planks together, instead of lying flat, the would twist slightly and jut up a little along one side. Eventually Andy solved this problem by literally standing on the wood as he screwed them together… Not something I would necessarily recommend, but it was definitely the only thing that worked for us.

But in the end, it was all worth it! Because this table was perfect for our living room. Not only is it an amazing table, we get to tell everyone that we made it ourselves – so much cooler than buying one for 5x the price.

Next up was staining. We decided to go ahead and stain inside due to the dampness of the air in Andy’s man cave. The stain we used was the Ace Hardware Dark Walnut Wood Stain. We decided to do only one coat to ensure that the wood grain was still very visible.




Next came the polyurethane – Andy took over with job. He was now referring to the table as his baby and insisted that he would do the final task alone  due to his analness. Whatever man, go for it! He did do a great job though…

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