DIY

How to Build a Coffee Table with Three Tools

Learn how to build a Coffee Table with just three tools and free woodworking plans from Shanty2Chic!

I built this DIY Coffee Table for a friend that lives out-of-state. This was such a fun and simple table to build! The parquet table top gave me so much room to be creative with the inspiration for this design. This is a great beginner build, the style works great with many living room styles and you only need three basic tools to build it! I was able to use barn wood scraps from my DIY Canopy Bed and matching DIY Barn Wood Nightstands, as well as scrap 1/2″ plywood, so the only thing I had to purchase was the metal table legs – HUGE WIN!

So, let’s get to building!

Click here to jump to the free plans!

Note: This parquet design requires measuring a fitting the pieces to fit your table top. The cut list diagrams are a guide but everyone will have different measurements on the individual pieces. Make sure to measure your own design and cut the pieces to fit, as you go.

Tools:

Supplies:

Building the Table Top Frame

Step 1: Cut the Plywood to Size

To begin, I cut my 1/2″ plywood to size.

Step 2: Attaching the Long Frame Boards

I ripped my scrap barn wood pieces to 2 1/2″ and 2 1/4″ wide. If you use 1×3 boards, just make sure that you adjust the width of your trim boards because the barn wood planks are only 1/2″ thick.

I started by designing the table top frame. I cut the long boards first and attached them with 1″ pin nails and wood glue. Note: you can use an 18 gauge nail gun if you do not have a pin nailer.

Step 3: Adding the Short Frame Boards

Once the long frame pieces were attached, I measured and cut the short frame pieces to size and attached them the same way.

How to Create the Parquet Design

Step 1: First Corner Pieces

To create the parquet design, I cut the corner pieces first. These are cut at 45° on one end and straight cuts on the other ends. Attach with 1″ pin nails and wood glue.

Step 2: Second Corner Pieces

With the first corners pieces in place, I cut the second set of corner pieces and attached them the same way.

Step 3: Long Diagonal Pieces

Next, measure and cut the long diagonal pieces to size and attached them with 1″ pin nails and wood glue.

Step 4: Short Diagonal Pieces

Once the long pieces were attached, I measured and cut the short diagonal pieces to size and attached them the same way.

Step 5: Square Pieces

I measured and cut the square pieces to size and attached them to the tabletop with 1″ nails and wood glue.

Step 6: Triangle Pieces

The final step in this design is the triangle pieces. I measured for each piece and attached them to the table top.

Adding the Table Top Trim

Step 1: Long Trim Pieces

I measured and cut the long trim pieces to size and attached them to the long edges of the table with 1″ pin nails and wood glue. The top of the trim pieces should be flush with the top of the parquet table top design. Note: I ripped my trim pieces so that they had one painted edge and attached the painted edge to face up. If you can’t do this, you can just use white chalk paint on the end to cover the unfinished wood.

Step 2: Short Trim Pieces

Then, I measured and cut the short trim pieces to size and attached them the same way. Note: If you are using the barn wood planks, you will have a small unfinished wood end on the ends of the short pieces. I used a little white chalk paint to cover the unfinished wood.

Here is the table top completely finished! Now for the base!

Attaching the Table Bases

Step 1: Attach the Table Legs

Once the table top was finished, I flipped it upside down, centered the legs on the bottom of the plywood and attached the metal table legs to the bottom of the table top.

  • You can find the metal table bases that I used here 

The Finish

Step 1: Add Stain or Paint

If you are using the barn wood planks, just touch-up the exposed unfitted wood with white chalk paint.

If you used 1×3 lumber, you can add a coat of stain or paint for your finish. Make sure to seal it with a protective finish!

All done! I love how this looks in my living room but it’s sadly not for me, I will be shipping this off to my friend to put in her new home! I love the farmhouse-style the barn wood planks give the coffee table and the black metal base gives it a more modern coffee table look!

This is a great plan to really test your creativity with the materials you choose to create this parquet design with. Pallet wood, reclaimed barn wood, pine scraps. The possibilities are endless! 

Make sure to share your builds with us on social media and use #shanty2chic so we can share them too!

Happy Building!

Check Out Some of Our Popular Coffee Table Projects

Round Coffee Table

Farmhouse Coffee Table

Storage Coffee Table

How to Build a Coffee Table with Three Tools

Learn how to build a Coffee table with just three tools and free woodworking plans from Shanty2chic! Get the full set of free printable plans, including the shopping list here.
  • 7 1/2″x6″x48″ Barnwood Planks
  • 1 1/2″x48″x48″ Hardwood Plywood
  • 2 Table Legs
  • 1″ Pin Nails (or Brad Nails)
  • Wood Glue

Cut List

  • Cut List 1

  • Cut List 2

  • Cut List 3

Building the Table Top Frame

  • Cut the plywood sheet to size.

  • Cut the long frame pieces to size and attach them to the plywood with 1″ pin nails and wood glue.

  • Cut the short frame pieces to size and attach them to the plywood, as shown below, with 1″ pin nails and wood glue.

How to Create the Parquet Design

  • Cut the first corner pieces to size and attach them with 1″ pin nails and wood glue.

  • Cut the second corner pieces to size and attach them with 1″ pin nails and wood glue.

  • Cut the orange pieces to size and attach them with 1″ pin nailsand wood glue.

  • Cut the yellow pieces to size and attach them with 1″ pin nails and wood glue.

  • Cut the square pieces to size and attach them with 1″ pin nails and wood glue.

  • Cut the triangle pieces to size and attach them with 1″ pin nails and wood glue.

Adding the Table Top Trim

  • Cut the long trim to size and attach it to the long sides of the table top with 1″ pin nails and wood glue. The top of the trim should be flush with the top of the table top.

  • Cut the short trim pieces to size and attach them to the short sides of the table top with 1″ pin nails and wood glue.

The Finish

  • If you used barn wood for the table top, you’re all done! If not, add a finish!Make sure to share your builds with us on social media and use #shanty2chic so we can share them too!Happy Building!



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