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Here I go again, starting a project NOT on my list of projects for the year!  Somebody stop me!  If something irks me long enough, though,  I have to change it.  And this was the case with our dining room table, although we just recently purchased it in November (insert embarrassed emoji), the dark color really bothered me.  After a few months, I realized I wasn’t a fan of the dark stain and the heaviness it brought to the space along with our dark floors.  I didn’t want to paint it because honestly it is a beautiful table and of great quality, considering the $200 price tag;  so instead I decided to sell it.

As an alternative, I decided to build my own table with ther Ikea Lerberg Trestle style legs.  I first saw the idea from +Jenna Sue and fell in love.  

M Y  P R O B L E M

If you’ve been following me for a while, you might know that our dining area provides a great challenge:  

A post shared by Fearfully & Wonderfully Made (@fwmadebycarli) on

It is in the center of two walkways, one to our hallway and the other to our back door and basement, so the space is very limiting.  What’s more, we have a large family and need to have a table that seats all 6 of us comfortably.

M Y  S O L U T I O N

For the tabletop:  I measured the “old” dining table and checked to see how much smaller I could go to still allow for a comfortable dining space and room to maneuver around the table.

My original plan was to use 3-4 long 12 inch boards cut down to my desired length, however, when I got to Lowes I decided to create a more “modern-industrial” (as opposed to a farmhouse) appearance, using 1×12’s placed horizontally.


T H E  S U P P L I E S

(for a 35X56″ Table)

4-1×12’s, each cut to 35″

1-1×8, cut to 35″

2- Ikea Lerberg trestle legs


2-1×4’s ( I used old wooden bed slats)

Danish Oil, medium walnut (or wood stain of your choice)


Sanding Block
Wood Filler
Wood Glue

Screw Gun (with drill and phillips bit)

2.5″ wood screws

Wood Glue


T H E  P R O C E S S

While picking up the the supplies at Lowes, I asked an associate to cut the wood boards for me so I could ensure that they were relatively even.

Putting together the trestle legs was like putting together any Ikea piece–a real pain until you get the hang of it.  The first one took me about a 20 minutes, the second took me less than five, go figure!

Once I got home, I put together the two trestle legs and then sanded the tops of the boards down until smooth.  I then lined the uncut ends of the boards up along the edge of our table as a makeshift T-square to ensure a nice 90 degree angle.

I lined up 2-1×12’s, the 1×8 and then 2 more 1×12’s horizontally to equal 56 inches in length.

Here you can see how roughly the boards were cut, be sure to place these parts on the underside of the table.

After I made sure the boards were all aligned properly, I laid the 1×4’s (or in my case old wooden bed slats) approximately 9 inches in from the edge, allowing enough space for the 18 inch trestle to fit snugly between the two support boards.

Ignore toddler as he dumps an entire bag of mini marshmallows onto a plate, lol

I pre-drilled, and screwed the 1×4’s down to conjoin the boards.

Next, I needed to create braces for the trestle to rest between.  

What happens when you don’t pre-drill

I cut 4-1×2’s to approximately 10″ to serve as braces for the trestle since they do not have screw holes to attach to the tabletop.  I screwed them down and in my haste forgot to pre-drill, which causes split wood!

At this point I thought I was done with the construction of the table until I flipped it over to try it out . . . guess what?  I didn’t like it!  It looked too scrawny; with not enough substance.

S O L U T I O N  # 2:  Build an Apron

I decided to grab some extra 1×2’s from the basement (these I always have on hand) I mitered the ends and created an apron that rested along the underside of the table.  This helped to give the table more of a finished look and also provided more visual weight.

I measured and mitered the ends to at a 45 degree angle to basically create a frame for the underside of the table.  

A rough fitting:  this corner will be filled with wood filler and sanded smooth.

I pre-drilled 3 wholes evenly on each edge of the 1×2’s, applied some beads of wood glue, and then put the 1×2’s in place.

You don’t have to worry about seams in the mitered corners, because that’s what wood filler is for 🙂

Now check out the difference:


I am still deciding on a finish for it, but for now I just wiped it down with some Danish  Oil in medium Walnut, until I decide.  Danish oil is a finishing product I recently heard of and decided to give it a try.  It is an easy application just wipe on and let dry.  It dries really quickly and you should apply a few coats to get a nice protective finish, allowing dry time in between coats
*not an ad, just sharing what I like 🙂

T A K E A W A Y S:

  1. The table, as is, is about an inch and a half shorter than the previous table.
  2. The Lerberg legs are not super sturdy as they are made from a very light weight metal.
  3. Because the trestles do not have holes to secure to the table top, it is a little wobbly when moved and the legs need to be properly planted on the floor.
  4. I will share my final verdict on these table legs in the weeks to come.

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  1. Leena Vidal
    March 10, 2017 / 1:14 pm

    Beautiful… I have to show this to my husband tonight… he has the wood for about a year now to build our table…hopefully he can get to it this spring… his challenge he say is how to do the legs and I ���� this idea

    • Carli Alves
      March 23, 2017 / 12:16 am

      Hi Leena! I hope this helps you guys! Ikea has several options for table legs so it may be a great option to look into. Can't wait to see what you come up with!

  2. Kate Hollingsworth
    March 10, 2017 / 10:50 pm

    This is a terrific tutorial! Thankyou so much for including the pic of the split wood (it gives me hope when I see other people do stuff like that too!). Cheers, Kate

  3. Carli Alves
    March 23, 2017 / 12:13 am

    lol, I'm glad you found this helpful Kate, even the split wood! I'm always in a rush with the little one at my knees, so I try to get things done as quickly as possible without interruptions, yet haste makes waste :/

  4. Tanida West
    March 26, 2017 / 1:00 am

    That came out really nice. It looks great in your dining area. I can't wait to see what color you stain it.

  5. Reb
    October 13, 2020 / 12:21 am

    Hi, looks great! Any update on the sturdiness of the Lerberg legs? What‘s your experience?

  6. Madi
    January 10, 2021 / 2:12 pm

    Any update on the legs?

    • madebycarli
      February 17, 2021 / 9:04 am

      The legs are great, the table and leg combination with 4 kids, eh, so-so. These legs would be far more ideal for a desk, where things stay sort of stationary as opposed to a dining table where multiple people are bumping and moving it often.

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