My Perfectly Imperfect DIY Coffee Table

Striped Blanket (similar) // Blanket Ladder // Woven Pillow // Rug

It’s no secret that I lose interest in decor rather quickly, so I often purchase accent furniture inexpensively, or I DIY them.  This was no different when it came to (what I’m calling) my “perfectly imperfect DIY coffee table.”

Shortly after the holidays I listed our round glass coffee table on craigslist for something a little more  . . .eh . . . rustic?  I’m not really sure how much more rustic you can get than a table made of 2×12’s and some screws.

My Original Rustic DIY Coffee Table

IT wasn’t perfect of course, but it had potential.  I liked the warmth that it added to the space and also the fact that it just didn’t feel polished.

My Original Rustic DIY Coffee Table

But it was that exact attribute, the unpolished-ness of it, that made me want to make it over.  It was basically unfinished and it looked, well, unfinished, so one day on a whim, I went down to our basement and dug through my scrap wood pile.

How I Built My Perfectly Imperfect Rustic Coffee Table

I grabbed a 4×4 post, some random 8′ furring strips (3), a 1x4x8 and a handful of screws. and started working.  I dismantled my original unfinished rustic table-which took me all of 2 minutes, flipped over the top boards (2x12s) because the top side had gotten a bit warn from being unfinished, so I started fresh. (above you can see that I had already attached 1x4s to act as a sort of mending plate for the top boards.)

I decided that I wanted the height of my table to be 18″, so I cut my 1×4’s to 16″ since the table top boards were 2″ thick.  I then began to line up the 4×4’s at each corner of my table and screwed them in in 3 spots.

Next, I measured and cut my furring strips to fit snugly in between each of the four table legs.

Next, I cut down a piece of 1×4 into little 2-3″ blocks to serve as supports for the aprons.

I nailed these blocks into the underside of the table, every 10″ or so using my nail gun and 1.5″ brad nails.

Using my nail gun, I secured the apron the the little support blocks.

Next, I cut an extra piece of furring strip into 8 triangular pieces to serve as a decorative corner bracket.

I used my nail gun to secure these into the corners.

Here we are at this point.  The bulk of the work was already done!

I flipped it over to check it out, and I liked it, I really liked it!  I roughed it up a bit using my jig saw, taking small slivers out here and there, and banged it with my hammer a few times to give it some dents, I wanted this to look like it was made from old salvaged wood.

I grabbed a sanding sponge and smoothed any ragged spots–no splinters allowed.

And—-because I’m the worst blogger ever, I didn’t document my staining process.  I ended up using a mixture of Minwax Polyshades in Mission Oak and Minwax Gel Stain in Aged Oak.

But here are some pics of the finished product:

What do you guys think?  Is this a type of project you would tackle?  I am just smitten with it 🙂

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  1. AnnMarie
    June 26, 2020 / 12:53 pm

    This is great! If I didn’t already have a coffee table I LOVE, this would definitely be a project I’d do! I think staining it really brought the whole thing together — it looks fabulous! 😍👌🏾

    • madebycarli
      June 26, 2020 / 10:13 pm

      Thanks so much! I’m so happy with it, and I agree the stain definitely brought out the richness and warmth.

  2. Beth Chadwick
    August 10, 2020 / 7:10 am

    This is beautiful. We need a kitchen island and I’m thinking of trying this out to fit that need. Thank you! Great work!

    • madebycarli
      August 10, 2020 / 5:48 pm

      So awesome! That would work out great! Please share with me if you do!

  3. Amber
    October 14, 2020 / 2:39 pm

    Hi there, is there a plan or more photos somewhere of the original rustic coffee table?

    • madebycarli
      February 17, 2021 / 9:08 am

      Hi Amber, no unfortunately I did not share a tutorial for that, but essentially the top was constructed the same as this table, and then I just attached two more boards for the legs on each side. I secured them from the table top using long screws. And placed wood blocks in the inside corners to “bracket” them together so that it was more secure.

  4. Jessica
    December 5, 2020 / 6:40 pm


    • madebycarli
      December 5, 2020 / 10:05 pm

      Thanks so much!

  5. Robin
    June 29, 2021 / 8:03 pm

    Love it! I’m heading to the wood store I have been looking for just the right idea for a new end table. Thank you I have found it. I’m going to try and make some matching end tables. I will try to remember to take pics and send them you

    • madebycarli
      July 1, 2021 / 4:05 pm

      Yay! I would love to see pics!

  6. Robin
    June 29, 2021 / 8:04 pm

    Lol coffee table

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