The Easiest Way to Build a DIY Rustic Sofa Table

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Learn how easy it is to make a DIY rustic sofa table, customized to fit perfectly in your space, in this simple tutorial! A DIY sofa table adds fabulous style and functionality to a room.

This post was originally published on June 1, 2017 and has since been updated.

Sofa tables are an excellent way to add decor and style to the space behind your couch.

The best thing about building your own DIY rustic sofa table is that you can customize it to fit perfect along your sofa, maximizing every bit of space.

In today’s post I’m sharing with you how easy it is to build a DIY sofa table as part of a monthly DIY challenge with some of my blogging friends.

Our theme this month? Upcycle!

After you see how I upcycled some old reclaimed wood into a fun table, be sure to check out the other awesome DIY upcycle projects linked up below too!

Sofa Table and Console Table Decorating Tips

What is a sofa table?

A sofa table, also commonly known as a console table, is a table designed to sit along the back side of a couch.

Whether your sofa is against a wall or in the middle of the room, placing a DIY sofa table along the back of it creates all sorts of opportunities for setting up decor, lamps, storage, and a place to set drinks or remotes.

What is a sofa table used for?

  • Decor
  • Storage
  • Coffee Table Alternative
  • Place for Lamps
  • “Drop spot” for Keys or Other Items

How do you style a console table?

How you style your sofa table depends on where it’s placed in the room.

In the entryway? Place a tray for keys on top of it and a basket for shoes below it.

Against the wall? Place lamps on either end and a small bouquet of flowers or a figurine in the middle.

In the middle of the room? Place a tray with nice candles, a book and some coasters on it.

I always recommend avoiding tall objects if it’s not against the wall.

Our DIY Farmhouse Sofa Table

A few months ago, we got three large pieces of this awesome, old, chippy wood from my grandma’s neighbor.

And since we brought it home, every time I saw it in the garage I had this vision of it being a table behind our sectional sofa.

I mean, this sectional needed a DIY rustic sofa table behind it, don’t you agree?

Sofa Table

I hate having to try and come up with decor to hang above a large couch… And a DIY sofa table gives you the chance to put all sorts of things back there – lamps, flowers, figurines, and more.

RELATED: HOW TO BUILD A DIY DOG BED THAT STORES UNDER THE BED!

Thus, with just a bit of convincing, Chris was kind enough to spend about two hours building it for me.

Here’s how our living room looks now!

So much better with a bit of decor behind there, don’t you think?

I’ve decided it’s worth showing you all how to make one, because seriously, it was super easy and cost us $0 to build – that’s right, FREE!

We were given the chippy wood and the rest of the materials were basics we had on hand.

Who doesn’t love a free piece of furniture in just 2 hours?!

And, even if you don’t have boards of old wood lying around, this table could likely be built for $40 or less.

Now, let’s get building and have some fun!

How to Build an Easy DIY Sofa Table

For a printable copy of the materials and instructions, scroll down.

Materials Needed for a DIY Rustic Sofa Table:

Tools Needed to Build a DIY Sofa Table:

Build Instructions for a DIY Sofa Console Table

Start by measuring the height and width of the back of your sofa so you know the dimensions of your table.

Then, cut the top of top of your table out of one of the 1×12 boards at the same length as the width of your sofa.

We chose to miter cut our ends because we didn’t want the cut end of the top or sides to show, but if you’re using new wood and staining or painting it, you could do a straight butt-joint and it would be much simpler.

Our boards were too wide for our chop saw, so Chris set up a guide and cut each end with his skill saw.

Use a skill saw set at a 45 degree angle if your chop saw is too small for 1×12 boards.
Set up a guide using a straight edge and clamps.
A miter cut edge.

Next, cut each of your sides at a 45 degree angle with the longest edge at the same length as the height of your sofa.

Once you have the top and sides cut, you’ll want to build your internal structure.

This is a “skirt” design like most dining tables use and it’s comprised of a 1×3 inner rectangle with center supports that gives the table stability.

Here’s a drawing of our table from below and the side with the black being the chippy wood and the red being the 1×3 structure:

Sofa Table

Cut each long 1×3 board at the inner length of the top (likely length minus two side board thicknesses) and your 5 cross supports at the inner length for the support (likely your top depth minus the two skirt insets (ours were 1″ back), two skirt thicknesses and two support thicknesses).

To assemble, lay out your inner support rectangle with the three middle supports and nail them all together with your nail gun.

Next, set your top board on top of the support structure and nail it into it from the top.

Then, you’ll want to apply glue to the miter cuts and nail the sides on.

Apply glue to the mitered edge of one side.
Use your finger (or a rag/brush) to smooth it out before putting the pieces together.
Nail the sides into the top using your nail gun.

 Lastly, cut your skirt pieces (to install on the sides to hide your support structure) and nail them into the support structure from the side.

That’s it! Your beautiful, custom built sofa table is ready to place in your room and decorate (which is the best part, am I right?!) ๐Ÿ˜‰

RELATED: 30 DIY FARMHOUSE COFFEE TABLE IDEAS WITH FREE PLANS

Here’s how ours looks in the family room:

I love that having this sofa table enables me to decorate behind the sectional.

That wall seemed so bare before, and I also love having the lamps there instead of on the piano.

The waterfall design of this table also does a great job of hiding all the cords behind there!

Well, there you have it, our newest piece of DIY furniture that cost us $0 to build (because we upcycled some old reclaimed wood!) and adds TONS of style!

As promised, here are the printable instructions:

Yield: 1 Sofa Table

DIY Sofa Table

DIY Sofa Table

How to build a sofa table for cheap! Customize your build to fit perfectly behind your sofa.

Active Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours
Difficulty: Moderate
Estimated Cost: $40

Instructions

  1. Measure your sofa and write down the height and width.
  2. Use a skill saw or chop saw to cut mitered ends on your 1x12 at the length of your sofa's width.
  3. Build a skirt with the 1x3 boards by creating an inner rectangle with 3 center supports and installing it underneath the top 1x12 board. Sofa Table
  4. Cut your sides out of the 1x12 with one mitered edge and the same length as the height of your sofa.
  5. Install the legs to the top using wood glue and nails.
  6. If using reclaimed wood, cut skirt pieces to install under the top and hide the inner support rectangle.
  7. If not using reclaimed wood, stain or paint.
  8. Place in your room and enjoy!

    Also, here are the other fun DIY upcycle projects for you to check out:

    Kippi at Home – DIY Halloween Decorations

    Southern Yankee DIY – DIY Rae Dunn Inspired Halloween Canisters

    Mama Dares to DIY – DIY Dollar Store Halloween Pottery Barn Inspired Decor

    Our Happily Ever Home – Wine Bottle Upcycle with Contact Paper

    DIY Vibes – DIY Industrial Style Chalkboard

    Let me know if you try this sofa table DIY project and, as always, if you have any questions!

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    6 thoughts on “The Easiest Way to Build a DIY Rustic Sofa Table”

    1. What a fun project! I love styling tables and this console is a great addition to your living space! I like how, like you mentioned, it allows for adding height without hanging a bunch of stuff on the walls.

      And free wood, always a bonus!

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