Monday, August 13, 2012

DIY Console Table How-To

I’m back.  I needed a blog break. Have you ever had one of those times in life where everything that you touch breaks and you do awesome things like lock your keys in your car and flood your garage?  Yeah, that was my last couple of weeks.

I also finished reading 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess and it messed with my mind. It made me want to start a vegetable garden (I don’t eat vegetables.), adopt babies from Africa (I’m not quite ready for babies.), and stop buying crap for my house (I like crap for my house.).  I told you, it messed with my mind.

And then I bought a new rug for the living room and all was right again with the world.
Now I’m back with the DIY Console Table how-to that you all have been so patiently waiting for.

How to build a console table tutorial, copper legs

Purchase List:
  • 3 four foot 1x10’s
    • Our console table top dimensions are 4 foot long and 10” wide
  • 2 eight foot copper grounding rods
    • We found ours in the electrical section (near the conduit) at Lowe’s
  • 1 1/4” wood screws
  • 2” wood screws
  • Wood glue
  • 1/2” wood bit
  • Drill
  • Stain
    • We used MinWax’s Red Mahagony
  • Poly
    • MinWax’s Satin Poly
  • Select one of the 1x10s to be the bottom board.  Place wood glue on top of this board.
How to build a console table tutorial, copper legs
  • Place bottom board and middle board together and clamp together.
How to build a console table tutorial, copper legs
  • Screw the two boards together using 1 1/4" screws. Start screwing from the bottom of the bottom board.
  • Allow the boards to dry.
  • Determine how tall you would like your console table to be.  Our table is 28.5” from the floor to the bottom board.
  • To figure out the length and the angle of the legs, use saw horses and scrap pieces of wood to prop the boards up to the desired height.  Doing this will help you get the correct angle and length for the copper rod legs. 
  • How to build a console table tutorial, copper legs
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  • Place a mark 3" from the outside edge on each corner.
  • Put the rod straight up from the edge, then angle in to the 3” mark, placing a line on the rod parallel to the top of the top board
How to build a console table tutorial, copper legs
Add caption
  • While the rod is at the angle, take a spare 2x4 and place a line on it to match the angle of the rod.
How to build a console table tutorial, copper legs
  • Cut the copper rod using a hack saw.
How to build a console table tutorial, copper legs
  • Repeat for all 4 legs.
  • To make the holes for the legs, measure in 4" from the ends and 1.25" from the front and back
  • Using a 1/2" drill bit, drill a hole through the 2 boards using the angle marked on the scrap 2x4 earlier.  Clamps will help keep the 2x4 in place while drilling.
How to build a console table tutorial, copper legs
  • Place glue on the bottom side of the top board and set this on the top of the middle board and clamp together.  Screw the three boards together from the bottom board using 2" screws
  • Distress boards.  AKA beat the boards up with whatever random tools you can find.  We used hammers, crow bars, screws, etc.  You can’t mess this step up.  More is more when distressing.  Scratches, scrapes and dents are all wanted.
  • Stain and poly.  We used 1 coat of stain and 2 coats of poly.
  • Cover the ground with something soft to protect the table. Place the table top on the ground with the holes up.  Pound the rods into the holes with a rubber mallet.  Do it classy like we did.  I really should learn to not put pictures like this up on the interweb. Or I could clean our garage.  Neither of which will probably happen.
How to build a console table tutorial, copper legs
  • The rods will take a little effort to pound into the table because the holes are intentionally smaller than the rods.  This tight fit will help keep the legs sturdy.  You may need to drill a little bit extra out of the holes to get the rods to fit.
  • Place the table on a level surface to check to see if the legs are all even.  We had to flip the table and adjust legs a couple of times to get the table level.  We found it best to find which leg is taller and pound that leg in more.
  • Set your table up and decorate it with your favorite thrifty finds!
How to build a console table tutorial, copper legs

How to build a console table tutorial, copper legs

Any questions?  Anyone else recovering from a life funk?  Have you read “7”?  Any good thrifty finds lately?


  1. Great job!! Does it scratch your floors? If so maybe try some felt circles!! Our chairs ruined our beautiful hardwoods

  2. I am pretty sure that a baby from Africa would love their own personal vegetable garden and that console table. Just sayin. ;) Welcome back!

  3. Wonderful tutorial. I've never read that book. ASPCA commercials make me feel guilty enough. I don't need anymore guilt in my life. I like the new header, btw. You should totally change the name to "Decor and the Dog and My Love of Arrows".

  4. Genius! We have a very narrow front hallway and I'd love to be able to put a console table there. It never occurred to me to make one ourselves to our narrow specifications. Then again, because I'm lazy I'd have Chris make it, and then I'd have to wait almost a year for it...
    P.S. I'd support you adopting babies from Africa. I'd also support you buying crap for your house.

  5. It's definitely a sweet console table. Clever build too.

  6. To be honest, I think it would be nice if we in the 'First World' would change a few habits, if we like that or not.

    Ah, did you put something on the end of the rod-legs? (Looks a bit like it) -I mean, that just can not be 'healthy' for your floor, right?

  7. I love the look of this table!

    PS - new header?! I like!

  8. So here's what I got out of this post:

    1) You're pregnant!
    2) You got your purchase requisition approved!

    Did I miss anything? ; )

  9. Gorgeous table & wonderful tute! Thanks!

  10. Great job! I also like the new cover banner (again).

  11. Great table. You guys are amazing together! Now, move to CT and make me one.

    I haven't been thrifting in a while, but I did pick up a few things at the dollar store and turned them into cake stands for the baby shower :)

    I can't read books like that one you described. I am that person that gets carried away and will have the adoption papers filled out and have a garden half planted before I finish the book. I don't think it will get me to slow down my hoarding tendencies though...

    The new banners have been keeping me on my toes girl! You're crafty AND techie?! Super jealous...

  12. hmm does it bother the hardwoods or am i just being to nervous because i just spent a buttload on hardwood flooring?

    I am bookmarking this because we will need a sofa table i decided yesterday and this may do the trick with a size change!

  13. I showed this to D. I want.

    PS - I've been in a total funk too. I even had a pity party about it last weekend. But I think I'm slowly coming out of it...

  14. Blogging breaks are good. Embrace the break, love the break.
    My own personal motto is that breaks keep you sane. Much like chocolate or voluspa candles.

  15. I'm in love with that table - minimal and perfect, inspired perhaps by your read? I'm going to avoid that book - I'm not quite ready to live a more minimal life (what kind of person does that make me?)

  16. I adore that table...I only wish I had the tools/skills to build such a thing!

    And along with you and Amy, I was totally in a funk for a while. I took several blogging breaks this year, and at first I felt guilty about it...but then I fought that off. The breaks are good and you do what you need to do, for you! Even if that includes buying fun things for your home! ;) I'll always support that habit.

  17. Hi Michelle, sorry to hear about your last couple of weeks, I get those days too, when everything goes wrong, and all I want to do is crawl under the covers and nap all day long. Thank you for the tutorial, I so want to try and make one now, you guys made it look so easy. Hope this week goes much better for you.

  18. I love the table! It is gorgeous!

    I'm also digging the new header! It looks great! :)

  19. That's why I've been afraid to read "7." I'm scared that I cannot handle it. *Still way WAY in love with that amazing console table.

  20. Love this table. Thanks for the how-tos. I would love to try to make it...but I have this feeling I (by I, I mean my husband) would mess up the angles on the legs. ;)
    PS-Sounds like a good week to make some cupcakes and eat them all

  21. Love the table! I showed it to my husband and told him that as soon as we have a garage he will be building me one. (A dining table like yours is also on the list.) I am with Kim though, I wanna see the rug! Your post on navy rugs got me perusing the interwebs for navy rugs - I think I NEED one in my bedroom. Hope the funk is better! Sarah

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  29. '7' does mess with your mind and wardrobe. ;)
    Her husband also writes some pretty intense books.

    Discussing attempting the patio table with the husband, because I, like you, don't want to drop a ton of money on something that sits outside.

    Considering attempting the console table by myself while he is gone to a conference. The kids would enjoy the distressing aspect.

    Thanks for the ideas!


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