Thanksgiving is coming up here in the US, and that means family and friends gathering together to feast! We are hosting this year and we need a bigger dining table to seat our guests — but our table doesn’t have a leaf we can add to extend the table length. So instead, we asked ourselves “how can we make our table bigger?” and hit up the hardware store to make our own DIY tabletop extension for just $50!
We’ve actually been using this hack for years when we need a bigger table — why buy an extendable table with a leaf when you’re Remodelaholics who always have extra sheet lumber around? 😉 This time, we recorded the whole process to show you just how to do it for your own DIY dining table extender — and now we’re ready to host our large family gathering! We’ve been working on a lot of new holiday projects to share with you, so be sure to sign up for our email newsletter and subscribe to our YouTube channel to see everything we have waiting in the wings.
3-Step DIY Tabletop Extender for a Bigger Dining Table
As you can see in the video, normally our dining table works great for our family of 4. But for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and beyond, we actually host larger gatherings often! We both have large extended families, so even inviting just a few family members becomes a large gathering and requires some extra table space for eating.
Now our dining table that normally seats 4 is ready for our larger group of 25. Obviously not ALL 25 can sit at this table, even with our extended tabletop, but we more than doubled our seating capacity at the table! Our everyday table is 40×76 and our new DIY extended table is 48×96 — adding SIX extra seats to the table that normally only seats 4-6 people! Now we can easily seat 10-12 and it only cost us about $50 and ten minutes of our time.
Not sure how many people your table can comfortably seat? Check out this guide to dining table sizes and seating.
This is great for a Thanksgiving dinner, or a Christmas dinner, but this would also be a great solution for any party, for either dining space or for added serving or work space, like for an easy bagel buffet brunch or our annual gingerbread party or a game day party or a tabletop game night… what other kind of parties do you host? Ooh, a craft night! Never underestimate the importance of table space when crafting as a group… or an individual 😉
Materials to Extend Your Dining Table for More Seating
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You just need THREE materials and THREE steps to make your dining table bigger and add more tabletop surface and seating space!
- Rug gripper (to fit the size of your existing table)
- 4×8 Sheet of Plywood
- Plastic party tablecloths (to protect your plywood)
We recommend plywood over OSB or MDF particleboard because the glues and solvents in those tend to have a strong smell — fine for a workshop table extender, but not so appetizing for a Thanksgiving table setting! We used a cabinet grade plywood so it cost a little bit more than the cheapest sheet of plywood, but it’s nice and flat and smooth for a tabletop, without any added sanding.
How to Use a Sheet of Plywood to Easily Enlarge Your Tabletop
Watch the video for more details on each step — it really is as easy as 1, 2, 3!
Step 1: Lay the rug gripper on the tabletop.
Step 2: Place the 4×8 sheet of plywood on top of the rug gripper and center it. You’ll need a buddy for this step!
Step 3: Cover the plywood with a layer or two of inexpensive plastic party tablecloths. This protects it from any spills (kids, anyone?!) so that you can reuse it for a tabletop OR for another project. Totally optional, but highly recommended.
Then just add your tablecloth (or two – it was more cost effective and versatile for us to buy two smaller tablecloths than to buy one large tablecloth)… you may need an Iron Man, ha! Top it with an easy burlap and pumpkin table runner decor and you’re all set!
And now that we have all the supplies ready and waiting, it will only take us a few minutes to enlarge our dining table for extra seating — abracadabra, just like magic! You could also take this same concept and use it to offer a secondary tabletop for projects (keep one nice, one ugly but functional) like this tutorial.
Or, we can use the plywood to build something… that’s actually very likely at this Remodelaholic house! For example, we could build another stacked plywood bench or console table, or add to our outdoor sectional sofa built from plywood sheets. Or we could add some storage and seating with a plywood chest (or amp it up with some scrap wood inlay)… so many options! I’m sure we’ll come up with something amazing! Or let us know what you’d like to see us build!
See all of our plywood projects HERE
plus read all our best plywood tips here