Hi, it’s Amy from Hertoolbelt back with another DIY build for your home. While reading about a Michigan home tour in the West Elm blog, I caught a glimpse of this simple yet stylish modern slat coffee table. I love the simple lines, with the mid-century modern flair. One commenter said she picked up a coffee table just like it years ago at an antique store, but she used it as a bench.
How to Build a DIY Modern Slat Coffee Table
I built a different style of slat coffee table awhile back (get the building plan here) but this one is a much different style and a much easier build! No angled cuts or anything tricky, just straight cuts and a straightforward assembly process.
Coffee tables are typically 2/3rds the length of your couch or sofa. My couch is 90″ long, so I made the slat coffee table 60″ long. You can easily adjust the length of the coffee table to fit your space.
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- 10 – 1″ x 2″ x 96″ boards (actual dimensions 3/4″ x 1 1/2″)
- 2 – 1″ x 3″ x 96″ boards (actual dimensions 3/4″ x 2 1/2″)
- 1 – 2″ x 4″ x 96″ board (actual dimensions 1 1/2″ x 3 1/2″)
- 4 – 15 1/2″ round tapered legs
- 4 – angled leg mounting plates
- 1 1/4″ or longer brad nails
- wood glue
- stain/top coat
- wood filler
Approximate cost of lumber (using furring strips $16.81), legs ($19.56) and mounting plates ($9.95) – $46.32
- 10 – 3/4″ x 1 1/2″ x 60″ (1×2)
- 2 – 3/4″ x 2 1/2″ x 60″ (1×3)
- 3 – 1 1/2″ x 3 1/2″ x 20 1/2″ (2×4)
- Also cut 2 pieces from the 2×4 that are 1/2″ wide for spacers during assembly.
Cut all of the boards per the cut list/diagram. Sand all of the boards, finishing in the direction of the wood grain, typically with 120 grit paper.
On the (3) 2×4 pieces mark 1/2″ from one end. Place the 1st 1×2 slat at the 1/2″ mark on the 2×4 pieces. Space the 2×4 pieces so they are 6″ from the slat ends and 1 in the middle (30″). Use wood glue and 1 1/4″ minimum length brad nails to secure the first slat to the 2x4s. Place the 1/2″ spacer between the 1st and 2nd slat, make sure the 2×4 is 6″ from the 2nd slat ends and secure with wood glue and 1 1/4″ brad nails. Move the spacers in between the 2nd and 3rd slats and repeat until all 10 slats are spaced and secured.
Turn the coffee table top over, so the top is down. Line up the 1×3 sides with the table top. Use wood glue and 1 1/4″ minimum brad nails to secure the 1x3s to the 2×4 ends.
Mark the location for the mounting plates. I centered them on the 2×4 and went 3″ in from the side. I turned the mounting plate so the legs will flare out at the end and sides. It doesn’t matter how you decide to angle the legs, just make sure they are all doing the same thing. Use the screws provided with the mounting plates to secure to the 2×4, then screw the leg into the mounting plate.
Note: these types of legs/mounting plate combo do not make for a ‘solid’ and robust table. The coffee table will jiggle a bit, that’s just the way they are.
Remove any excess wood glue. Fill nail holes with wood filler and let dry. Sand the modern slat coffee table smooth. Use wood stain and top coat or paint to finish the coffee table.
Enjoy your new coffee table!
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