$15 Easy DIY Modern Side Table + Building Plan
Our next Turning Tables DIY guest is yet another talented DIYer and blogger, Amanda from A Crafted Passion, and she’s here to show you how she built an easy DIY modern side table, perfect for a living room or a nightstand. We also sketched up a building plan to make it extra easy for you to build your own!
Give Amanda a warm Remodelaholic welcome, and don’t forget to check out all of the #TurningTablesDIY posts here (and be sure to subscribe by email or RSS and follow along over on Facebook so you won’t miss a single one of the amazing posts we have coming up!)
How to Build a DIY Modern Side Table for Just $15
by Amanda from A Crafted Passion
Hi there! I’m Amanda and I blog at A Crafted Passion where I share DIY projects, craft tutorials, and parenting tips and tricks. When I became a mom I found myself looking for a creative outlet where I could share my passions and have an excuse to build fun things. Through that desire, my blog has morphed into a place to document my creative journey the last few years and I hope to inspire you to be creative as well.
I love using power tools and I find it so rewarding being able to take some boring, plain boards and within a few hours I can have a gorgeous piece of furniture or wall decor. This rustic state wall art was so fun to make and gave me a great excuse to use the bandsaw. I recently relaunched my 7 Days to Nailing Power Tools course where I help others learn about the most common power tools. If you haven’t signed up yet and are ready to take one step closer to becoming a power tools pro, I’d love for you to join me right here.
One of my favorite projects to date was a set of modern side tables that add a fun pop of color to our bedroom. If you’re anything like I was, I had some makeshift side tables in our bedroom and finally after years of a mismatched set I decided enough was enough and I was going to do something about it.
When I couldn’t find the perfect modern side tables for a reasonable price I set to work on designing my own, like any good diy-er would, and today I’m excited to share with you how to build your own modern side table. It’s really, simple and with clean lines and angled legs it adds a nice modern touch to any room.
Here’s what you’ll need to make your own.
Modern Side Table Plans
- (1) – 10′ x 8″ x 1″ [or] (2) –6′ x 8″ x 1″ – pine wood
- (1) – 72″ x 1-1/4″ – dowel rod
- (4) 2.5″ screws
- Miter saw
- Impact driver
- Nail Gun
- Micro pinner
- Paint brush
Cut List: (Length x Width x Thickness)
- (4) 20″ x 7 1/4″ x 3/4″ – Top and Bottom of box
- (2) 14 1/2″ x 7 1/4″ x 3/4″ – Side boards
- (4) 15′ x 1 1/4″ – Legs
Once you have all your supplies and tools you’re ready to get started building.
Step One: Bottom
Step Two: Sides
Step Three: Legs
Step Four: Top
1. Start by cutting your 8″ x 8′ boards down to size. I went with pine because pine is inexpensive, lightweight, and takes paint well. If you don’t have a miter saw you could use a table saw to cut your boards down to size or if you know what size you need before you buy your boards you can ask at the lumber store, and many times, they will cut it for you at no cost.
To build the same size side table as pictured you will need (4) boards 8″ x 20″ for the top and bottom and (2) boards 8″ x 14.5″ for the side boards.
2. Once you have your boards cut to length, time to paint one side of all of your boards the paint color you have chosen for the inside of your side table. You’ll need to give it at least a few hours to dry before going on to the next step. If you want to hide the wood grain you’ll need to do multiple coats or use a good primer prior to painting.
Make sure you leave plenty of time to dry completely in between coats or you could risk warping your boards when it sucks up the moisture from the paint.
3. While you wait for the paint to dry, set your miter saw at a 5 degree angle and grab your 1-1/4″ dowel. The 5 degree angle will give your legs a subtle angle to add a fun effect to your table.
First, cut one end of the dowel and then measure 15″ and make a mark. Be sure you don’t twist your leg in between cuts or else your leg could be angled all funky and not sit flush with the ground. Repeat these cuts every 15″ until you have your four legs cut.
4. Next, you’ll want to paint your table legs. I chose to use a simple white spray paint because I’ve found spray paint is easier to apply to curved surfaces rather than using a brush.
While the legs are drying it should be about time you can start assembling your tabletop.
5. Using your brad nailer (or a hammer and nails works just as well), nail your bottom boards into the side boards as shown below. You’ll want to leave your box without the top until after the next step.
6. Now, it’s time to attach the legs to the base of your table top. Start by taking one leg and setting it on a flat surface up against another flat surface. Twist your leg until you can tell which direction your leg is leaning and mark an arrow. I found this was the easiest way to get all my legs angled in the correct direction.
Once all your legs are marked with arrows, you get to decide which way you want the legs angled. You have three options: legs angled towards the front and back, directly to the side, or angled out to each corner. I chose to angle my legs to the side. This also can depend on the other furniture in your room so take a look at the legs on the furniture in the room the side tables will be going in before you decide which way to attach the legs.
Note: This can also be changed at any time by twisting the legs but may be a little more difficult once they’re attached.
7. Next, decide where you want the leg to be on your table. I chose about 1.5″ in both ways from the edges. Holding the leg to the base of your table box, pre-drill a hole through the bottom of your table into the center of the top of each leg to help guide the screw in at the correct angle and then drill a screw in with your impact driver.
Repeat this step with each leg.
8. Now it’s time to attach the top of your side table. Grab your micro pinner if you want to avoid seeing the nail holes and pin your boards to the top of the table. I did one pin in each corner of the board. If you don’t have a micro pinner you can also use a hammer and nails.
9. Once it’s all assembled, it’s time to paint the outside of your side table. Remember to either tape off the inside of your table so the paint doesn’t get on the inside or just be very careful.
After you’re done painting, leave your table to cure for about a week before setting anything on the table.
I love the splash of color these yellow side tables add to my bedroom! The yellow paint I went with is a semi-gloss called English Daisy. I also used this same paint to make my orb hanging lights that I later built and hung above my side tables. You can head to my site and search for ‘orb light’ to check those out.
I love how these side tables turned out and are the perfect place to store my current reading addiction and a vase of fresh flowers from the garden. In less than a day from start to finish for only $15 you can make a custom modern side table. I’d say that’s quite a deal!
What do you think? Are you ready to go build your own modern side tables now? Let me know what color you would do in the comments below.
Thanks for letting me hang out with you today and I hope you’ll stop by A Crafted Passion to see lots of other DIY projects and tutorials.
Thanks so much for sharing, Amanda! Remodelaholics, leave Amanda some love in the comments and go visit at A Crafted Passion — I am head over heels in love with her HUGE Fixer Upper inspired clock!
Check out all of the #TurningTablesDIY posts here and be sure to subscribe by email or RSS and follow along over on Facebook so you won’t miss a single one of the amazing posts we have coming up, like this awesome upcycled patio table:
Thanks so much for featuring my table! Love the plans you’ve provided!!
The pictures are a little off your directions at the moment, but we’ll get them fixed soon 😀 Thanks for sharing, Amanda!
Good catch! I totally missed the top before the legs. Thanks, Cassity!
I just told my son last week that we needed to build a similar table! You must have read my mind! Thanks so much for the little shove in the right direction!
Really cute table! What type of paint finish did you use (semi-gloss?) Or could polyurethane be used over the paint?
Hi Elaine! Sorry for the late response!! Yes, I used a semi-gloss. You could definitely use a poly over the paint though. I have a desk that’s held up great with a poly topcoat.
I have been wanting to buy/build retro night stands for a while. These are perfect. Please tell me how sturdy they are as the legs are only secured with the one screw each. Is there perhaps a method to make sure it can bear some weight, i.e lamp + Laptop + huge coffee mug etc.
Hi Charlene! Definitely sturdy enough. My cat jumps on top of the table every night before jumping onto our bed and we’ve never had a problem. Hope that helps.
I know I am a little late to the game but I love these tables. Is there a way I can make them a little smaller in width I wasn’t sure how I would go about that since I am looking for them to be about 15” wide.
Hi Susan, Thanks for the love! To make the tables narrower, just cut the boards for that section to be the width you want (15″) instead of 20″ as written in the tutorial.
We’d love to see photos when you’re done!
The measurements don’t add up. And 8ft board wasn’t long enough.
I apologize for our mistake! I’ve just updated the list to reflect that you’ll need either 1-10ft or 2-6ft (or 8ft) 1×8 boards. Were there other measurements that needed clarified? You can reply here or email me at [email protected]. Thanks for the feedback!