Want a modern side table that doesn’t take up a lot of space? Or maybe you want to do some work on your outdoor sofa, but need a small table? Whatever the reason, this DIY outdoor c table might be the perfect solution for you!
The c shape allows this side table to hug the front of a couch, allowing it to take up less space and get closer to you.
Alright, let’s start DIYing!
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- Miter Saw (we use this blade with ours)
- Kreg Jig (not sure which to get? Check out which Kreg Jig to get in 2023)
- Kreg Quick Flip Drill Bit or ⅜” Countersink Bit
- Random Orbital Sander
- Measuring Tape (new to DIY? Be sure to check out this post with measuring tips)
- Speed Square
- Safety Equipment
- (2) 2x3x8* (we used whitewood kiln dried studs – read more about using pine outdoors)
- (1) 2x2x8* furring strip
- (1) 1x4x4* (we used common board)
- Wood glue (this is our favorite type and it’s great for outdoor projects!)
- Sandpaper (80 and 120 grit)
- 2.5″ softwood BlueKote Kreg screws
- 1.25” exterior wood screws (we love the PowerPro brand)
- 2.5” exterior wood screws
- ⅜” wood plugs
- Pocket hole plugs
A quick note on the shopping list: If you want to save a little money (about $15 across all three tables) or don’t like the look of wood plugs, you can just nail the slats in place. We did that on this outdoor dining table and the slats are still holding strong. We opted for the wood plugs in this project because we love the look!
*If you’re planning to build all three of the tables in this patio set, you can save money by optimizing the cut list across multiple projects. If building all of them, you will need (4) 1x4x8s, (6) 2x3x8s, and (2) 2x2x8s.
The final dimensions of this C side table are 15”W x 17” D x 26.5” H.
Please note: this c side table is designed to hug the front of this outdoor sofa. Though the top will just clear the side of the sofa, the bottom of this side table is too tall to go under the leg support in the sofa plans.
If you would prefer that this c side table hugs the side rather than the front, you can simply install the leg support of the sofa plan a few inches higher so that it has at least 2.5” of clearance between the floor and the leg support. This will allow enough room for the c side table to hug the side or front of the sofa.
How to Build an Outdoor C Side Table
Prefer printable plans? Grab them here:
STEP 1: MAKE YOUR CUTS
Make your cuts according to the cut list in the printable plans or the cut list below:
STEP 2: DRILL POCKET HOLES
Using the 1.5” settings, drill pocket holes into the following boards:
- (2) on either end of the front/back pieces
- (2) on either end of the legs
Pocket holes are the foundation of most DIY furniture. Become a pocket hole pro in less than an hour in Pocket Holes: Explained.
STEP 3: SAND
I highly recommend giving your boards a sand before assembling. This will help you get a smooth finish without having to worry about getting into all the nooks and crannies. We started with 80 grit sandpaper and then sanded everything again with 120 grit.
STEP 4: ASSEMBLE LEG BASE
Grab (2) side pieces and a front piece to start. We will assemble the leg base using glue and 2.5” Kreg screws.
Secure the front piece to the sides, making sure the pocket holes are facing inward.
Grab the legs and secure them to the base in the back two corners, making sure the pocket holes are facing inward.
STEP 5: ASSEMBLE TOP FRAME
To assemble the top frame, grab (2) front/back piece and the (2) sides. We assembled with glue and 2.5” Kreg screws.
First we attached the (2) sides to the front piece, making sure the pocket holes are facing inward. Then we attached the back piece.
STEP 6: ATTACH LEGS TO TOP FRAME
Using glue and 2.5” Kreg screws, secure the legs to the top frame, lining them up with each of the corners.
STEP 7: ADD FURRING STRIP
Place the slats between the top frame to act as a spacing guide.
Place a furring strip on top of the slats and secure to the top frame with wood glue and (2) 2.5” screws. Repeat with the second furring strip.
STEP 8: INSTALL SLATS
Now it’s time to flip the base over and install the slats! I just eyeballed the spacing, but if you’d prefer to be a little more exact, you can place the outside slats 3/8” from the edge of the front/back of the table. Then place the middle slat 3/8” from those slats.
You can use nails to install the slats, but we opted for screws and wood plugs for an additional design detail. The screws are also less likely to pop out over time should the wood begin to warp from the outside elements.
First I marked 3/4-1” from the end of the slats so that all of the holes will be aligned. Then mark 1” from each side of the slats. This is where you’ll drill your countersink holes.
After drilling all the countersink holes, we used 1.25” screws to secure the slats to the 2×2 slat support.
We then covered the screws with wood plugs. To install the plugs, just add a dot of wood glue and insert them into the countersink hole.
STEP 9: INSTALL POCKET HOLE PLUGS
Typically we don’t fill our pocket holes because we try our best to strategically place them. With this design, seeing the pocket holes is inevitable, so we decided to fill them with wood plugs.
Personally, I’m not a huge fan of these wood plugs. I think they are kind of a pain, but they do get the job done.
To install, add a bead of glue to the pocket hole and to the wood plug. Press the pocket hole plug into the pocket hole as far as it will go.
It will not be flush at this step. They purposely make them longer than needed so you can cut off the excess. Wait at least 30 minutes for the glue to begin to set.
Ideally you’ll have a flush cut saw to cut off the excess. If you’re like me and you don’t, you can sand off the excess. It takes a few minutes to do.
STEP 10: FINISH
Now that the side table is all assembled, I sanded everything again with 120 grit sandpaper, focusing on smoothing out any seams and sanding down any wood plugs that were sticking out beyond the surface.
Once I was happy with the sanding, I wiped everything down to remove any lingering dust. I stained this c side table with Minwax Weathered Oak stain in the water-based version. We’ve found that the water-based version pulls less yellow than the oil-based version when staining pine.
Then I sealed it with a few coats of Spar Urethane to seal the wood and protect it from UV rays and water.
There you have it! Now you know how to build your very own DIY outdoor c side table! It’s the perfect addition if you want a small table to do some work outside or you want to enjoy a nice beverage or snack from your comfy outdoor sofa. Be sure to check out the tutorials for the other furniture pieces in this outdoor patio set:
- DIY Outdoor Sofa
- DIY Outdoor Chair with Slanted Back
- DIY Outdoor Coffee Table
- DIY Outdoor Side Table
Don’t forget to grab your printable plans for this outdoor c side table! Or grab them all at a special bundle price: