If you’re looking for a timeless design on a budget, this DIY outdoor coffee table might be the perfect solution!
Though the price may vary based on what supplies you already have on hand and the prices in your local area, we were able to build this DIY coffee table with $35 of wood.
It’s designed to work in three ways: as a side table for a deep sectional, as a standalone outdoor coffee table, or as a table that slides over an ottoman. We built it as part of our DIY modular sectional plans.
Alright, let’s start DIYing and build this outdoor coffee table!
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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)
- Brad Nailer
- Measuring Tape (new to DIY? Be sure to check out this post with measuring tips)
- Safety Equipment
- (2) 2x3x8
- (4) 1x4x8 (we used common board)
- Wood glue (this is our favorite type)
- Wood filler (we use this one, but be sure to check out our wood filler experiment to decide which might be best for your project)
- 120 grit sandpaper
- 2” brad nails
- 2.5″ softwood Blue-Kote Kreg screws
This DIY outdoor coffee table is 36.5” W x 20” D x 19.25” H.
How to Build an Outdoor Coffee Table for $35
Yes, pine and common boards are cheap, but are they actually good for outdoor projects? Or will they just warp and rot in a year or two?
STEP 1: MAKE YOUR CUTS
Make your cuts according to the cut list in the printable plans.
STEP 2: DRILL POCKET HOLES
Using the 1.5” settings, drill (2) pocket holes on either end of the following boards:
- Long stretchers
- Short stretchers
- Support stretcher
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: ASSEMBLE LEG BASES
Grab 2 legs and a short stretcher. Secure the short stretcher so that it’s flush with the top of the legs using glue and 2.5” Kreg screws.
Repeat for the second leg base.
STEP 4: ATTACH LEG BASES
Next we’ll secure the long stretchers using glue and 2.5” Kreg screws. The long stretchers should be lined up with the outside corners of the legs. Since the long stretcher is flat, about half will fall on the leg and half will fall on the short stretcher.
STEP 5: ADD SUPPORT STRETCHER
Though this piece isn’t crucial, we decided to add in a support stretcher to help make the table even more sturdy.
This doesn’t need to be perfectly centered. We measured 18.25” from one end of the table base and then centered the support stretcher on that mark.
Install with glue and 2.5” Kreg screws.
STEP 6: INSTALL SIDE SLATS
For the side slats, we taped together two pieces of ½” plywood to create a 1” spacer to use between each slat.
Nail into each slat through the side of the legs. We added 2 nails on each side.
As you’re nailing, be very aware of your fingers and take the time to line up your nail gun with the slat so that it doesn’t pop through the front or back.
STEP 7: INSTALL TOP SLATS
Before installing the top slats, we recommend staining and/or sealing just the sides of the slats before assembly. Once assembled, it’s going to be nearly impossible to stain in between the slats.
Since this plan was designed to slide over the ottoman in our DIY sectional plans, the gap between the boards on the top isn’t a super easy measurement to cut a spacer for. The gaps between each slat is approximately 3/16” of an inch. Rather than trying to measure, I just eyeballed the spacing.
First add glue to the top of the short stretcher and legs on one side. Install the first slat so that it’s flush with the frame of the table. Repeat on the other end of the table with a second slat.
Lay out the rest of your slats to get an idea of the spacing. Then install them one by one.
We used glue and (2) 2” nails on each end of every slat.
STEP 8: PROTECT YOUR TABLE FOR OUTDOOR USE
Apply the exterior finish of your choice. For this project, we used Cabot Semi-Solid stain in Taupe.
There you have it! Now you know how to build a beginner-friendly DIY outdoor coffee table for less than $50. If you’re interested in more DIY projects, be sure to check out our library of outdoor printable plans.
Want more outdoor table options? Check out the other plans we have: