Some of my favorite projects to work on involve making furniture. I’m not even close to being an expert at it but I’m always willing to give something a try. And there are so many great design ideas out there on Pinterest or the woodworking forums. It’s pretty easy to get a good set of plans and start a new project. One piece of furniture that I recently made was a DIY coffee table with storage.
We used to have one of those cushioned “leather-like” ottomans in our living room. I think we got it at HomeGoods or Burlington or one of the other bargain stores. It was inexpensive and looked decent. It served it’s purpose over the years and held up pretty well despite my kids jumping on it all the time.
The frame finally broke one day when the big fool (that would be me) was pretending to be the Six Million Dollar Man and jumped on top of it. Yes, I do dumb things like this all the time and I’m not ashamed. Just don’t tell my wife! I was playing the Six Million Dollar Man theme song on the Amazon Echo and I was even making the bionic noises. Running around in slow motion was fun when I was a kid and it’s still fun. Except when you weigh about 240 pounds you really shouldn’t jump on anything, ever.
So now we needed a new coffee table in the living room. I’ve done a few outdoor furniture projects in the past like the fire table and the bar and I thought making a DIY coffee table with storage would be a fun project. As I said before there’s ton’s of plans and designs online. I settled on one from Shanty2Chic.
Most of the time, the Shanty2Chic projects are done with inexpensive wood and common tools. That sounded perfect to me. Here’s a link to the Shanty2Chic YouTube video showing you how to build the DIY coffee table with storage. Shanty2Chic has some great projects.
What Kind of Wood
For the wood, I went to a big box store and bought some premium pine. The regular pine is usually full of knots and tends to warp, so I slightly upgraded to the premium. This stuff is better quality but doesn’t break the bank like if you bought woods like oak or maple. Total cost for wood for this project was only like $30-$40. Really not bad at all. The hardware (wheels & hinges) are the expensive part but the whole project can easily be done for under a $100.
What are Pocket Holes
Pocket holes are very quick and easy way to join two pieces of wood together. There’s some controversy about “real woodworkers” shouldn’t use pocket holes but I never claimed to be a real anything. Don’t forget I’m the fool that broke his ottoman because I thought I was the bionic man. It would be fun to make some cool woodworking joins with a chisel or dado blades but they take a lot more time. The appeal of pocket holes is that you can get things done quickly and that’s always a good thing when it comes to my weekend projects. Someday when I’m a full time woodworker I’ll make some awesome mortise and tenon joins or dove tails but someday is not today.
Which Pocket Hole Jig should I get
The Kreg Jig pocket hole jig is what you see all the DIY Bloggers and YouTube Makers using and it looks like it works really well. At some point I’ll probably invest in one of these but for now I just wanted to get my feet wet so I went to Harbor Freight. The Harbor Freight pocket hole jig is like half the price of the Kreg pocket hole jig and it’s works great. If I used it everyday (which I don’t) then I’d buy a higher quality jig like the Kreg. But that didn’t happen for this project.
This really is a beginner project so if you measure accurately and cut straight, you shouldn’t have any problems. Plus this is a rustic style coffee table so you don’t need perfect wood or laser cut ends.
Check your big box store for some metal castors. The ones I bought were about $5 each and I spray painted them black. The hinges on the lift up tops to get to the storage area are just regular gate hardware. I think I used similar hinges when I installed my 6 foot vinyl privacy fence. You could also get metal hinges and spray paint them black too. Amazon sells some nice hinges too.
The stain that I chose was Varathane Ebony. The stain looks almost completely black when it’s wet but it dries a little lighter. I put two coats on the wood and then lightly sanded and put a coat of poly on top of that.
I definitely plan on doing more fun projects like this in the future. I’d love to do a buffet for the dining room next. This DIY coffee table with storage came out pretty nice and the whole family is happy with it. All that’s left is to test out how sturdy it is. Alexa, play the Six Million Dollar Man theme…