If you’re a bit handy, you may enjoy the prospect of creating your own furniture rather than buying it new. If you’ve got the materials, why not start DIY projects to benefit both you and others occupying your space?
Maybe you’re wanting a small desk space without buying the full-scale version. Maybe there’s a table-shaped hole in your hallway. Maybe you just want something to do during lockdown. Whatever your motivation, a console table is an ideal small-scale project to start with. Here’s how you can get started.
You will need…
- An old drawer or a basket with appropriate weight-bearing levels. (If you don’t have an old drawer, you could scavenge around your neighbours’ hard rubbish collections to see what you can find.)
- (I’m yelling) timber. You better have plywood; you better have pallet wood (or scaffold boards). Any of these three timber types will suffice—regardless of whether they’ve been used for something else beforehand. In fact, reuse is encouraged!
- Paint and wax (Dulux is perhaps the most famous brand).
- Table legs and brackets (not to be confused with these parenthetical ones). Again, hard rubbish may be an untapped resource here.
- Angled brackets (not to be confused with italicised parentheses).
- Wood screws of varying lengths that match your requirements.
- A drill and a drill bit.
- A screwdriver.
- A hand saw.
- A tape measure.
- A sander and sandpaper.
Step 1: Drawer-ing Up the Dimensions
Use your drawer to draw up your dimensions. Determine the drawer’s total perimeter by tape measuring all four of its sides. This will determine the length and width of your wood frame, which you will need to cut. If you don’t want to include a drawer (or if your hard rubbish hunt turned up no results), a small hole will suffice. This should store a laptop.
Step 2: For the Scaffolders and the Palleters…
If you’re using pallet wood or scaffold boards, you can strengthen your tabletop and foundations by drilling separate pieces together. This is a convenient hack rather than an essential step.
Step 3: Flip It
Place your desktop upside down and affix the side pieces to the desktop’s base using the drill and angled brackets.
Step 4: Add the Drawer (and more)
This is the part where we confirm that the drawer fits your wooden frame. Drill it in! Also drill in the timber for the console table’s base. You can create your own pilot holes in the base using the drill, too. Make sure they penetrate both sides. Secure your side pieces by using long wood screws to hold them in place.
Step 5: Smoothing Out the Edges
Firstly, remove your drawer. We don’t want it catching sawdust. Secondly, sand down your wooden frame until it is smooth and splinter-free.
Step 6: Break Out the Colours!
It’s time to commence the colouring-in portion of this project. Paint the inside and outside of your frame in your colour of choice! If you’re going for a single opaque colour, you may need to paint more than one coat. If you’re going for a washed-out look partially exposing the wood, this will not be so necessary. If you’re aiming for a more rustic look, staining and waxing the wood sans colour is also an option.
Sometimes plain wood is all you need to make a room look great. Image: 1825 Interiors
Step 7: Finish off the colours
To maximise opaqueness, feel free to paint on another layer of colour. Alternatively, you can mix colour with timber. For example, you can wax the front of your drawer, but paint the inside a contrasting colour. This is a finishing touch rather than an essential step.
Step 8: Take a Stand
Finally—the part that makes a table a table. Affix your leg brackets to the base and screw the legs in from there.
Feel free to adjust your console table to any width, height, length or depth. This is your DIY project so make it your own! Dimensions may be determined by purpose. For example, a hallway console may be taller and narrower than a console intended for desk usage.
When choosing a colour, you may want to consider your existing home aesthetic. Which colours best complement (or appropriately offset) your space? Will this console table blend in or be an accent piece? Your answers to these questions will determine your direction.
Most importantly—enjoy your DIY project, and enjoy your new console table!