This c side table was actually the first project in our first version of I Made That. We’ve since updated the projects to teach even more skills, so we’re finally releasing the plans for the highly-requested DIY c side table!
The cool thing about this project is that it relies on the power of glue. You won’t need any nails or screws to assemble this side table. You can always add them in as you’re assembling to help keep everything in place as you’re assembling, but they aren’t required.
Alright, let’s start DIYing!
- Miter Saw
- Rubber Mallet
- Clamps (2: 36″, 2-4: 12″ or longer) – we highly recommend this brand
What You’ll Need:
- (7) 1x2x8s (we used select pine. quantity may vary based on your dimensions)
- Straight spare piece of wood that’s at least 12” long
- Wood glue
- Optional: brush or roller to spread glue
How to Build a C Table for Your Sofa
STEP 1: MEASURE
This ‘c’ table is meant to hug the side of your couch, so the final measurements will really depend on the height of your couch.
Measure from the floor to the top of the arm of your couch, then calculate your measurements using the following formulas:
- Long side boards = Couch Height + 2
- Short side boards = long side boards – 3
- Long top/bottom boards = Desired Width
- Short top/bottom boards = Desired Width -1.5
Then determine how many pieces your need:
# of top/bottom boards needed = (Desired Depth / .75) rounded up to the nearest whole even number # of side boards needed = # of top/bottom boards needed / 2
If you don’t want to do math, my table was 10.5” wide and I needed 7 of each side lengths and 14 of each top/bottom lengths.
STEP 2: CUT
Before you start cutting your boards down, I’d recommend measuring the width of each of your 1x2s. We didn’t and a couple of the boards ended up being wider than the others, which meant a lot more sanding for us.
Using your miter saw, cut your 1x2s down to size. Every time you grab a new board, be sure to trim off a little bit of the edge to make sure you’re starting with a square board.
I highly recommend setting up a jig so that you can quickly and accurately make your cuts.
STEP 3: MAKE THE TOP/BOTTOM
Start by dry-fitting both your top and bottom. The purpose of dry fitting is to get everything organized and laid out so you can see how things fit together and see if there is a way to organize your boards to minimize sanding later on.
Your top/bottoms should match and will alternate between a long board and a short board. One side should line up flush and the other side will look like it has notches due to the alternating sides.
Once you have everything dry fit, it’s time to actually start gluing. Glue both sides of each of the short pieces and press them up against the long pieces, making sure to line up the bottom.
You can use a scrap piece of wood to help line up the bottom. Once you have all of the pieces glued, clamp your boards.
Note: you can also use brad nails to help keep things in place while you assemble.
Wipe off any excess glue using water, double-check that everything is still lined up how you want it, and then let the top and bottom dry for at least 4 hours.
STEP 4: ASSEMBLE
Once your top and bottom have dried, it’s time to turn this into a real piece of furniture.
Stand your legs up and place some glue in the first notch. Then place the first long side piece
into the notch. This should be the second board in on your side table. You want to save the first board for last so that it doesn’t get scratched up in the process. Once you have this board in place, flip the table down so you can stack the remaining boards.
Glue the top of the long board and stack a short board on top of it. Be sure to add glue to either end of the short piece before putting it between the top/bottom.
Continue gluing and stacking boards until only the first piece remains. If your boards are tight, that’s good! Use a rubber mallet to hit them in place.
Flip your table up so that it looks like a bench and then glue in your final piece. Add clamps to hold everything in place while it dries. Wipe off any excess glue.
STEP 5: WOOD FILLER + SAND
Once your table has dried, add wood filler to any gaps. Let the wood filler dry and then sand your table using 60-220 grit sandpaper until it is nice and smooth.
Below you can see the difference in my table before I sanded and after sanding.
Note: yours should hopefully not be so uneven. After cutting, I realized a few of my 1x2s were wider than the others!
STEP 6: FINISH
Choose the finish of you’re liking. I stained my entire side table with Minwax Special Walnut stain. After letting dry for four hours, I decided I wanted it to be a little more interesting, so I taped up 2 boards and then stained the rest with Minwax Dark Walnut.
I then finished it with 3 coats of Minwax Polycrylic in Satin.
I’ve also seen someone stain the outside and then PAINT the inside a bright color. You can definitely get creative here!
There you have it! Now you know how to build a custom c table for your sofa! And all you needed was one power tool, some wood, and glue. No complicated joinery required!
If you prefer printable plans and 3D renderings, grab the plans from our shop.