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There’s nothing I love more than a good ol’ designer dupe. When I stumbled upon this Pieter Console Table, I knew it was the perfect next project. We had been wanting a sofa table anyway, so why not make some new project plans?
This DIY sofa table cost us a little over $350 to build using oak and oak plywood–which is a steal compared to the $2,200 price tag on the original. When you include the shipping and handling fees, it’s 85% savings! Not to mention that you can build it in a weekend instead of waiting months for it to not be backordered.
And if you wanted to use poplar instead, you could build it for even less–right around $275.
Alright, let’s DIY this sofa table!
- Table Saw
- Miter Saw
- Kreg Jig
- Brad Nailer
What You’ll Need:
- (1) ¾” 4×8 sheet of plywood (we used oak)
- (1) ½” 4×8 sheet of plywood (we used maple since our store doesn’t sell oak)
- (4) 2x2x3 boards (we used oak)
- (72) ¼” 3ft round dowels (we used oak)
- (2) 9/16 x 3/4 x 8 oak edge trim pieces
- (1) drawer knob
- 10″ drawer slides
- 180, 220, and 320 grit sandpaper
- Painters Tape
- Edge banding
- Wood glue
- Clear glue
- 1.25″ Kreg screws (we used both fine-thread and course-thread screws on this project)
- 1” Kreg screws (for the drawers)
- 1” wood screws
- ⅝” nails
- 1” nails
- Minwax Wood Putty in Early American
- Minwax Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner
- Minwax Wood Finish in Driftwood
- Minwax Polycrylic in Clear Satin
|For What?||Wood Type||Quantity||Size (inches)|
|Top||¾” plywood||1||72 x 15|
|Bottom||¾” plywood||1||68 x 12.75|
|Sides||¾” plywood||2||11.5 x 7|
|Back||¾” plywood||1||68 x 7|
|Front Panels||¾” plywood||2||17 x 7|
|Middle Dividers||¾” plywood||2||12.75 x 6.25|
|Drawer Front||¾” plywood||1||33.75 x 6 ⅞”|
|Inside Sides||½” plywood||2||11.5 x 7|
|Drawer Box Front/Back||½” plywood||2||32 x 5.5|
|Drawer Box Sides||½” plywood||2||11.75 x 5.5|
|Drawer Box Bottom||½” plywood||1||32 x 10.75|
Overall Dimensions for these Sofa/Console Table Plans: 72” wide x 15” deep x 30” tall
*Note: when cutting this piece, err on the side of it being too small. The edge banding will add a little bit of width to the drawer front and you want to make sure it still fits.
Prefer printable plans and visual cut lists? Grab your printable sofa table plans HERE.
What We’d Do Differently On Our Console Table Plans
Before you dive into your build, I thought I’d share what we would do differently. We wrote the plans to be exactly what you see in our photos, so you can follow them as they are or make the adjustments we mention here.
The main thing I would do differently on this console table would be to allow more of an overhang on the top. Instead of a half-inch overhang, I wish I would have cut the top larger to have a 1” overhang instead.
I think I also would have wrapped the trim all the way around the bottom. Even though you don’t see the back of the table since it’s pushed up against the back of a sofa, from the side, I don’t love how the trim just stops instead of looping all the way around. If you add the trim to the back, you’d also probably want the top to overhang the back as well.
If you want your dowels to be more similar to the ones in the inspiration photo, you could opt for ½” dowels instead of ¼”. Personally, I like the smaller dowels, but the actual Pieter console uses ½”.
How to Build a DIY Sofa Table
STEP 1: MAKE YOUR CUTS
Normally I recommend making all your cuts as you go along in your project, but for this one, we made all of the cuts upfront except for the trim pieces and dowels.
For the legs, we cut them at a taper on two sides using the table saw and a homemade taper jig. The taper went in a half-inch on the bottom and stopped tapering 7” from the top.
After tapering one side, we flipped the leg so that the side we just tapered was facing up. We then secured the legs to the jig and cut it again on a second side. Since the leg is tapered, you’ll need a scrap piece of wood or shim of some sort to place between the jig and the leg. We used a scrap piece of ½” wood.
STEP 2: DRILL POCKET HOLES
Using the ¾” setting, drill pocket holes into the following boards:
- Back: 3 pocket holes on each short end
- Sides: 3 pocket holes on each short end
- Middle dividers: 3 pocket holes on each short end
- Bottom: pocket holes around each end, leaving a 36” gap in the middle of one of the long sides
- Front: 3 pocket holes on one short end
STEP 3: EDGE BANDING
Apply edge banding around all of the edges of the top piece and drawer front.
STEP 4: SAND
Sand all of your pieces using 180 and 220 grit sandpaper to get the surface smooth and ready for stain.
For the dowels, we sanded them with 320 grit sandpaper. The dowels tend to absorb more stain than other pieces of wood, so we wanted to sand them with a finer grit sandpaper so that would absorb the stain more similarly to the rest of the wood.
After some trial and error, here’s the method I liked best for sanding the dowels: Place 8-12 dowels side by side and sand all at once. You can roll the dowels as you sand to quickly sand each side.
Before placing your dowels in the “done” pile, pick each one up individually and run your fingers along them. Sand off any areas that still feel rough or that might be sticky from the sticker residue.
After sanding, we wiped everything down with tack cloth to remove any lingering dust.
STEP 5: PRE-STAIN
Using a clean rag, apply Minwax Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner to all of your pieces and dowels. After letting it soak in for 5 minutes, I wiped off any excess using a clean, dry rag. Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner helps prevent blotchiness so that you can get the most even stain color possible.
STEP 6: STAIN
For this piece, we decided to use Minwax Wood Finish in Driftwood. It’s one of our favorite light wood finishes and have used it on several projects, including our DIY x-side tables which we are currently using as end tables in the living room.
It’s very simple to apply. First, open the can and stir it up. You might feel something at the bottom of the can when your first open it– that’s the color pigments! Keep stirring until you don’t feel anything at the bottom.
We apply the stain using a clean rag, wait 15 minutes, and then wipe off the excess stain using a clean, dry rag. We let the stain dry for about an hour before flipping it over to stain the other side.
Once both sides and all of the dowels were stained, we waited 2 hours before moving onto the next step.
STEP 7: ATTACH THE SIDES TO LEGS
Let’s start assembling this DIY sofa table! First, we’ll attach the legs to the sides using glue and 1.25” Kreg screws. Since we were drilling into solid oak 2x2s, we used the fine-thread screws that are made for hardwood here.
Since the legs are tapered, you’ll want to spend a few moments mapping out which side of the legs you want to drill into. The corner where the straight, non-tapered sides meet should be positioned as the outside corners of the console table.
Once you have the position of the legs mapped out, place a few dowels between the legs. These will indent the sides the proper amount so that the dowels end up being flush with the legs once installed.
STEP 8: ATTACH BACK
The back will be flush with the back of the legs. Attach the two sides you created in step 7 with the back using 1.25” Kreg screws and glue. Again, I used the fine-thread hardwood screws here.
Double-check that all of your tapered legs are correctly positioned before moving onto the next step.
STEP 9: ATTACH BOTTOM
Grab your ½” inside side pieces and glue them on top of the inside of the sides. This will make the inside of the sides flush with the inside of the legs. Let dry for 30 minutes before attaching the bottom piece.
Attach the bottom using glue and 1.25” Kreg screws. Since I’m now drilling into plywood rather than solid oak, I switched the course-thread screws.
The bottom of the bottom piece should be flush with the bottom of the side and back pieces. Make sure the side with less pocket holes is facing forward.
STEP 10: ATTACH FRONT PIECES
Using glue and 1.25” fine-thread Kreg screws, attach your front piece to the legs. As you’re attaching it, it should be flush with the bottom and indented ¼” from the front of the leg. Your dowels should be flush with the front of the leg when they are installed later on.
Screw the bottom into the front pieces using 1.25” course-thread Kreg screws.
STEP 11: INSTALL MIDDLE DIVIDERS
When installing these middle dividers, it’s really important to make sure that they are straight and square since our drawer slides will be attached to them. To make the install easier, measure the distance between your two front pieces (it should be 34”) and cut a scrap piece of wood to that size.
As you screw the middle dividers into, check to make sure that everything is square and move the scrap piece of wood to use a spacer between the two sides.
Install using 1.25” course-thread Kreg screws.
STEP 12: MAKE A DRAWER BOX
Make your drawer box using whatever drawer box technique you like the most. The dimensions provided assume the drawer box will be assembled as we outline in this tutorial.
STEP 13: INSTALL DRAWER SLIDES
Install your drawer slides to both the drawer box and the middle divider pieces. When installing the drawer slides to the middle dividers, we rested the slides on the bottom of the sofa table. No spacing block needed.
STEP 14: ATTACH DOWELS
To cut your dowels, tape 10-12 pieces together with painter’s tape. Wrap a piece of painter’s tape around the dowels approximately every 6-7”. This will allow you to cut through the tape and keep your dowels together.
Set up a stop so that you can quickly and accurately cut your dowels. The measurement should match the height of your console table side and front pieces. It should be 7”, but always double-check your measurements and adjust based on what you actually cut.
27 of your dowels will be cut slightly shorter to match the height of your drawer front.
To install your dowels, apply a generous amount of glue to your console and then press the dowels on.
Rather than using traditional wood glue like I used on the rest of the project, I secured the dowels using a thick glue that dries clear.
Secure the dowels in place with painter’s tape while the glue dries. Work in sections to make sure that glue doesn’t dry before you place the dowels.
To ensure that your dowels stay lined up, press a piece of scrap wood up against the bottom of your wood.
STEP 15: ATTACH DRAWER FRONT
If you have large enough clamps, clamp your drawer front to your sofa table to hold it in place as you secure it to the drawer front.
You can also clamp a piece of wood underneath the front of the table and your drawer front to help hold it up level with the rest of your console table.
Secure the drawer front to the top through the drawer front using a total of (4) 1” screws.
Once you have the drawer front in place, put a piece of tape in the middle of the drawer front and mark the center…well, almost center.
Since the drawer front is a little bit shorter than the rest of the front, rather than finding the vertical center, just measure 3.5” up from the bottom. This will give the illusion of it being centered even though it technically isn’t.
Pre-drill through the mark you made. I didn’t want to split my dowels, so I first drilled through it with a ⅛” drill bit and then I drilled through it with the 3/32” drill bit needed to install the knob.
Note: the screw that comes with the knob we used is too short for this console table. You’ll need to grab a 1.75” screw that’s the same size and style. This will then make it slightly too long, so you might need to add a washer to the back of the knob to really secure it.
STEP 16: ATTACH TRIM
The next step is to trim out the bottom of the sofa table.
Cut a total of 5 pieces (assuming you aren’t trimming out the back). You’ll cut the side and front pieces at a 90-degree angle on one side and a 45-degree on the other. You’ll cut the piece that goes on just the drawer front at 90 degrees on both sides.
Once cut, attach your trim using 1” nails. I’d recommend nailing through the thin bottom portion of the trim.
Before attaching your trim, be sure to stain it following the same instructions in steps 4-6.
STEP 17: ATTACH TOP
Position your top so that it is flush with the back and then has a ½” overhang on the front and the sides. Secure it in place using 1 or 1.5” nails. We nailed into each of the legs and then along the back, sides, and front. Make sure you nail into the plywood and not your small little dowels!
STEP 18: PROTECT
Protect your beautiful finish for years to come with Polycrylic. It’s my go-to final step for protecting my project because it’s durable and dries clear. You don’t have to worry about it yellowing your wood over time. I chose the satin sheen for this project.
To apply, we used our Purdy XL brush. I like to start in the middle and work my way outward towards each end.
Between each coat I waited 2 hours. Before applying the next coat, I lightly hand sanded everything with 220-grit sandpaper and then wiped it with tack cloth.
Each coat took me about 20 minutes to apply.
After letting the final coat dry for 2 hours, I really quickly (and lightly) sanded the final coat with 320-grit sandpaper.
STEP 19: FILL NAIL HOLES
Grab wood putty that matches your stain color (for Driftwood stain, we used the Early American wood putty). It’ll say right on the container which stain colors it’s best for.
Press your wood putty into any nail holes and then wipe off any excess.
So this is the point in the tutorial where you should be done with your sofa table build. We actually built ours before we got our new couches in, so we didn’t know the exact height of the back of the sofa.
The measurements we had were for the back including the cushions, not the actual back. So, we decided to chop 2” off each of the legs. Our *final* table height after doing this was 28” instead of 30”. So the table you see pictured is really 28” tall.
Personally, I would recommend the 30” table if your space allows for it, but unfortunately, ours did not. Though I miss the longer legs, it looks much better (and proportional) in our space to have the top sit just below the back of the sofa.
Alright, there you have it! Now you have the most beautiful DIY sofa table…or console table depending on how you want to use it. And the best part is that it didn’t cost $2200!
Let me know in the comments below: do you want to make this before behind your sofa, for an entry table, or for another area in your home?