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DIY Sofa Table (Studio McGee Dupe!)

I’m Zoe.
My mission is to teach you to  confidently build magazine-worthy DIYs. I used to be terrified of power tools, which is why I'm a firm believer that ANYONE can DIY.
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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?

DIY Sofa Table in front of white couch and white shiplap walls in living room

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!

Recommended Tools:

  • Table Saw 
  • Miter Saw 
  • Drill 
  • Kreg Jig 
  • Brad Nailer 

What You’ll Need: 

Cut List:

For What?Wood TypeQuantitySize (inches)
Top¾” plywood 172 x 15 
Bottom¾” plywood 168 x 12.75 
Sides¾” plywood 211.5 x 7 
Back¾” plywood 168 x 7 
Front Panels¾” plywood 217 x 7
Middle Dividers¾” plywood 212.75 x 6.25
Drawer Front¾” plywood133.75 x 6 ⅞”
Inside Sides½” plywood211.5 x 7 
Drawer Box Front/Back½” plywood232 x 5.5
Drawer Box Sides½” plywood211.75 x 5.5
Drawer Box Bottom½” plywood132 x 10.75
Legs2×2429.25

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

New to DIY? Download our free 5 Steps to Getting Start with DIY guide!

how to build a sofa table text overlay on close-up image of Pieter console table dupe

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. 

taper leg jig for table saw

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. 

sanding multiple oak dowels at once

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. 

applying Minwax Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner to oak plywood

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. 

Apply Minwax Driftwood stain to oak plywood

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.

attaching oak legs to plywood side piece using pocket holes

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. 

attaching back of console table with pocket holes

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. 

clamping plywood to the side of DIY sofa table

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. 

attaching bottom to side of structure using pocket holes


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. 

placing dowels on front of structure to determine the setback

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. 

using speed square and scrap boards to install a board square

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

DIY drawer box made with pocket holes

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. 

Cutting small dowels on miter saw

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.

pressing oak dowels up against scrap wood to keep them straight when installed

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. 

clamping drawer front to drawer box and installing with 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. 

drilling through drawer front for hardware

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.

nailing oak trim to bottom of DIY console table

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.

applying Minwax Polycrylic in Clear Satin to drawer front

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. 

filling nail holes with Minwax Wood Putty

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. 

Minwax pre-stain, wood finish, and polycrylic cans on top of DIY console table

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?

Side view of DIY sofa table up against white couch
New Tutorial: How to Make a Sofa Table  text overlay on image of DIY console table in white living room
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