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Simple Side Table

By: Not Just a Housewife

This simple side table is perfect for you home! How do I know that? Because you make it yourself from scratch! Use this tutorial to learn how to build a table.

Simple Side Table


  • Wood
  • Jig Saw
  • Miter saw
  • Wood glue
  • Brad nail gun
  • Tape measure
  • Sandable putty
  • Paint


  1. I bought a board that measured 18" by 36". I measured then drew a line down the middle so I would have 2 table tops measuring 18" by 18". You obviously only need one, but since I was planning on making a bunch I needed more. I used a jig saw to cut the wood.

    Simple Side Table
  2. Then I used 1"x4" boards for the front, sides, and back. I wanted there to be a 1 inch lip or overhang so I measured and cut 2 boards 16 inches long. That is one inch taken off for each side.

    Simple Side Table

    Simple Side Table
  3. I used my miter saw to cut the rest of the boards.
  4. Then, since 2 of the boards will go inside the other two boards to form a box, you need to minus the width of 2 boards together. In this case, 1 1/2 inches. So the second 2 boards I cut were 14 1/2 inches.

    Simple Side Table
  5. Do you see how 2 of the 1x4s fit inside the other two? That is why 2 needed to be shorter.

    Simple Side Table
  6. Add a little wood glue and then use a brad nail gun.

    Simple Side Table
  7. The next step is to determine how high you want your table. I wanted mine 2 feet tall. I cut some 2"x2"s for the legs. Add some wood glue and then nail them into the corners of your box. It is very important to make sure it is flat before nailing on the legs. If the legs are not flush with the top of the box then your table top will not lay flat on your base AND your table will wobble.

    Simple Side Table
  8. Your base is almost done :) You just need to add some 1"x1" to help hold the top on. Measure in between the legs and then cut your 1x1 that size.

    Simple Side Table
  9. Add some glue and nail. Do this all the way around the base - all four sides.

    Simple Side Table
  10. Then add glue to the top of the base, flip it over onto the table top, and nail through the 1x1. This will attach the top to the base.

    Simple Side Table
  11. You will need to fill the nail holes with putty. Pick one that is sandable so you can sand it smooth when it dries. I HIGHLY recommend Elmers stainable, paintable and sandable wood putty. Not only do I sand where I added putty, but I sand the hole thing. Especially the edges and corners. I try to round them a little. Use a fine grit sand paper or you will end up with lines (scratch marks) in your wood.

    Simple Side Table
  12. I painted mine and then (this is optional) sanded it to give it that shabby chic look. 
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I love this!'s hard sometimes to find basic but good instructions like this. I can't find any tables that are the right width or height for our house. Now I can make them myself!


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