When we moved into our apartment, we bought one of our friend’s tables that had a laminate top and hairpin legs. We decided it was time for an upgrade and wanted to make a new table with a fun design! There’s a couple cool designs out there already with chevron or herringbone designs, so we kind of merged the two and made this chevron/X design!
- 2×4 ft sheet of plywood, 3/4 inch thick: $10
- 2 1x3x8 pine: $6
- 2 1x2x8 pine: $4
- 16 in hairpin legs: $22
- Things we already had: wood glue, Varathane clear satin polyurethane, Minwax golden oak stain, miter saw, jig saw or circular saw, sand paper, wood filler
Total cost: $42
Step 1: Cut down the 1x3x8 boards
We picked up all our materials from Home Depot then started laying out each 1×3 piece on our plywood board! Since we wanted a bigger coffee table, we didn’t cut down the plywood but you definitely could if you wanted a smaller table. We measured the center of our board and drew 2 lines dividing the board into 4 equal quarters. Then cut your first 1×3 piece at the top to make a 45 degree angle, line up the piece to the lines you drew in the center, measure on your board where the plywood will end, and make another 45 degree cut. It’s fine if the boards are a little longer than the plywood, you can clean that up later. Here are the boards we started with:
Then just continue on from there! Cut, mark cut until the whole plywood board is covered.
Step 2: Glue and clean up the edges
Glue each piece down in it’s spot carefully and wait several hours for the glue to dry. Then flip over the table so the plywood is visible and cut off the extra wood with the jigsaw. We did a horrible (like truly horrible) job cutting straight lines here so I would suggest clamping a straight edge to the plywood as a guide. Or you could use a circular saw if you’re fancy like that.
Step 3: Add border with 1x2x8 boards
Measure on the 1x2x8 boards the lengths of the sides of the top and make 45 degree cuts on the ends. Make sure you are cutting so that the lengths of the sides are the shorter ends of the 1×2 boards. Glue them to the sides of the top so they make the outsides smooth and nice. You can see how horrible our jigsaw cuts were in the picture below – look at all that space between the edges! Yikes!
Step 4: Add lots and lots of wood filler
To fix all those gaps, add some wood filler! As you can see, our table ended up being 90% wood filler. Whoops! If you are doing this much wood filler, make sure you let it dry overnight before sanding. Also wipe off all that excess wood filler about 30 minutes after you apply it to avoid orange residue.
Step 5: Sand, stain, and poly!
Sand with a rougher grit first to try to even out all those different planks. We tried to do our sanding in each quarter to go with the grain, then sanded with the finer grit over the entire table. We used a new golden oak stain which was yellower than we expected but have grown to love! Then we added 4 coats of Varathane clear satin poly since we set so much on our table. We really love the matte, smooth finish that we achieved with this table. Between each coat we lightly sanded with fine sand paper and rubbed the last coat down with a paper bag (a new trick we saw on TikTok to get out all those remaining bumps).
Step 6: Add on your hairpin legs
Finally, just add on your hairpin legs and you are good to go! We picked 16 inch legs from Amazon since they were cheap and matched the height of our couch, but 20 inch legs would work great as well. Just flip over your table and screw them in!
Despite some road bumps, we love how it turned out! Let us know if you try it and have any suggestions on trickier designs like these!