DIY Mid Century Modern Coffee Table


Hi all! I'm MARRIED!!! :) We had an amazing wedding last month and a fabulous honeymoon in Paris! Lots of details to share but I wanted to finally post the tutorial for my DIY Mid Century Modern Coffee Table that I built last year! :) I've gotten so many requests for this so I am happy to finally be able to share! Here goes!

Birch Plywood - 4' by 8' and 3/4" thick
Birch Edge Tape
4 - Round Taper Table Legs
4 - Angle Top Plates
Dark Walnut Stain
Satin Polyurethane
Total Cost for all Materials: $94

Table or Circular saw (or have Home Depot cut the plywood for you)
Miter or Hand Saw (to trim the table legs)
Sandpaper and Sander
Mini Kreg Jig
Drill and Drill Bits
Various Clamps (if you're working alone)
Paint brush / Rag

Cut List:
Birch Plywood - 2 @ 47" x 20"
Birch Plywood - 2 @ 5" x 20"
Table Legs - 10.5" tall

Make all necessary cuts (I had Home Depot cut the plywood so I only had to trim the table legs). To trim the table legs, you'll need to remove the hanger bolt (twist it out with pliers). Measure and mark the table legs; you'll want them to be 10.5" tall. I cut mine with my miter saw but a hand saw would work too. Once you've made the cuts you'll need to drill a hole in the top of the table leg to re-insert the hanger bolt. Use a drill bit that is slightly smaller than the bolt then re-twist the bolt in with pliers.

Next you'll need to sand until everything is as smooth as can be! Don't skimp here, you don't want a rough coffee table! I used my palm sander and started with an 80 grit working my way up to a 180 grit.

Once everything is sanded, it's time to assemble the table! 

If you're working alone (like I was) you'll need a variety of clamps to help you hold the pieces of the table in place while you secure them. I purchased the Mini Kreg Jig just for this project and loved it! It's a great little tool to have in your toolbox. The Mini Kreg Jig is a little tool that helps you drill pocket holes. Pocket holes connect two pieces of wood together while hiding the screws. It makes for a much more professional look!

I first did 3 pocket holes in each of the side pieces of the table to attach it to the table top. 

Then I repeated, 3 more pocket holes to attach the side pieces to the table bottom. I had to use a very short screwdriver to fit my hand in the opening between the table top and bottom.

Once you've attached all the pieces, it should look like this.

At this point, you're ready to attach the veneer tape to the exposed edges of the plywood. The tape comes in a roll and it has adhesive already on it. It's heat activated so you just use your iron to attach the edging.

I used a utility knife to trim my edging.

Now that the majority of the table was built, I stained and poly'd everything. I didn't attach the legs yet to make it easier to stain. After the stain was dry and ready, I added a coat of satin poly.

Then it was time to attach the legs to the table! The Angle Top Plates made this super easy. You just measure out from each corner of the bottom of the table to ensure that all the plates are even. I played around with the placement and liked 2" from the each side of the corner. Once the plates are all attached, you just twist in the table legs, that's it!

If you don't want the table legs to be angled and you'd rather them be straight, you just need to use Straight Top Plates.

Hope this helps! Feel free to leave any questions in the comments! :) If you build this table, please remember to share with me! I'd love to see it! :)

xx, Shannon

Image Map


  1. This is incredible! I've always wanted a table like this. Thanks for posting!

  2. That's a seriously beautiful DIY. The angled legs give it that extra bit of mid-century authenticity. Well done!

  3. I can't believe you only have two comments on this ingenious post. I love your space, your style, your color, your bold courage, your creativity. I want to do build this table too! Thank-you for sharing your talents!

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. For what its worth, I wouldn't use the palm sander. The veneer is only a couple millimeters and you'll take off way more than you need to for just prepping the wood for stain and if the plywood has a knot somewhere under the veneer you'll run into problems. Using a 120-150 grit sanding block is is more work, but much safer for the wood. Also, I HIGHLY recommend using a wood conditioner prior to staining. It's an extra ~$10 but removes all the blotchiness you get with just using stain.

  6. Your article features some really great collection of stylish and modern coffee tables. I was in search of some idea before i could buy a coffee table for my house. Looking the ideas you have shared. Keeping posting similar articles. Kudoss!! for your efforts.

  7. thank you for giving the idea to create a modern coffee table. during this time I was shopping for furniture purposes, this time I will try to like what you are doing.

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