How to Make Coffee Table Bases


Coffee tables are set in front of sofas or a set of armchairs in living rooms and family rooms. Make your own coffee table by using wood to make a base and top--or by making bases out of items found around the house or at garage sales and attaching a glass or wooden top. The base should be sturdy and proportional to the table's space.

Things You'll Need

  • Wood for top rails
  • Wood for legs
  • Saw
  • Tape measure
  • L-brackets
  • Screws
  • Screwdriver
  • Glass tabletop
  • Felt rounds

Wood Base

  • Cut four top rails for the base, using a saw. The rails should go the length and width of the table, either flush with the edge or 2 inches from the edge to form a lip.

  • Attach the rails--with L-brackets, screws and a screwdriver--to the tabletop.

  • Chisel one of the corners of each of the legs to make a flat area for the bolt. The flat edge should face out from the table rails with the opposite edge snugged into the table rails.

  • Drill holes through the legs and the table rails and attach legs using bolts. Tighten the bolts with wing nuts to ensure the legs will not wobble.

Cement Base for Glass Tabletop

  • Hunt down cement pillars at garden centers to use as coffee table bases. The bottom parts of cement bird bathes or benches make sturdy bases for glass tabletops.

  • Glue felt pads to the top of the base, using as many felt pads as needed to ensure the glass will rest on the felt and not the base.

  • Place glass topper gently on the felt. Make sure the top is centered on the base to ensure stability.

Unique Base

  • Create unique coffee table bases by searching garage sales. Old trunks, stacks of books, terracotta pots turned upside down and anything that is sturdy can make a base for glass or wooden tabletops.

  • Glue felt pads to the top of the base you choose, using as many felt pads as needed to ensure the glass or wood will rest on the felt and not the base.

  • Place glass or wood topper gently on the felt, centering the top on the base.

Tips & Warnings

  • The height of the base can be any height that you want, but it should match the scale of the room.

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  • Photo Credit coffee table image by Leticia Wilson from
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