Simple Side Tables with Step by Step Plans

Build inexpensive side tables using 2x4s using the step by step tutorial.

We’ve slowly been turning our spare room into my husband’s comic book cave. I still haven’t really shared much about that room update because it’s not yet complete. I’ve replaced the popcorn ceiling with a wood feature, painted the room, and installed built-in book shelves with a desk space. I still got some finishing touches to complete before it’s ready but it’s coming along nicely. We’ve put the bed into the closet and replaced it with a love seat. I wasn’t so sure about this at first, but I love that it’s become a second hangout spot for Brendan and the Family.

I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve cringed watching Brendan delicately balance a scrap piece of MDF board on the side of the love seat arm WITH A DRINK ON IT. So needless to say, I needed a quick fix for giving him some tables. I browsed the interwebs for some inexpensive ones, but didn’t feel the quality matched for what I was willing to pay. So, much like everything else, I found a way to make my own using boards I already had on hand.

Supplies and Tools

Step 1 Wood cuts:

  • First 2x4x8: cut 4, 22′ pieces for the legs
  • Second 2x4x8: cut 4, 21′ pieces for the top
  • Third 2x4x8: cut 1 piece 21′ for the top, 2 pieces 14′ for the sides, and 2 pieces 7′ for the other sides.
  • Repeat for the number of tables you want to make

Step 2: Drill pocket holes and connect base

side table plans. Build inexpensive side tables using 2x4s using the step by step tutorial.
Build inexpensive side tables using 2x4s using the step by step tutorial.

Step 3: Add top

Once the base is built, add the top by starting with the center board. I used a speed square to get it exactly center on all sides. Using the nail gun, I secured it in place. I added and secured each board individually on either side until I reached the ends.

Side Note: You could totally use a drill with smaller screws, sink them in a bit and cover with wood filler if you don’t have a nail gun.

Build inexpensive side tables using 2x4s using the step by step tutorial.

Step 4: Sand

Once both side tables were constructed I used a sander to smooth them out. The sander helped to round the edges of the table- the 2x4s can be sharp. Using 130 grit paper, I was able to get them fairly rounded and smooth. Sanding also helps remove a bit of the yellow tint from the wood. In the next picture you can see the difference of the color and the edges. I finished them off with a 150 grit and a ‘fine grit’ sanding block.

Build inexpensive side tables using 2x4s using the step by step tutorial.

Step 5: Stain

Once I was done sanding, I stained them applying only 1 coat. Since these were for the man cave, I kept them a bit more on the rustic side. If you want a more polished look, you can fill in the nail holes with wood filler.

Build inexpensive side tables using 2x4s using the step by step tutorial.
Build inexpensive side tables using 2x4s using the step by step tutorial.
Build inexpensive side tables using 2x4s using the step by step tutorial.
Build inexpensive side tables using 2x4s using the step by step tutorial.

I love how they look similar but also so different. It’s crazy how the wood grain came out so differently on each table. Can’t wait to get these into the man cave and show you the finished product!

Blessings, Friends

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