26 July 2013

make your own parsons table diy

26 July 2013

i am really excited about today's DIY and even more excited about part two coming next week!

james and i have been looking for a compact, sleek console for our entryway on and off for months. we live in a small apartment (900 sq ft) and needed something that would add interest, not bulk, but we couldn't find anything that would fit our space and price point.

and then it hit me: we can make one! what i love most about this DIY is that you can customize it to your space. our tabletop is long and narrow, but you can adjust the dimensions to suit your style. to get an idea of standard console dimensions, we checked out the options at places like West Elm, CB2 and IKEA. one rule of thumb, most consoles are 30-31" in height.

now, here is the real stunner: assuming you own or can borrow the tools listed below, the total cost of materials is $34.

this doesn't include the cost of materials to finish the wood, but there are inexpensive finishing options, so stay tuned for part two of this DIY for ideas!

a quick note: we decided to add "braces" for structural support and i actually like the look a bit better. for a more traditional parsons table, you can leave the braces off, but any bowing or arching in the lumber will cause the legs to taper and you might find that a brace evens things out.


- 8'x12" (cut into 48x12" for tabletop)
- 2 lengths of 2x2"x6' (cut into 4 pieces for legs, each 30" in length)
- 8 flathead #8 gauge 3" wood screws

- electric drill
- 1/8" drill bit
- level
- pencil
- sandpaper
- hand saw (if adding braces)

1. write "TOP" in pencil on one side of tabletop.

2. with the "TOP" side up, place one of the legs on one of the corners. use level to ensure edges of leg are flush with edge of tabletop.

3. trace edges of the leg with pencil, to make a square.

4. next, remove leg and mark where to drill the screws. with a ruler, draw a diagonal line down the middle of the square and mark two evenly-spaced, centered dots (see photo for exact measurements).

5. repeat steps 2-4 with for remaining corners.

6. starting with one corner, drill through each of the dots marking where the screws will go.

 james used a makeshift drill guide to ensure screws drilled in straight. for instructions on creating your own drill guide, click here.

7. place tabletop perpendicular to floor and align a leg against one "BOTTOM" corner of tabletop, so that all sides are flush.

9. while holding leg firmly against tabletop, drill through screw holes from "TOP" side of tabletop, into leg.

10. drive wood screws through drill holes completely into leg, until screw is flush with with top of tabletop.

11. repeat steps 6-11 for remaining corners.

optional - adding braces
12. stand table upright and measure interior distance between legs. using leftover lumber, use hand saw to cut two pieces to match interior distance on each side of table.

13. set table on its side, with legs facing you. on the outer ends of each leg, use freshly cut brace to trace square and drill holes, as in steps 2-4.

14. drill through each of the dots marking where the screws will go.

15. align brace against interior of one leg, so that all sides are flush.

16. while holding leg firmly against leg, drill through screw holes from leg exterior, into brace. repeat with opposite leg, so that brace serves as a connector piece.

17. repeat for legs at opposite end of table.

et voila!

we're planning to upholster our table with faux animal skin fabric (details coming soon!), but i took a crack at styling it to get an idea of what it will look like all finished! what do you think?

- we purchased and cut our lumber at home depot. we chose Select Pine because it has a more polished appearance. it is a little more expensive than stock lumber, but the pieces are less likely to have imperfections.

- if you choose to add braces, save extra 2x2 lumber during home depot trip.

- you can pick up an inexpensive bubble level and the wood screws while you're at home depot.

- use sand paper to smooth out any edges and even out connection point between legs and tabletop.


Rachel said...

This is so cute! I have a desk from Target for my vanity that is veryyy similar to the expensive Parson's Desk. this would be so cute for my entryway!

Jessica Marquez said...

Great diy! Looks so easy and perfect for an entry or behind a couch!

disqus_v26vMDXlZ2 said...

I love this. I've been wanting to do some type of simple table for quite some time and this easy DIY totally has me inspired. You did a great job, but I am even more excited to see the finished product! Elle @ southernelle.com

Dora said...

this is genious!! I love the idea

Short and Sweet Blog said...

Amazing Ashely! And a lifesaver on costs! :) Happy weekend!

Lena said...

How clever–and it looks divine!

bijouandboheme said...

BRILLIANT! I can't wait to see it upholstered!

Cara-Mia said...

This is so great! I love the look of a Parson table.

Dana said...

great DIY idea! I just bought a new apartment and I may need to do this...

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