A Lauren Original: DIY Coffee Table or How “Community” Understands Me

Woodworking runs in the McCoy family.  I’ve recently gained an interest in its art form.  Danny and I have dabbled here and there, building a simple plant stand for the four plants we had in 2012, then again when we built a better plant stand for our 25 plants we kept alive in 2013.

I recently wanted to build a coffee table.  Without help.  Just wanted it to be my baby. Usually I’ll ask Danny to handle the saws and power tools while I, along with help from our dogs, supervise and/or look up/talk about the next project we’ll start on.  Seriously, I’ve got a problem with cutting one project off to start another one.

I used the same concept for our first plant stand and the wood I already had.  I got confident cocky and built a terrible coffee table.   It was a depressing table.  Like the kind of table that wobbles regardless of how many cracker packets you put under it.

None of my cuts were straight and, oddly enough, they don’t straighten themselves out when you screw the frame together. They didn’t offer a woodworking class at my high school. 

Community*We’ve all been at a restaurant and had to sacrifice our crackers for table stability, right?*

Danny had faith that I could fix it on my own, so I left it under the carport for two weeks and cursed at it every time I saw it.  I figured it would learn its lesson and straighten its act up.  Ahh, ya get it?!

I finally got over my irritation.  I unscrewed everything. I made some straighter, more accurate cuts, and screwed everything back together. No wobbling anymore!

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I high-fived myself.
Congratulations, Lauren, for giving up on this project for two weeks!

I applied the paper bag technique to give it the faux leather look.

  Coffee Table 2

Stained it, applied polyurethane and put that sucker in the living room.  It’s fully functional…for now!

I had everything on hand except for two 2x4s, so this whole project cost me $5.67.

    Coffee Table 5

Coffee Table 1

Stewie thought this was his photo shoot.  I didn’t have the heart to tell him it wasn’t.

Coffee Table 4With the confidence I gained from our new coffee table, I am going to build a storage ottoman and attempt to upholster it myself.

Community 2

We’ll see how that goes.

Community 6

Does woodworking run in your family?  Have you built a coffee table recently?
Is your dog a diva when you pull your camera out?



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9 thoughts on “A Lauren Original: DIY Coffee Table or How “Community” Understands Me

  1. Dorothy McCoy November 8, 2013 at 8:04 am Reply

    All I can say is it looks pretty good to me. I see the pillows you made in the background. Keep it up and you’ll be a pro before you know it.

  2. Tina November 8, 2013 at 10:03 am Reply

    That table looks awesome!!! Love the faux leather look! You give me hope that DIY projects CAN turn out great. Thank you for that. Stewie is a ham. I think I have a dog or cat tail in every one of the photos I take. Even the ones I made sure the critters weren’t supposed to be in. Keep on do it yourselfing!

    • laurenmississippi November 8, 2013 at 10:24 am Reply

      Thanks, Tina! I’m glad we can inspire you! I’m looking forward to seeing your Tuscan room!

  3. Sarah Angleton November 8, 2013 at 10:36 am Reply

    I’m so impressed that you salvaged it. It turned out great! I’ve been putting together quite a long list of projects that my husband insists he will get to, someday…maybe I should just break out the power tools myself.

    • laurenmississippi November 8, 2013 at 10:42 am Reply

      Sarah – thanks for that! I highly recommend pulling out those power tools yourself…after watching numerous how-to videos. That’s my route anyways. Otherwise, I’m sitting there with the jigsaw in my hand going, “Now, what exactly is this used for?”

  4. Charles Chollie McCoy November 8, 2013 at 11:01 am Reply

    Either I haven’t had enough coffee, or the faux leather really did fool me. Great job!

  5. […] long as I could.  I finally had to try the paper bag flooring on an actual floor (see our custom coffee table).  Since the baby’s room was a clean slate, what better place to […]

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