Looking for a quick and easy project that will add some extra functionality to your spaces? Check out this tutorial for how to create a DIY end table from scrap wood!

This project is perfect for anyone who wants to upcycle old scrap wood into something new and useful. Plus, it’s a great way to add a touch of personality to your rooms. If you are looking for an even easier end table – check out this bar stool hack!

Gather your supplies and let’s get going.

Things You’ll Need


→ I am trying my best to use up all the scrap wood we have in the garage. You will need enough wood to create a top, legs and aprons for your table. I used all 3/4 inch boards.

→ If you are making an outdoor table, I highly recommend you use a wood better suited to handle the elements; such as cedar, cypress, acacia or teak. Here are some additional ideas. This side table is sitting on my screened in porch – so not technically exposed too much, which is why you see Pine wood in the photos.

showing wood pieces with pocket holes drilled in them
showing box strechers with pocket holes

My End Table Dimensions:

Length= 22 5/8 inches long

Width = 16 inches wide

Height = 26 7/8 inches tall

How to Build a DIY End Table

DIy Outdoor Side Table with a lamp, greenery and a candle on it

create a DIY side table with this tutorial.

Total time: 2 days

  1. Cut Wood to Size

    showing a set of four legs for a diy outdoor side table

    You will need to cut the following pieces of wood for your outdoor table:
    4 legs at 25.5 inches.
    2 skirts/aprons at 19.6 x 6.5 inches.
    2 skirts/aprons at 14.5 x 3.5 inches (SEE NOTE BELOW).
    1 table top at 16 x 22 5/8 inches.
    2 box stretches for leg support at 19.5 inches long.
    2 box stretches for leg support at 14.5 inches long.
    Another quick note: Since I am using scrap wood, my aprons don’t match in size. I’m using up what I had. Feel free to make them all the same size all the way around.

  2. Drill Pocket Holes

    showing wood pieces with pocket holes drilled in them

    Create two pocket holes on each side of the apron, and two in the middle of each apron (for attaching the top). You also want two pocket holes on each side of every stretcher. The pocket holes should look as shown in the photos.

  3. Assemble Table Base

    pocket holes on a wood side table

    We need to assemble the table base together by attaching the legs and aprons. I first put a spot of wood glue on the edge and rubbed it smooth with my finger. Then, I used 1.25 inch pocket hole screws and the pocket hole drill bit to drive in the screws. The assembly part is so much fun – your table is taking shape!

  4. Attach Table Top

    side table construction in the garage

    Flip your table base upside down and center/square it on your table top. Use more 1.25 inch pocket hole screws to attach the table top to the leg base.

  5. Sand Table

    sanding a wood table

    Use an orbital sander to smooth out the rough edges on your table and prepare it for staining/painting. I like to use an 120 grit sandpaper to start, and then finish with a 180 grit. Wipe down your table with a tack cloth after each sanding or vacuum with a small hose.

  6. Apply Wood Conditioner

    minwax pre stain wood conditioner

    If you are planning on staining your table, you will need to apply a wood conditioner first. This step is optional if you are painting your table. Apply the wood conditioner with a clean rag and let it sit for about 15 minutes before wiping off any excess.

  7. Stain or Paint table

    staining a wood table

    Now it’s time to add some color to your table! I applied wood stain in the color Early American with a clean, white paper towel. If you are painting your table, apply a primer first and let it dry completely. Once the primer is dry, you can apply your paint color of choice. Let the paint or stain dry completely before moving on to the next step.

  8. Protect with Polyurethane

    polyurethane varathane

    To protect your table from the elements, you will need to apply a few coats of polyurethane. I like to use a brush-on polyurethane for this project. Apply the polyurethane in long, even strokes and let it dry completely before using your table.

Now it’s time to decorate and enjoy your new end table. A basket underneath makes great extra storage and a lamp and a candle on top adds ambiance.

I made this table to fit perfectly over this bulky outlet we have on the side. The outlet is still functional, you just have to reach up underneath the table for access. I love having a custom made table here and I really love not having to look at that ugly outlet anymore!

DIy Outdoor Side Table made from Scrap Wood on a screened in porch.
DIy Outdoor Side Table with a lamp, greenery and a candle on it
DIy Outdoor Side Table with a lamp, greenery and a candle on it
view of a wood side table on a porch with a terra cotta throw  
DIy Outdoor Side Table with a lamp, greenery and a candle on it
DIy Outdoor Side Table made from Scrap Wood on a screened in porch.

Thanks for visiting today,

xo Karen

Easy DIY End Table

Karen Sloan

Karen Sloan is the founder, editor and syndicated content writer of www.decorhint.com. She offers hints of inspiration for everyday living, including home ideas, DIY projects and lifestyle content. Her work has appeared on Google News, MSN, Pioneer Woman, Apartment Therapy, and Bustle, among others.