An outdoor coffee table is essential to complete your outdoor space. A coffee table creates a pleasant outdoor social area, with space for snacking and entertaining. It can also double as additional seating for a large gathering, a footrest for reclining, or a functional shared surface for board games.
Making your own outdoor coffee table is a great way to ensure the table is the right size for your needs and your outdoor space – and it’s an easy, beginner-friendly project. Here are some easy ways to make your own DIY outdoor coffee table.
- DIY Outdoor Coffee Tables
DIY Outdoor Coffee Tables
DIY Rugged Outdoor Coffee Table Instructions
This outdoor coffee table is exceptionally strong and rugged, perfect for rough climates. It’s a coffee table that can double as seating or for families with kids or pets who are likely to climb on the table. It’s also easy to build and a simple beginner project.
To make your own rugged outdoor coffee table, you will need:
- 4-4x4s @ 14.5”
- 4-2x4s @ 13”
- 2-2x2s @ 13”
- 1-2×2 @ 42.75”
- 2-2x4s @ 40.75”
- 4-2x6s @ 37.5”
- 2-2x6s @ 20.75”
You will also need:
- A cordless drill
- An orbital sander
- A pocket-hole jig
- Outdoor wood varnish
- DIY equipment like a tape measure, pocket screws, deck screws, wood glue, work gloves, and the like
To build your own DIY outdoor coffee table, follow these steps:
Make the Side Supports
- Drill two pocket holes on each end of the 13” top and side span boards.
- Attach the 14.5” leg pieces flush with the tops of the top span boards using pocket screws and wood glue.
- Attach the side span boards 1.5” from the bottom of the legs, with the pocket holes facing downward, using pocket screws and wood glue.
- Attach the sides together.
- Drill two pocket holes on each end of the top and bottom span boards.
- Attach the top 40.75” span boards to the legs, flush with the tops of each leg, using pocket screws and wood glue.
- Attach the bottom 42.75 span board to the center of the side span boards, 5.75 inches from the center of the legs, with the pockets facing downward, using pocket screws and wood glue.
- Attach tabletop support pieces.
- Drill two pocket holes onto each end of the 13” 2×4 tabletop support pieces.
- Using wood glue and pocket screws, attach the support pieces to the side spans across the tabletop at 11.25” intervals.
Build the Table Top
- Using wood glue and pocket screws, attach the 37.5 2x6s together to create a flat tabletop.
- Using wood glue and pocket screws, attach the 20.75 tabletop side pieces to the ends of the tabletop.
- Your boards may need to be sanded or trimmed to join correctly.
- Attach the tabletop.
- Center the tabletop on your table base, and attach it from the underside using deck screws.
- Finish your outdoor table.
- Using an orbital sander, sand your table smooth.
- Finish with an outdoor sealer and/or varnish for protection.
DIY Outdoor Coffee Table from Wood Crates
The great thing about this design is that the crates can be grouped into a square to form a large coffee table or rolled apart to provide individual table space, depending on your seating arrangement. The crates also create storage and display space for your outdoor coffee table.
To make a DIY outdoor coffee table from wood crates, you will need:
- 4 wood crates. You can buy the crates, or make them yourself from scrap wood or wood pallets
- 16 caster wheels
- 4 flip latches (optional)
- Outdoor stain or paint
To build a DIY outdoor coffee table from wood crates, follow these steps:
- Begin by painting or finishing your crates with a weather-resistant coating.
- Add caster wheels to the bottom corners of all four crates.
- Depending on your surface and your needs, you may want to add flip latches to the crates’ edges to keep them securely attached when configured in a group.
- Use the tops of the crates as a table surface and the interior of the crates for storage.
DIY Outdoor Coffee Table with Storage
This DIY outdoor coffee table has internal storage, making it a great place to keep toys or games, outdoor décor or lighting, or seasonal covers and cushions for your outdoor furniture. You can never have too much storage, and this is a simple and attractive solution.
To make a DIY outdoor coffee table with storage, you will need:
- 2-2x8s @ 45”
- 2-2x8s @ 21”
- 4-2x2s @ 18”
- 2-2x2s @ 45”
- 2 2x2s @ 21”
- 3/4” plywood @ 45”x21”
- 8-1x6s @ 13.75”
- 2-1x4s @ 44.5”
- 2-1x2s @ 45”
- 2-1x2s @ 19.5”
You will also need:
- A cordless drill
- A pocket hole jig
- Essential DIY equipment like a tape measure, pocket screws, wood glue, work gloves, and the like
To build a DIY outdoor coffee table, follow these steps:
Build the Front and Back Panels
- Drill 3 pocket holes on each end of the 45” front and backboards.
- Drill 2 pocket holes on each end of the 45” side rails.
- Using pocket holes and wood glue, attach the front and back panels to the 18” leg pieces, flush with the top of the leg boards.
- Attach the bottoms of the legs to the 45” bottom rails, flush with the bottom of the legs, with the pocket holes facing downward.
Add the Side Boards
- Drill 3 pocket holes on each end of the 21” sideboards.
- Drill 2 pocket holes on each end of the 21” side rails.
- With the front panel laying down, inside facing upward, attach the sideboards to the front panel, flush with the top of the legs.
- Using pocket screws and wood glue, attach the side rails to the bottom of the table legs, flush with the bottom of the legs.
- Attach the back panel to the side panels, completing the frame of the table.
- Complete the bottom of the storage compartment.
- Using the 21” 1×6 boards, build a base at the bottom of the side panels, forming a box
Build a Lid/Tabletop
- Attach the rest of the 21” 1×6 boards to the 44.5” top side pieces, forming a single top board
- Attach 1x2s to the inside top of the box, 3/4” of an inch from the top, to form a stable base for the lid to fit onto
- Stain and finish your outdoor coffee table with storage
DIY Outdoor Coffee Table from Concrete
Concrete is tough, weather-resistant, and stylish. It’s an excellent material for the top of an outdoor coffee table and is easier to make than you might think. To make an outdoor coffee table top, follow these steps:
- Use 2×4 boards to build a base for your tabletop. Concrete is heavy, so use a stretcher at the bottom and add support boards across the top for extra stability.
- Place the base upside down on a plywood sheet and use it to lay out the form for the top. That way, the top will fit exactly, conforming to the contours of the base.
- Use boards to build an edge on top of the plywood, creating a form for pouring the concrete.
- When the form has been built around the base, remove the base to complete the form.
- Sand the form smooth, and use tape to seal over any screw heads.
- Use silicone caulk to seal the seams in the form, with a corner tool for smooth beads. The form needs to be as smooth and even as you want the concrete to be. If you want a rough, natural-looking edge, consider using an edge form around the inside edge.
- Mix countertop concrete according to the manufacturer’s instructions, and allow it to cure for several days.
- Finish with a concrete sealer
- Place your concrete top on your wooden base
For a faster, more straightforward approach, consider building a plywood top and using a faux concrete kit instead.
You can make a DIY outdoor coffee table from nearly anything, so this is a great project to get creative, practice your skills, and try new things. With all these great options and projects, you’ll be enjoying your new DIY outdoor coffee table in no time.