$25 Sofa Table Tutorial

As you know if you read my last post, we bought a new sofa for our living room. The sofa fits perfectly in this L nook. However, there is one slight problem, there is no room for a table to fit on either side of the sofa and if there is one thing I hate, it’s a sofa without a table to sit my wine on!!! I guess more importantly I need to have lighting in that corner too…I guess!sofa-table-Always-Never-Done 20

You see what I mean. No room for anything except a sofa and that was the smallest one I found with a chaise. (Hubby was on board for a new sofa if it had a man chaise aka a place for the man to sit and relax in his wife’s meticulously decorated home.)

Then I thought about a sofa table behind the sofa wedged in between the sofa and the wall would solve all my furniture problems. That is until I couldn’t find one that fit. So you know what I am going to say next. I made one! Problem solved.

I wanted a really thin and really long table. Just wide enough to sit some thin lamps on and a few treasures. Oh and a glass or two:)sofa-table-Always-Never-Done



Here’s what you’ll need to make this  sofa table: This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience.  Click here to read my full disclosure policy.

1 – 1 x 6 x 8 pine board (cut to your desired length)

2 – 1 x 2 x 8 furring pieces

Screws, screw driver, clamps, stainable wood filler, stain, paint

Take your long pine board, which is going to be the table top and attach the furring strips to the underside of the table top on either side.sofa-table-Always-Never-Done 1

To do this, use your clamps to hold the furring strip to pine board, and drill pilot holes about every foot along the furring strip. (Pilot holes are small holes drilled into the wood before driving the screw in. This prevents the wood from splitting and keeps the screw straight.)sofa-table-Always-Never-Done 2

We did a few pilot holes and then screws and moved down the board and repeated. Then moved onto the other side and did the same.sofa-table-Always-Never-Done 4

These are the screws we used.sofa-table-Always-Never-Done 16

They are construction screws with a star shape at the end. The star shape gives the screw added torque for easy driving. (It’s easier for the screwdriver to grip.)

Now for the legs. I saved some banister rails when we tore down our hand railing in the basement. I knew they would be useful for something one of these days. They ended up being the perfect height for the table. (You can also buy these at a home improvement store or just use 2 x 2 wood cut to your desired height.)

We turned the table right side up and drilled pilot holes and then sunk the screws into the wood which is when you take a larger screw bit and drive down just a tiny bit over the pilot hole. This is to sink the screw head which means when the screw is driven into the wood it will sink down beneath the surface of the wood allowing you room to use wood filler. You don’t want you screws sticking out above the wood it just doesn’t look nice. (depending on the size of the screws depends on what size drill bits you will use to make your pilot holes and to sink the screw. They have charts on the world wide web for the size screw you are using if you can’t figure it out.) put the screws into those holes were the center of the legs would be.

Drill pilot hole…………………Use bigger drill bit to allow for screw………………Sink screw

Now flip it over, put your leg on (not your leg, the furniture leg:) and drive the screw into the leg.sofa-table-Always-Never-Done 9

Good, now for extra support to keep the legs nice and sturdy, drill another pilot hole on the outside of the leg, then use your bigger driver to create the pocket to sink the screw, and drive another screw in. Do that for all four legs.

Your table is now built. Now mine is a little wobbly because it’s so long and thin. I could have added extra support or more legs but I knew this table would be wedged in between the sofa and the wall which gives it more than enough support.sofa-table-Always-Never-Done 18

Time to fill the screw holes with stainable wood filler. I used Elmer’s ProBond Woodfiller. Let it dry and sand it down to perfection. I stained the top of my table using Minwax Wood Finish in Jacobean (just what I had around.) I applied 2 thin coats, letting it dry properly in between each coat. I then painted the legs in Behr Polar Bear Semi-Gloss which is the color of all of the trim in my house so I had some sitting around. After that dried completely I put 2 coats of Minwax Polycrylic water based Protective finish in clear satin. Let that dry and harden and you are good to go!!!!!sofa-table-Always-Never-Done 19

This is what it looked like all painted and ready to go. sofa-table-Always-Never-Done 22You can see if fits perfectly behind the sofa. The actual depth of the table is only 6″ which is not much but it serves it’s purpose. sofa-table-Always-Never-Done 23And here she is all dressed up and in action. sofa-table-Always-Never-Done 25

sofa-table-Always-Never-Done 26

sofa-table-Always-Never-Done 24

sofa-table-Always-Never-Done 28For those of you wondering where I got my lamps and sofa. Here you go. I couldn’t find the exact lamps but This set of 2 modern lamps  is something nice and skinny and close to it.

I got my sofa on clearance so I doubt you can get it anymore but I found this 3 piece sectional for about the same price as I got mine.

All in all this table cost me about $25.00 to make. Remember I had the legs and the paint products already sitting around so I didn’t have to buy them. But even if I did have to buy that stuff it would have been a fairly inexpensive project considering all the tables I browsed through were ridiculously priced and not well made. I am 100% satisfied with my new little sofa table, suitable for trinkets, treasures, slim lights and of course my morning coffee and night time wine glass!sofa table before after-Always-Never-Done

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a date with Kendall Jackson Chardonnay.sofa-table-Always-Never-Done 27

Have a great week. XO- Amy


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  1. Melissa says

    LOVED this so much that my husband and I are making our very own!!! Just need to paint and stain it tomorrow!! ThNks for the great post.

  2. Karalane says

    Creative + simple solution + inexpensive = a total winner! I’m filing this idea away for possible use in our RV. That lovely sofa may be exactly what I’ve been looking for! How wide is it, and where did you get it?

      • Karalane says

        Thanks! I just noticed you answered that question earlier in the comments, so I apologize for repeating. It does not look that wide! I work near the York store, so I’ll stop in and see if they have one.

  3. says

    Love the new look – really made the room pop. I am thinking of doing the same behind ours – but with my family history – putting the edged trim up – to make a lip:)

  4. Darlene says

    Thanks for the detailed instructions. This is just fabulous and just what I need. Love the way it looks behind your sofa (which is Gorgeous) and wish I could have found one like yours before we bought the one that we have now.

  5. Jenn says

    looks great! Where did you find those lamps? I made a table similar to this but have been having such a hard time finding lamps thin enough to fit against the wall. Love yours!

  6. Bridget Chimarys says

    I have the same problem. My couch fit perfectly but not room for a table. I have got to get someone to do this for me!!! Love it!!

  7. Shirley says

    I love this! I have actually been working on plans for a “skinny table” to fit behind my couch too. I have a really big living room that has a fireplace that sits out in the floor. Because of the room shape and all, it is very hard to furnish this room. I have been working on it for almost 2 years now. I think I finally have down what I want to do with it, which includes a skinny table. Funny thing is, I have about 50 of those banister legs in my garage and never thought to use those but on the other hand, I am looking to go more rustic/industrial so that look wouldn’t work anyway. Enjoy your table it looks lovely and I love the way you decorated it!

    • says

      Thank you!!! I thought about going industrial too, but for the sake of using what I already had laying around I used the banister legs. If you make one with industrial leg I would love to see!!!!

      • Jenn says

        Such a fantastic idea, Amy! Pertaining to some of the previous comments…I have an idea for those wanting a rustic/industrial design for their “skinny” sofa table! Using Always Never Done’s existing table top plans, after cutting the 1×6 pine board & 1×2 furring strips to appropriate or desired length, give them an aged, weathered, barnwood rustic look by gently distressing before constructing the table top. (Add dents, scratches, gouges, wood burns,etc…many distressing & aging techniques available on Pinterest.) From there sand down the surface, use your favorite stain, paint technique, or combination of the two if more “rustic-ness” () is needed. You can also age and distress the banister rails or get chunkier rails for a more rustic look, but…I’m thinking ‘industrial all the way’ and rather than using banister rails for the table legs, (such an INGENIOUS IDEA, btw), USE ⓗⓐⓘⓡⓟⓘⓝ ⓛⓔⓖⓢ!!! You would have a totally different-looking table using the same smart, simple plans, and still a very easy-to-do DIY that would compliment or coordinate with rustic/industrial design. There are a few sites and stores that have hairpin legs for purchase if you’re looking to do this the easy way but I’ve noticed they can get a bit pricey. I have 3/8″ copper wire, found at my local Restore for a steal, just waiting on me to give it a purpose. Now, if i can figure out the best way to bend my wire into the shape of hairpin legs (It’s much stronger than the name “wire” let’s on!), then I’ll be taking on this project ASAP! I’m thinking saddle clips to attach the legs to the table, other suggestions welcome! Thanks so much for the wonderful idea and tutorial, Amy!

      • Jenn says

        Such a fantastic idea, Amy! Pertaining to some previous comments, I have an idea for those wanting a rustic/industrial design for their “skinny” sofa table! Using Always Never Done’s existing table top plans, after cutting the 1×6 pine board & 1×2 furring strips to appropriate or desired length, give them an aged, weathered, barnwood rustic look by gently distressing before constructing the table top. (Add dents, scratches, gouges, wood burns,etc..many distressing techniques on Pinterest.) Pick up Amy’s tutorial again, sand the surfaces, apply favorite stain, paint technique, or combination if more “rustic-ness” is needed. You can age and distress the banister rails or get chunkier rails for a more rustic look but, I’m thinking ‘industrial all the way’ and rather than banister rails for the legs, (such an INGENIOUS IDEA, btw), why not use ⓗⓐⓘⓡⓟⓘⓝ ⓛⓔⓖⓢ! You’d have a totally different-looking table using the same smart, simple plans, and still a very easy-to-do DIY that would compliment or coordinate with rustic/industrial design. There are a sites and stores that sell hairpin legs but I’ve noticed they can get a bit pricey. I have 3/8″ copper wire, found it at my local Restore for a steal, just waiting on me to give it purpose. Now, if i can figure out the best way to bend my wire into the shape of hairpin legs (It’s much stronger than the name “wire” let’s on!), then I’ll be taking on this project ASAP! I’m thinking saddle clips to attach the legs to the table and the trim pieces flush together all around since the space for the rails wouldn’t be needed. Other suggestions welcome! Thanks so much for the wonderful idea and tutorial, Amy!

        • says

          Great ideas!!! I thought about doing another one with hair pin legs. They just look sooo cool! If you happen to do this, let me know I would love to see the finished product!!!

  8. Lucia says

    This looks like something I could do! Question….. How far in (meaning towards the center of the top board) are the furring strips attached. I can tell they aren’t flush ’cause there is a bit of an overhang.


  9. Aimee says

    Hi, I love this idea – have found similar sofas and this would work perfectly.
    What color do you have on the walls?

  10. Diane says

    I really love this idea! We have an odd little “nook” in our wall where the sides are at different depths. Talk about a design challenge! (Fortunately our sofa fits within this nook.) I am looking forward to making this table to take attention away from that crazy wall and focus it on some cool stuff instead.

    Thanks for sharing!

    • says

      Hi and thank you! I actually bought the lamps from a hotel that was getting rid of all of their “old” things. They do not have a name or anything on them so I am not sure where they originally were bought. Sorry!!

  11. Sophia says

    It’s gorgeous!!! I will defenetly try to make one as beautifull as yours!!!

    But i would love to know wich color do you have on your walls 😉
    I can see that celler are white and wall some light grey??

    Please!!! Now my next step is paiting the living room and this color is just perfect for mine!!

    Tahnk you!

  12. Denise says

    wonderful, wonderful. This is so what I need. I have the same set up as yourself ( new chaise sofa for the man of the house) it sits in an alcove with a huge print behind it, (my sofa-not the husband) but it just needs a little something, this is perfect. And now my husband can see what I was trying to convey. Thanks for sharing.
    You’ve made my day

  13. Nic says

    Wow this is amazing and definitely an idea I’m going to steal for my own living room. It makes your room go from normal to ‘designed’.
    Beautiful 🙂

  14. Rebecca Lile says

    Hi if you don’t mind me asking where did you get those lamps? I’ve been searching for something similar to that style for a while.

  15. Barbara says

    Hi there! I LOVE this! I want to make this sofa table sooo bad! It would be PERFECT in my living room! Now tell us where the print button is??? Thank you!

  16. Dorothee says

    wow this is insane! I love it so much, it solves SO many problems. And makes the couch nook like a ‘built in’ feature. A lonely isolated couch looks like the social center of the house now. Really fantastic. I’m making one if it kills me

  17. Coni says

    Love the idea of a slim sofa table. I intend to make a slim shelf that will hang from the wall and the other end will rest on the backside of my sofa, thereby saving the expense of purchasing table legs. The sides will be skirted for a finished look.

    I am very interested in the sofa/lounge furniture you purchased; where did you find it?

  18. Anthony says

    Wife sent me to your link/page of this wonderful sofa table asking if I could make her this. Thankfully your step by step instructions and pictures made it possible. I was just able to finish it in time for holiday dinner! Thanks and I’m looking forward to following your posts in 2016!!

  19. Chrys says

    You mentioned all the material needed in making this darling table, But it looks like there are two small wood pieces on each end that help hold the legs secure. Could you tell me the size. I so am going to try this

    • says

      Yes there are 2 small pieces on either end and it doesn’t really matter what size you use. It really depends on how deep your table top is going to be and then you measure those 2 little pieces to fit in between the legs. The height of that pieces can also be shorter or longer depending on how you would like it to look 🙂 Hope this helps!

  20. Lauren says

    Hi, I love this! It’s gorgeous the way you decorated it as well. One question: where’d you get your couch?! I love it! Lol if you don’t mind, the brand & model # should be on the tag? Thanks so much!

  21. Joni webb says

    What a great idea!!! The way you have it now really looks warm & inviting & professional. You really nailedthe head on this one. I love it! Have a great day.

  22. says

    Hi Amy – just want to say thank you SO much for posting such a amazing tutorial! My sister and I would not have described ourselves as DIYers but took on this project none-the-less and it came out exactly as described! It cost us a little more than $25 as we had to purchase all of the materials from the wood to the paint and sandpaper to stain but it was money well spent for a custom built table that will most definitely be a conversation piece for years to come! We can’t wait to explore your blog and search for our next project!

    Here’s a link if you wanted to check out pictures of our completed table on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/melissa.winters.370/posts/661795707293967

    Melissa from NJ

    • says

      Melissa!!! It looks amazing! I love it and I love how you did the legs too. So happy this all worked for you. Thanks for sharing your pictures with me too. I love seeing how it turns for other people 🙂 Have a great day!

  23. Tameka says

    Hi there, where did the legs for this fabulous table come from? Will be my first DYI project ever, but I disparately need a sofa table like this and after spending hours searching, I give up — I’ve got to make it. Thanks!

  24. says

    Loooove using the banister spindles! I have a similar situation in my tiny guest bedroom – no room between the wall and the bed for a normal side table with the added trouble of our heat return vent at the base of the wall right there, too. This design actually kind of solves all of those problems and I can never find anything worth paying for in the stores. Thanks so much for sharing this!! -js

  25. Terina says

    This is the answer I’ve been looking for. In our family room we have a large sectional and no where to put anything including lamps. The long side of the sectional butts up to the windows and it just is lacking something. I believe this is exactly what we need back there! It will be a little longer then what you made so I’ll probably have to either put legs in the middle or some type of support but I’m so excited to make this table! Thank you so much for sharing! I’m so glad I stumbled upon your blog! Can’t wait to look thru it some more!

    • says

      HI! Perfect. Yes don’t hesitate to add extra support in the middle. So glad it’s going to work for you! Feel free to share your completed project when you are all done. I love to see them.

      • Nona says

        Could you tell me the height of the bannisters you used. I didn’t see this mentioned in the directions. Can’t wait to make this for my future daughter in law. She fell in love with sofa table.

        • says

          Hi, The height of the banisters that I used were 33.5″ tall. We cut them to fit the height of the back of our sofa. You can of course customize this to fit your space. Good luck! She will love it even more once it finished!

  26. says

    I bought everything today to make this hope all goes well, I love the little plants you have , mine is so the cats stay off the back of the sofa. You did a great job.

  27. Mary says

    Hank you so much for posting! We just bought a house with hot water heat and this will be just enough space to be able till us all three walls without have a gap! This makes it look so homey!

  28. Kristen says

    This is fantastic! You did a great job and totally inspired me. I’ve been collecting tools as I go though Pinterest and projects and I am learning a TON as a new homeowner. I just wanted to especially thank you for the info on sinking a screw. Seriously, I had no idea that was a thought out action that was done! I always thought it was just by chance that the screw heads would just be low enough to not stick above the wood. UGH! This is a total game changer! Thank you for your post! <3

    • says

      Oh yay! I love when people learn new things. I know how it feels to learn those little tips and tricks. They really do make your life a bit easier:) Glad you liked it and learned something. Thanks for reading! Amy

  29. Liz says

    Hi I love the skinny table. Would like to make one for my hallway. How do you se ure the underside so it isn’t wobbly?

    • says

      HI! Our table was slightly wobbly since it was so long and we didn’t have a center support. However I knew that we were sandwiching the table between the wall and the sofa so we didn’t need extra support. The “sandwiching” made everything super stable. If I were making the table to be free standing I would have added and extra leg in the center or added supports at the bottom running the length of the table between the legs. Hope this helps. Have a good one!

  30. Miss Jeri says

    Hello, I just wanted to tell you, that was a terrific. Thank you so much. So the metal legs are how big around.
    the ones you used for wood tables. The circumfance for each pipe. each individual rod. I hope I said it right. Thanks so much again for all kinds of ideas….Sincerely ..Miss Jeri

    • says

      HI! These are actually wooden legs. Actually they are wooden banisters from a staircase that I removed from our home. But you could definitely do metal pipes like you suggested. I would say they are about an inch thick at the top and a half inch at the bottom since they are tapered legs. Thanks so much!!

  31. Louise says

    This is genius!
    And soooo beautiful too.

    Thank you for this, l’m definately going to make one.
    Love it! Love it! Love it!

    Thank you so much for the tutorial.
    Kind regards,

    • says

      Holding up like a champ. We don’t need a middle leg because the table is sandwiched between a wall and a sofa. If I didn’t have the sofa there to completely support it against the wall then I definitely would have had to ad some extra support in the center. I would say if you aren’t planning on sandwiching your table between a wall and a piece of furniture like my sofa then definitely add the support in the middle:) Hope this helps! Amy

  32. Margaret says

    I love this! I’m thinking of taking this project on, but I’m worried that having drinks behind folks’ heads will result in more accidental spills. Have you spilled many drinks down the back of the couch?

    Thanks for the tutorial! I’ll send pictures if I end up making it myself!

  33. Debbie B says

    I used this post to make my own table over the weekend. LOVE it. I will be making one for my love seat as well. Thank you so much for sharing this.

  34. jAZMYN BONGOLAN says

    Hi I know this is a silly question but when you did your measurements for for table top the 8 is in feet correct?
    1 in x 6 in x 8 ft
    and the furrings are 1 in x 2 in x 8ft?


  35. Candi says

    This is what I’m looking for! I wanted to give my walls a break and do something different with the decor. I do have a question. Was the wood cut for you at the store? We don’t have a wood cutter. I’m going to give this a try and not spend a few hundred bucks dressing up my living room.


  1. […] 5. Skinny Sofa Table: Yes, Please! Add visual interest and charm for only $25 with this clever addition to your living room. Your windows not giving you enough light in your room? Why not also add more light to your room with some fun lamps from Lucia Lighting (tag), some coastal decor-and as always an extra place to hold your favorite drink. Grab instructions here: http://alwaysneverdone.com/2015/02/25-sofa-table-tutorial/ […]

  2. […] Want to add some color and liveliness to your seating area without compromising space for a coffee table? No problem. This $25 DIY sofa table lets you make use of the tiniest sliver of space behind your couch, so you can easily add some extra lighting or houseplants and brighten up your small living space. Find the super easy tutorial here. […]

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