How I built a $500 farm­house ta­ble for un­der $90

The Hamilton Spectator - - STYLE - SEAN WELSH The Bal­ti­more Sun

My wife and I had the same din­ner ta­ble since we first got mar­ried: a tiny, light­weight Ikea num­ber that in­cluded four chairs for un­der $150.

Just mar­ried and liv­ing in a town­house with a dog, it was all we needed. And it was the right price: un­der $200 for the ta­ble and chairs.

Flash for­ward about 12 years and we were due for a new ta­ble — two homes and three kids later, the tiny Ikea ta­ble had out­lived its use­ful­ness for us.

After pro­cras­ti­nat­ing for about a year, I fi­nally got us an up­graded ta­ble this spring — well, I built it. For un­der $100.

This isn’t the first time I’ve built some­thing for our home.

My wife and I built loft beds for our two older kids in suc­ces­sive years. They made fun projects and mean­ing­ful Christ­mas gifts.

They were also af­ford­able and rel­a­tively easy to make, thanks to plans from an­other handy par­ent’s web­site.

So I went back to the well, us­ing Ana White’s web­site again with a weekend project last month while my wife was out of town.

A trip to Home De­pot and about $80 later, I had all the sup­plies I needed — granted, a lot of the tools I’d al­ready grabbed for past projects. But Home De­pot made all the ma­jor cuts I needed to the specs on Ana’s web­site.

Flash for­ward a few hours over two days — this can be done in a day if you don’t have three “helpers” un­der the age of 9, in­clud­ing an ornery 6-year-old ob­sessed with us­ing the drill — and we had a new farm­house ta­ble large enough to seat eight peo­ple com­fort­ably.

It wasn’t with­out some frus­tra­tions — after all, I’m no pro­fes­sional fur­ni­ture maker, and while those Ikea chairs I as­sem­bled a dozen years ago are still stand­ing, some of the slats of them are at­tached wrong.

But this is a doable project for the am­a­teur wood worker.

If you have a weekend free — I won’t know what that’s like again un­til after Lit­tle League sea­son wraps up in early June — this is a doable project.

And it’ll im­prove your home five­fold what you spend.

Now I just need to find time to stain it. Once that’s done, it’ll be on to an­other weekend project — per­haps a bench for the ta­ble, a new bed with stor­age space or the out­door seat­ing I’ve been cov­et­ing for our deck.

For plans on this project, visit


This farm­house ta­ble was built for $90. It’s a project suit­able for an am­a­teur wood­worker, us­ing plans from a blog.

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