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We have been discussing the idea of either making or buying new living room side table for quite some time. It was one of those items on the list that just kept getting put on the back burner, but something that we wanted to get done sooner, rather than later.

Then, I just so happened to stumble upon these great rustic side table building plans on Rogue Engineer right after making the entryway table. And it wasn’t until this past weekend that I got around to putting one together.

Just like the entryway, this side table was extremely easy to put together, even for a beginner like myself.

If you’re wanting the more technical tutorial, head on over to Rogue Engineer – they’ve got some great pictures of the assembly process and where to drill the Kreg holes. I’ll walk you through my process and share some key takeaways.

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diy rustic farmhouse living room end table

The Supplies

We used cedar wood and picked out the extra knotty boards. We liked the additional character the knots provided. The wood was easy to work with and really took to the stain well.

The Process


Step one. Using the miter saw, cut the wood. Here’s what you need:

  • Two 2 x 2; 24”
  • Two 2 x 2; 21”
  • Six 2 x 2; 17 ½”
  • Four 2 x 2; 22 ½”
  • Five 2 x 4; 17 ½”
  • Six 2 x 4; 21”


Step two. Assemble the top by drilling in Kreg holes and securing with 2 ½” Kreg screws.

  • Six 2 x 4 x 21
  • Two 2 x 2 x 21
  • Two 2 x 2 x 24


Step three. Assemble the shelf by drilling in Kreg holes and securing with 2 ½” Kreg screws.

  • Two 2 x 2 x 17 ½”
  • Five 2 x 4 x 17 ½”


Step four. Assemble the table frame. I only drilled one Kreg hole per piece of wood instead of two suggested on the original plans. So far, we haven’t had any problems with sturdiness.

  • Four 2 x 2 x 17 ½
  • Two 2 x 2 x 22 ½


Step five. Screw the frame and the base together.

  • One table base
  • One table frame


Step six. Screw the base onto the top. It works best if lay the top on the floor, upside down.

Step seven. Sand the entire table with 120 grit sandpaper and wipe clean.

Step eight. Stain the table. We used Varathane in Espresso. To stain, I had a few of Brett’s old t-shirts laying around so I used that to apply the stain.

Step nine. Apply a topcoat. We used Varathane polyurethane in matte.

Step ten (final step!). Screw the L-brackets to the corners.


A few after thoughts.

  • I used x size inch construction screws to put the L-brackets on the corners and the wood ended up splitting in a few areas. It’s not at all noticeable, but I think it may have something to do with the construction screws. I would recommend using wood screws if you’re planning on using the L-brackets.
  • The 2×2 pieces of wood weren’t the exact height of the 2×4 pieces, so we had to make sure they lined up correctly on the front side when screwing them together. I had to go back a few times and correct this because I lined them up underneath and not on the front.
  • On the top outside edges, the 24” pieces of wood were a touch too long. We just went back with a handsaw and chopped off the excess.

We’d like to do one more on the other side of the couch, which should hopefully be a breeze after this one. If you decide to tackle this project, we’d love to hear how it goes!

All our best,



  1. Sabrina

    I love the table Kelly, it looks so great!! You always make it look so easy!!

    • Kelly

      Thank you Sabrina! And I promise it was SO easy – the plans were very simple to follow. I think you need to have hubby teach you how to use the saw so you can start making tables too 🙂


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