35 Modern Furniture DIYs Inspired by 'Ellen's Design Challenge'

Love modern furniture as much as Ellen DeGeneres does? You don't have to be a professional designer to make your own pieces, thanks to these easy-to-follow instructions from HGTV experts.
By: Liz Gray

Photo By: Tony Flora/ AP Images ©2014, DIY Network/Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Frank Murray

Photo By: Brian Patrick Flynn

Photo By: Susan Teare

Photo By: Boyte Creative

Photo By: Eric Perry

Photo By: Ana White

Photo By: Brian Patrick Flynn

©Cole Collective

Photo By: Susan Teare

Photo By: Susan Teare ©Susan Teare

Photo By: Brian Patrick Flynn

Photo By: Boyte Creative

Take Your Own Design Challenge

On Ellen's Design Challenge, the daytime TV darling challenges some of the country's most innovative furniture designers to create custom pieces for a chance to win $100,000. Our challenge to you? Get inspired by the modern pieces featured on the show to get started building your own furniture, thanks to these easy-to-follow how-to instructions. 

Upcycled Rocking Chair

Use an old chair body, repurposed wood rockers and a fresh coat of paint to make a one-of-a-kind rocking chair.

Make This: Upcycled Modern Rocking Chair

Upcycled Adirondack Chairs

Vintage water skis are the centerpiece of these fun outdoor chairs, perfect for lakeside living (or just a water-lover's patio!)

Make This: Bright, Fun Adirondack Chairs 

Rustic Reclaimed Bench

Add rustic charm to your home's foyer with a bench crafted from reclaimed building material.

Make This: Build an Upcycled Entry Bench 

Recycled Wood Pallet Sofa

Use wooden pallets to build a sturdy seat for your deck. Colorful cushions and paint brighten the look.

Make This: Upcycled Pallet Sofa

Industrial Pipe Bench

Make an industrial-style bench using only two materials: galvanized pipes and a wooden board.

Make This: Industrial Pipe Bench

Portable Folding Chair

Perfect for furniture-making novices, it's easier than you think to make a folding chair with a fabric seat. 

Make This: Portable Camping Seat 

DIY Upholstered Chair

Upholstery can be an intimidating project, but it seems more complicated than it actually is. A thrift store arm chair with simple lines, a sturdy frame and good padding makes a perfect subject for a novice upholsterer.

Make This: DIY Upholstered Chair 

PVC Pipe Coffee Table

Make a midcentury modern-style coffee table using PVC piping and wood dowels.

Make This: Turn PVC Pipe Into a Coffee Table

Hollywood Regency End Table

Make a gold metallic table on a budget using gold spray paint and square wooden dowels.

Make This: Glam Dowel Rod End Table

DIY Concrete Table

This chic DIY concrete side table is mobile, colorful and tough, and can also double as a stool when extra seating is needed.

Make This: Colorful Concrete Side Table 

Midcentury Modern Coffee Table

Make a midcentury modern-style coffee table lumber and tapered furniture legs.

Make This: DIY Midcentury Modern Table 

Mixed Media End Tables

Make mixed media end tables using a round birch wood slice and plant stands.

Make This: Modern Wood Slice Side Table 

Or, Sub in Old Chair Legs

Sub old chair bases for tall hairpin models to create a set of rustic accent tables. 

Make This: Rustic Accent Tables

Factory Cart Coffee Table

With a reclaimed wood top and caster wheels, this step-by-step project shows you how to create a factory-style look without the sticker shock. 

Make This: DIY Factory-Cart Table

Wood and Concrete Side Table

Combine wood and concrete to make an industrial-style side table perfect for loft living. 

Make This: DIY Concrete Side Table

DIY Farmhouse Table

Want to host a weekly brunch for all your friends? You'll need a spacious dining table, like this rustic, farmhouse-style model. 

Make This: Rustic Table DIY

Vintage Suitcase Coffee Table

A custom coffee table made of a vintage suitcase is a great way to make a fun statement and show off your DIY skills.

Make This: Suitcase Coffee Table 

Modern DIY Coffee Table

This simple coffee table brings a modern vibe to any living room space.

Make This: Modern + Industrial Coffee Table 

Floating Shelf Workstation

Create a streamlined, custom floating desk that is aesthetically pleasing, efficient and packed with storage with these easy instructions.

Make This: DIY Floating Desk

Triangle Wall Shelf

Make a hanging triangle shelf that can highlight your favorite accessories — and doubles as decor, too!

Make This: Trendy Display Shelf

Floating Shelves With Belt Supports

Basic floating shelves get an upgrade with the addition of supports made from recycled leather belts.

Make This: Upcycled Belt Wall Shelf 

Industrial Pipe Shelving

See how easy it is to transform pine boards and plumbing pipes into an industrial-chic shelving unit. 

Make This: Industrial Supply Shelving 

Two-Dimensional Upholstered Headboard

Add two-times the style to your bedroom with a double-layer upholstered headboard.

Make This: Ornate Upholstered Headboard 

Faux Leather Headboard

Vegan leather is used to create a rich-looking headboard for this cottage-style bedroom. 

Make This: Faux Leather Headboard 

Picket Fence Headboard

This rustic-chic headboard was made from an old picket fence. 

Make This: Rustic Upcycled Headboard 

DIY Rustic Headboard

Add style, color and texture to your bedroom with this do-it-yourself headboard that looks anything but DIY.

Make This: Easy DIY Headboard 

Upholstered Tile Headboard

Twenty-five 12-inch upholstered squares are set in five rows of five to create this unique design. 

Make This: Upholstered Square Headboard 

Geometric Upholstered Door

Dressing up a dull interior door? Think beyond paint by adding design and texture with upholstery and nailhead trim.

Make This: Geometric Upholstered Door

Modern Art-Inspired Pet or Baby Gate

Add safety and separation to door openings, hallways or staircases with a child and baby gate inspired by iconic artist Piet Mondrian.

Make This: Modern Art Staircase Gate

Modern Copper Pendant Light

Turn copper plumping pipe into a modern, abstract pendant light with just a few simple twists and bends. 

Make This: Copper Pendant Light 

Modern Floor Lamp

Make a rustic, modern floor lamp with a tripod base and woven shade. 

Make This: Rustic Floor Lamp DIY

Hula Hoop Chandelier

If you have two hours and $20, designer Emily Henderson has just the lighting project for you: A chandelier made from basic plastic hula-hoops. 

Make This: Hula Hoop Chandelier 

Beehive Pendant Lighting

Make high-end style lighting using edge banding with these simple instructions.

Make This: Beehive Pendant Lighting 

Copper Pipe Sconce

Make an industrial-style lamp using copper piping.

Make This: Copper Pipe Floor Lamp 

Next Up

Candice's Design Tips: The Final Challenge

Antonio and Dan go head-to-head in the biggest Design Star challenge yet: making over a deserving family's entire home. See what Candice says they did right, did wrong and how she could have done it better.

Cool Down Your Design With Blue Velvet Furniture

Take cues from these designs on how to add a touch of regal sophistication to any space with blue velvet furniture.

What is Midcentury Modern Architecture, Really?

Extensive use of glass and open design concepts help this style forge a connection with nature. Learn all about midcentury modern architecture, then tour an exemplary home.

Modern Wallpaper Trends + 11 Prints to Try

Thinking about going the wallpaper route? We've got 11 ultra-mod patterns to check out.