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

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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

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Genevieve'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 Genevieve says they did right, did wrong and how she could have done it better.

Vern'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 Vern says they did right, did wrong and how she could have done it better.

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