Build a Coffee Table to Fit Over Storage Ottomans

A custom coffee table with a marble inset is made to slide over a set of cushioned ottomans.

Coffee Table After

Tools and Materials:

3/4” poplar hardwood
3/4” plywood
1/2” plywood
marble tile remnant (ours was 15-1/2” x 12-3/4”)
Brad nailer and nails
tape measure
wood glue
pocket screws and wood screws
sander and sandpaper
wood putty
paint, paintbrushes and rags
table saw and miter saw
power drill with a counter sink bit
pocket jig


Toe Nailing Table Legs

1. Cut the pieces to length from the poplar boards. We made ours to fit over our ottomans.
Legs: (these pieces will be sandwiched together to make thick legs)
 - 12 pieces at 2-1/4” x 20”
 - 12 pieces at 2-1/4” x 24 1/2”

 - trim - two pieces at 1-1/2” x 28”
 - slats and trim - 20 pieces at 1-1/2 x 26 1/2”

2. To make the legs, build six frames out of the poplar. These frames will be glued and nailed together to create two 20” x 24-1/2” frames.

3. Sandwich the frames together so that the pocket holes are hidden on the inside and the joints are staggered at the corners. Fasten the frames to each other with glue and brad nails.

Sanding Coffee Table Legs

4. Fill any nail holes with wood putty and sand any rough edges.

5. To build the tabletop, cut a 26-1/2” x 26-1/2” plywood square – this will be the sub-top that the slats will be glued to.

Coffee Table Marble Inset

6. Cut a piece of1/2” plywood to the size of your inset tile, (ours was 15-1/2” x 12-3/4”).

Coffee Table Making Top

7. Cut the slats for the table top to size. Dry fit them around 1/2” plywood for the tile. The tile should sit flush with the rest of the tabletop. Secure the slats to the sub-top with glue and nails.

8. Use the two remaining slat pieces and the trim pieces to trim around the table. Secure the pieces with glue and nails.

9. Fill any gaps on the table surface with wood putty and sand the tabletop so that it is smooth.

Coffee Table Nailing Legs

10. Use glue, a countersink bit and screws to fasten the legs to the underside of the sub-top.

11. Paint the table. When it is dry, seal it with polyurethane.

12. Set the marble tile remnant into the inset. The weight of the marble should keep the tile in place.

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