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10 DIY Tables You Can Build Quickly

Hosting a party can be a lot of fun. The days before are packed with preparation and meal planning, but everything falls into place. Or at least it seems to... right before the realization hits that you have more guests coming than seats at the table! If that's the situation you're facing, there's only one solution for the true DIYer. That's right, it's time to roll up your sleeves and get to work building one of these great DIY tables.

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Picnic TableFamily Handyman

Picnic Table

For fast additional seating, few things beat a picnic table. And if the weather in your area permits, picnic tables are an excellent choice to set up when friends and family visit. They help avoid the primary pitfall of adding indoor seating: the sudden lack of walking space, especially for seniors and young kids. This attractive pedestal picnic DIY table (and how to build a table story) will give your guests a place to sit while also giving them space to move around. And have the added benefit of an outdoor eating space you can enjoy when everyone has returned home.
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Pallet Coffee TableIgi Jakubiec/Shutterstock

Pallet Coffee Table

Pallets are one of most popular salvage materials in the DIY world. And this is as true of dollies and planters as it is for a DIY table. Often salvaged from industrial companies or construction sites, pallets can also be purchased directly. But regardless of how they're obtained, they provide a rough-hewn character without sacrificing solid structure. This attractive coffee table is simply a spray painted pallet set on casters and topped with a pane of glass. It's a quick, fun build that's also a wonderful addition to your home's decor.
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Door Slab Table

Door Slab Table

Old interior door slabs and cabinet doors make fascinating DIY wood table tops, and can be combined with found items or simple legs to create quick and charming DIY tables. Of course, this project makes the most sense if you've already removed the door slabs during an upgrade. But slabs are often available in salvage stores, and these reclaimed items are sometimes amazingly attractive and intricately detailed. Go on a treasure hunt at your local salvage yard to find the perfect DIY wood table top. Photo: Courtesy of Woohome
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Laminate Top

Laminate Top

Most of what defines a table is the top. A simple laminate top can be set on top of a pair of cabinets, low bookshelves, or even sawhorses to create an impromptu table. And if you're only building a top, you can easily turn out several in quick succession, allowing you to set up tables wherever they're needed. And better yet, since the tops store on edge, they're easy to put into storage after seasonal gatherings are over. However, if you do decide to make your own legs, this list of shop tricks includes a great method for making simple and speedy DIY table legs.
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Umbrella TableFamily Handyman

Umbrella Table

The sleek look of this umbrella table is a perfect addition to your outdoor furniture. It's a simpler build than it first appears, and can be put together on short notice and rolled out to greet your warm-weather guests. Sipping a cool drink in the shade of a patio umbrella is the ideal way to spend a hot afternoon. And this stylish umbrella table (and how to build a table story) will set your umbrella off beautifully and provide a stable base to avoid accidents when the wind picks up. The base is made from plywood and No. 2 cedar, with the top made from knot-free cedar or pressure-treated deck boards. And the cost varies depending on your materials. Follow the complete plans to learn how to build a table base like the one shown here. You'll need moderate skills to complete this project. For example, using pocket screws and operating a miter saw, but you should be able to finish it over a weekend.
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Black Pipe & Wood

If you want the sturdiness of metal legs but don't want to go to the trouble of learning how to cut pipe to length and spot-weld it together, black iron piping is the material for you. Black iron pipe is available in the plumbing section of hardware stores and comes in preset threaded lengths, as well as an assortment of flanges and joints. Pair it with a simple DIY wood table top and you're set! To build a wood and iron pipe DIY table, simply screw together a frame, and use the flanges to attach to a wood, laminate, or door slab top. If you want to make things even easier, use pre-cut lumber for the top. And you'll only have a few cuts to make and fasteners to set before you have a fully functional DIY table.
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Fold-Out Storage TableFamily Handyman

Fold-Out Storage Table

This is a "two birds with one stone" project. If you've been looking for an excuse to add work space to your basement or garage, then this is a perfect project to take on before guests arrive. Using an old shelf or cabinet, this fold-out table will serve your party admirably and is easily moved to another location after your guests have gone. And making table legs for this project is simple, they're just metal. This project is especially useful if you have a large gathering planned, and you want to keep the indoor disruptions to a minimum. And this fold-out DIY table is a great place to set up additional snack stations or buffet-style food for grazing.
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Polished Concrete Table TopFamily Handyman

Polished Concrete Table Top

Although it certainly doesn't seem like it would be a quick project, this gorgeous concrete table-top builds faster than you'd think. And it's an excellent introduction to working with finished concrete. Follow the plans for a complete how to for building this table, including how to make table legs from wood. The longest part of forming a concrete top is building the form. But once you've mastered that skill the rest moves along easily. Working on a smaller scale—such as the DIY coffee table shown here—allows you to put custom detailing into the DIY table while also providing your guests with a beautiful conversation piece on which to rest their drinks.
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Quickie Kids' Table

A simple DIY table such as the one shown here make excellent kids' tables. And this one is built around a quickly assembled frame, and everything is secured with screws. If you don't already have a pocket screw jig, then this project is the perfect excuse to add one to your DIY arsenal.
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Infinity TableFamily Handyman

Infinity Table

This may be the most complicated table we've looked at so far, but it has a 'Wow' factor that your house guests will be discussing long after they've departed. With a clever use of mirrors and LEDs, this "infinity table" has a retro-futurist feel that's one of a kind.

Dan Stout
Ohio-based freelance writer and author Dan Stout is a former residential remodeler, commercial site supervisor and maintenance manager. He’s worked on nearly all aspects of building and DIY including project planning and permitting, plumbing, basic electric, drywall, carpentry, tiling, painting and more. He also publishes noir fantasy thrillers, including The Carter Series, from Penguin imprint DAW Books.