DIY mid century modern coffee table west elm hack

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Coffee tables are expensive, you guys! While searching for a new coffee table to purchase, I was having trouble finding anything I loved within my budget.  Even at my favorite places like Target and Marshalls coffee table prices were more than I was willing to pay. Lacking any other reasonable, stylish options, I knew that creating a dreamy coffee table myself would a) be fun and b) cost effective and c) be exactly the style I want.

This project was born out of absolute necessity. I needed at West Elm inspired Mid Century Modern coffee table, but I needed one at Marshalls prices. After I made the decision to DIY a coffee table myself , I turned to Pinterest to begin looking for coffee table inspiration. Although I knew I needed a coffee table for my new apartment,  I wasn't married to any particular style...yet. 

I had previously renovated Paul's plain, wood coffee table (from college) into a rustic, farmhouse style coffee table. My success with the first coffee table renovation gave me confidence that this next one would be an equal or greater success.

I eventually decided on a DIY Mid Century Modern style coffee table, inspired by (basically everything at) West Elm. This project is sort of medium difficulty. If you have a handy brother, boyfriend, husband, friend I would maybe enlist his help because as handy as I consider myself, I did need second hands and a little extra help with some of the hardware attachment/ hammering aspects of this project. I created this coffee table for under 75 dollars (I did already own the hairpin legs though! and some of the supplies/tools though).

west elm inspired mid century coffee table DIY project

To complete this project, you will need:

1) common boards from Home Depot (or wherever)- definitely have them cut the boards for you. AND line them up and check to make sure everything lines up BEFORE YOU LEAVE the store. We had them re-cut a few times as things just weren't lining up right. Literally set the coffee table up as it will eventually be while in home depot.

-4 boards that are 36 inches long by 11 inches wide

-2 boards that are 22 inches long by 3 inches wide for the sides

2) wood stain

3) nails

4) hammer

5) hairpin legs like these ( I had leftover ones from dreams of creating a summer backyard table)

6) drill and screws

7) screw driver (optional)

8) foam brushes and/or paint brushes

9) wood glue 

10) black spray paint


1) stain the wood using whatever color you'd like, I used Dark Walnut after trying out a few different options.

West Elm inspired mid century coffee table DIY
painting my west elm inspired DIY mid century coffee table project

2) Line the edges of your boards together and wood glue them together. Let the wood glue dry for a few hours at least.

3) Take the pre-cut boards (once dry) and line them up correctly. You will need someone's help most likely with this part. I held the boards together while Paul nailed with my pink hammer, because, turns out, I have no idea how to nail wood boards together. The wood glue PLUS the nails all work together to keep the coffee table sturdy.

West Elm inspired DIY Mid Century Modern Coffee Table

4) use your drill to drill holes in the bottom of the table using a drill bit. Lining up these holes correctly is the most difficult part. We measured, re-measured and still I ended up just winging it pretty much to make sure the bases (for the hairpin legs) were lined up correctly so the table wouldn't be crooked. (As you can see, I let the boards dry on the paper after using wood glue and some paper stuck to it. The bit with the paper stuck to it became the bottom of the coffee table).

how to attach legs to a west elm inspired diy mid century coffee table

5) Once you have the holes in the correct spots and lined up with the hairpin leg bases, its very easy to just screw the legs on. You can actually just continue attaching by using a screw driver and screwing the screws right into the table. You can also use a drill for this part. I used a screwdriver because it was just easier for me and very quick too.

 The really nice part about this table is that its very portable. to transport it to my new apartment (across the country) I just unscrewed the legs, and the table was flat and slid right into my trunk. Again, once the holes are in the right spots, you can easily take apart this table and put it back together.

6) I decided at the last minute to spray paint my hairpin legs black instead of the steel gray that they came in. Because it was a last minute decision after the table was already put together, I just covered up the table for protection and started spraying. I would recommend painting the hairpin legs earlier in the process, ideally while you paint the boards. 

west elm inspired mid century coffee table

7) style your new mid century coffee table and enjoy. I like the rustic edge that this coffee table has, too!

Try this out! It's a fun and rewarding  project on a lazy Saturday or Sunday afternoon. You can even have Netflix on while you do it! Let me know how it goes in the comments section below! Also, reach out if you have any questions, concerns, thoughts or feedback!! Thanks, guys!

west elm coffee table hack