DIY coffee table from an antique dresser
Give your living room an aesthetic upgrade, by creating an easy and beautiful DIY coffee table using an antique dresser! Step-by-step instructions along with a winter living room tour with many other unique ideas!
Awhile back, I picked up this incredible oak antique dresser from a local garage sale.
When I spotted that decadent blonde washed oak stain, I HAD to have it! My plan had been to use the dresser as a TV media stand in the living room, but after getting it home, it was inches off. DRAT.
So after being in storage for awhile, I finally pulled the vintage dresser into my bedroom to house the TV in there. But sadly, the TV was too low for my higher bed. Even with an added shelf. Double drat.
However the dresser stayed like this acting as a TV stand for a good long year until I recently pulled THIS subway styled dresser back into the room to get the right TV height back once again. Shuffle furniture much?!
Leaving this antique dresser back up for grabs once again. Sigh.
Shorter antique dressers are gorgeous, however in today’s world, they appear miniature compared to other taller pieces of furniture. So… what are they even good for at this point?!
But I still adored the wood tone on this dresser, wishing my entire home was furnished with more wood like it!
So I pushed the dresser out of the bedroom, parking it in the living room for a moment when I thought… wait a minute… would this work?!
Let’s ask Lake in Catville! (another name I call my cat-pulled carpet)
Could a simple dresser be the perfect coffee table?!
I mean, how gorgeous is this piece of furniture with that decadent tabletop alongside those white slipcovered sofas?
And that’s when inspiration hit, and I instantly knew this antique dresser was about to become the antique farmhouse coffee table of my dreams! Without building or buying a thing!
But this DIY coffee table plan inspired other plans! Let’s also create a unique way to store firewood, along with a functional coffee table made from a bench and scrap pieces of wood.
Goodness. All these new DIY coffee table ideas, thanks to a good furniture shuffle! And the results to all were perfection.
So here’s the instructions on how to transform any dresser into your own coffee table, along with a pretty winter living room tour, and much more!
DIY coffee table from an antique dresser
Supplies you’ll need:
antique dresser of choice
a long piece of wood as a saw guide
To make an end table:
To remove the casters:
Sizing your coffee table
How tall is a coffee table?
General sources suggest a coffee table height ought to be the same height as your couch seat cushions (approx 14-20″ high) or slightly under.
So I decided to do one better. I scooted a bench in front of my sofa, sat down, then stacked some wood planks on a bench to try different heights that felt good to me.
My chosen height ended up being 22.5″h, with sofa cushion height of 20.5″h.
What overall size of a coffee table?
A common size suggestion for a coffee table frame is ⅔” the length of your sofa, and approx 14-20″ deep.
Turns out, my dresser was about ⅔ the length of my sofa, or just under! I vote to use whatever you feel fits.
My own finished dresser size is: 40″ long, 20″ deep, and 22.5″ high after the legs were cut.
How to remove antique furniture casters
If your antique dresser has casters at the bottom of each leg, the best time to remove them if you wish to keep or reuse them is before you cut the dresser legs off.
1. Place dresser on its short side on the floor. Secure it by leaning against it or stepping on a leg.
2. Using a hammer, tap an awl tip around the edge of the caster rim to create a gap so you can grab the swivel casing.
3. Clamp the caster or caster casing with adjustable pliers, then tap it out with a hammer.
One caster came out with the swivel casing, but the rest came out without. They can be tricky to remove!
Cutting the dresser legs
Measure your desired dresser height, then pencil the measurements using a carpenter’s square to create a nice straight line.
Create a jigsaw fence before you cut
Creating a jigsaw fence helps keep your cuts perfectly straight!
1. Using 2 construction clamps, clamp a cedar strip into place where you wish to cut the legs, ensuring the jigsaw blade will hit your line.
Sadly, I cut one leg crooked before using a fence for the other three legs. No comparison! The fence made cutting the legs straight a breeze.
2. Slide the jigsaw metal guide along the fence to achieve a perfectly straight cut.
If you wish to install the casters into the cut feet, drill holes large enough for the caster housings. Then tap them into the legs gently with a hammer or twist in by hand if possible.
I decided to not to use the casters in case they scratch the floor, and stuck on furniture felt protectors instead.
So let’s whip up an easy side table next!
DIY side table with a bench and reclaimed wood
For a smaller, simple DIY coffee table, I choose to screw some reclaimed wood to the top of a ready-made bench, which turned out so cool!
White bench: 19″ long, 10″ deep, and 21″ high
Wood planks: 3.5″ deep x 11 ½” long x 5/8″ thick
1. Cut wood planks to fit the top of the bench, then use a sander to smooth them out.
2. Lay the planks on the floor, good-side-down.
3. Place bench upside down on top of the planks.
4. Attach the wood planks to the bench using short screws from the underside the bench so the screws don’t show from the top.
Isn’t this rustic coffee table the cutest?
And no screws in sight! Just that beautiful wood which incidentally was kindling given to me by my brother!
And now that all the building is done, here’s everything put to work in this winter living room tour!
Winter living room decorating ideas tour
So let’s light the fireplace, settle the cat in, and get cozy for this winter living room decorating ideas tour with all my new toys!
DIY coffee table from an antique dresser
And here’s the newly shortened DIY coffee table from an antique dresser! Isn’t it perfect?
Woodsy decorations for the table
A couple of bark covered candles with one on a wooden pedestal, along with a woodsy tray with a faux snowdrops plant in a moss covered clay pot offer a winter / spring vibe, saving room for the quintessential coffee cup to come!
This wood coffee table is looking very cozy indeed!
Cozy black and white buffalo check blanket
Since my chosen colors are quite neutral, this velvety-soft black and white buffalo checked blanket is the perfect cozy touch to the white sofas!
The blanket is velvet-like on one side, and a white plush on the other. It was found at Walmart during Christmas. It feels every bit as nice as it looks too!
As you can see, the two white Ektorp 3.5 white slipcovered sofas along with the ottoman take up lots of space, so the size of this smaller vintage dresser as a DIY coffee table is perfection!
There’s lots of room to walk around it, while being easy to scoot around as desired, thanks to the felt protectors on the legs.
The bonus of using a dresser for a coffee table is the added drawer space!
What a perfect place to stash TV and gaming remotes, magazines, unread newspapers, game boards, puzzles or even an extra cozy blanket!
The level of the dresser coffee table sits just over the level of the sofa cushions, which I personally love.
I like the added height so I don’t have to lean over as much to set down a cup or plate.
A simple winter fireplace mantel
The rock fireplace is very simple for winter, wearing 1 single large twig wreath, along with an antique wooden barrel to hold the fireplace tools, and a Canadian butter vintage crate holding firewood kindling.
But wait until you see what the firewood is being stored in next!
A firewood bin from an upside down side table
This black metal frame is actually the old coffee table turned upside down! See it upright HERE
The table has a plywood top that the firewood is sitting on, further protecting the floor with felt furniture sliders underneath.
Two antique construction levels were placed on top of both set of legs to act as ‘intentional handles’ for the firewood bin.
The firewood has never looked so orderly! And I love that all the bark is in full view. I think the firewood adds so much rustic texture that’s fun to look at as an added room feature!
DIY side table bench
And the little bench that turned into a DIY side table fits perfectly between the two sofas! It offers the perfect place to sit a cup of coffee down.
Tip: Instead of a beverage coaster, use a pretty folded black and white tea towel, table runner style, which adds a little extra visual warmth while further protecting the raw wood surface of the table!
The other sofa is very busy looking cozy with a couple of IKEA fur rugs, oversized pillows, and a stenciled winter pillow cover done up in neutrals.
And beside the sofa sits my Bayberry green bench topped with my very favorite Chestnuts-themed snack box!
But when Sky looks you in the eye with that cutie pie face, that means it’s time to grab a blanket and a fresh hot coffee and join her!
The hardest part will be which new coffee table to use for my coffee cup…
But it’s nice to have a few pretty DIY coffee table styles to choose from, isn’t it?
Take the video tour!
Click above to take a short video tour of the room! NOTE: click STAY when the option comes up.
Other repurposed coffee table ideas:
Check out more unique DIY projects HERE