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.
Take this winter furniture shuffled tour HERE
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:
medium to fine sandpaper or orbital sander (I like Bosch variable speed)
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!
Visit the pallet wood TV stand tutorial HERE
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!
See the other side of the blanket in the Christmas living room decorating ideas tour HERE
Visit tutorials: Wood plank skis / Oil funnel lamp / Window gate screens / White Ektorp sofas tour
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.
Visit the rock fireplace makeover HERE
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!
Visit the winter pillow tutorial HERE
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.
Visit the crate snack box tutorial and bench makeover HERE
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:
Outdoor coffee table, farmhouse style
Industrial coffee table, coffee crate-style
See more unique: coffee tables HERE / side tables HERE
View sign stencils to customize your projects from HERE
Check out more unique DIY projects HERE
17 thoughts on “DIY coffee table from an antique dresser”
The dresser looks perfect as a coffee table!
Thank-you! I adore it! I just wish my kitchen cabs had the same patina now. Abra cadabra…
Brilliant ideas as usual. Only I’m so bummed that I got rid of a very similar dresser never thinking of it as a coffee table. It would have been perfect, just like yours is! Is the table/wood bin the farmhouse table you had on your porch? Just curious. Again, another great useful transformation!! Perfection! Such inspiration!
Thanks Toni! Why it took me 2 years to think of this I have no idea. I’m crazy about it! Hopefully you’ll land another perfect piece for a song so you can try it too!
And yes, good eye! That farmhouse table is the same as the firewood box! That little table has been transformed a zillion times over! haha
Cool coffee table. Very inspiring. So great to save beautiful old things that too often end up in landfills.
Still wish you would do something with your modern TV!
Thank-you! It’s the prettiest coffee table I’ve ever had!
And you’ll have to suffer with the TV as-is for the duration of me living here. LOL If I install it on the wall, it’s too far away from the sofa so that won’t work! I just embrace what it is, much like looking at a computer. Doesn’t bother me in the least!
Yay for lightbulb moments, lol!
The dresser is perfect Donna, plus it has storage. I predict it will be a keeper for awhile.
The little bench side table is perfect too!
I just love your junky vibe. 🙂
Thanks Kim! It’s a pretty nice upgrade from what I had!
I absolutely love your dresser coffee table – brilliant idea!
Thanks Ann! I can’t wait to fill the drawers with coffee table things now instead of… well, bedroom things. haha
I had a small antique dresser just like that one. Never in a million years would I have thought to turn it into a coffee table. What a clever idea! It looks so good with your white sofa, never mind all that handy storage potential.
Thanks Marie! That wood tone is the absolute exact thing I was heading towards and the entire reason I got the piece in the first place! Who knew when it was too short for my TV that it just needed to be SHORTER to work? haha
Wow! You never cease to amaze me with your wonderful and inspirational ideas! Your living room looks like should be in a magazine. Thanks for always sharing your amazing work!
Hi Donna. I have been following you for many years now and am always delighted in your creativity. You might think you have an issue with math, however. to create all the items you do, you have surely mastered it!!!!! Thanks for sharing all your ideas out here in blogland. Blessings
Love this so much. 🙂
How do you manage to casually throw a dish towel over a gorgeous little repurposed side table and make it look like a million bucks 😀 Love both ideas, Donna. Did you do anything to the backend of the little dresser coffee table?
Gorgeous coffee table. The wood tone coloring really adds a touch of warm color that blends great. What a super find. From one furniture shuffler to another, LOVE THIS!!!