This post will show you how I made a DIY patio coffee table with a concrete top, except you don’t have to pour any concrete! I used concrete pavers and 2×2 as a much simpler approach. This project is featured in 30 Builds to Put Your KregJig to Work.
How to make a DIY patio coffee table with 2×2 and pavers!
I first made over our tiny backyard for the spring 2018 One Room Challenge and shared everything in this post. Then in July I shared an update. Part of that update was moving the table and benches up to the balcony and creating more of a lounge space in the backyard.
We scored a great deal on a loveseat and two matching chairs on closeout at Target, but we needed a small coffee table to complete the space. I mean really small…it’s a small deck, and the new furniture took up a decent amount of space. So I built one. 🙂
I wanted a concrete top but didn’t want to mess with making a mold, pouring concrete, setting it, etc. etc. So pavers are the next best thing! They might not look as good as one large concrete slab, but I think they look pretty damn good. As a bonus, I decided not to seal them, so they just act as coasters when you set a drink on them.
- 2×2 pine (get the full cut list in the printable plans linked below)
- Random orbit sander
- Concrete pavers
- Liquid Nails Heavy Duty Construction Adhesive
- Varathane wood stain in Kona
- Minwax Helmsman Spar Urethane in Satin
- Kreg Jig and pocket hole screws
And here’s how I made our DIY patio coffee table
Step 1: Cut pieces and drill pocket holes
First I cut all pieces and used my Kreg Jig to drill all of the pocket holes. You can download the free printable build plans at the download link in this post (the pic with me in it!) for the whole cut list and guide for pocket holes. I chose 2×2 for the base because I love the square shape. (Remember—it’s really 1 1/2″ by 1 1/2″, by 2 inches by 2 inches.)
Step 2: Assemble base structure
Next I assembled the base of the coffee table like so. First I created the two rectangles for the sides. Then I added the four longer stretchers to assemble the bulk of the base.
To construct the table, it’s best to either have a second set of hands to hold everything in place, or you can use clamps to keep everything secure. The pocket holes help keep everything really secure and stable for the heavy pavers.
Step 3: Add base supports
Once the base was complete, I added an additional three support pieces along the top of the table base to help support the pavers. I only used three small pavers, but they are heavy! This has definitely been enough support for the table. Ditching the middle support might actually be fine, too. But better safe than sorry, and I had the wood!
Step 4: Stain, finish, and add pavers
I stained and finished the base using Varathane wood stain in Kona and Minwax Helmsman Spar Urethane in Satin. Once everything was dry, I ran adhesive along the entire top of the table and carefully placed each paver.
I didn’t use clamps or add any additional weight because the pavers are so heavy themselves. I let it dry completely before letting any rain get on it or before using it for anything.
And that’s my DIY patio coffee table with a cheap paver top. We love it! In fact, I loved it so much I used the rest of my 2×2 to build a matching concrete paver side table. You can see it in the pics below.
COFFEE TABLE UPDATE!
Hey all, we’ve now been through three whole summers with our little DIY patio coffee table, and about the same amount of time since I shared the plans. This post has been pretty popular, so I wanted to give an update. We use it a ton, and we let the coffee table and side table sit outside, uncovered, all winter.
Keep in mind that there is a second-story deck above this area, so it was shielded from some of the elements. All I have done each spring is thoroughly scrub everything down. You can read about that process in my post about how to get the yard ready for spring and summer.
We did push the table out of the way when Ramona was first learning to walk and was very unsteady on her feet. You definitely don’t want a wobbly little baby/toddler around these concrete corners. But now that she is a much better walker, we have it pulled back out.
The only thing I might change—and might actually do some time this summer if I can find the time—is seal the pavers with Thompson’s Waterseal (see my post on using Thompson’s waterseal to seal clay pots). Using unsealed pavers means they act like giant coasters, which is great.
But it can also be negative if you spill something on them like red wine or liquid candle wax from a mosquito candle. It is nearly impossible to clean it off. You can see those marks on some of the more recent pics of the table below. But for now, we know it’s an outdoor table and isn’t going to be perfect.
It’s still serving us really well and is the perfect size for this tiny space. For a while last summer, I actually pushed it up against the house where I could set some houseplants for the summer. Most of them don’t like direct sunlight, so they needed a sheltered place to go. We put an inflatable pool on the deck like the rednecks we are.
Let me know if you build one! And of course don’t forget the matching side table. We’ve gotten a ton of use out of that, too! Well, it’s mostly a plant stand these days. But that’s ok. 🙂