I've been looking at this project for 2-3 years. After spending a lot of time in the lumber store looking at 1x boards for planks (and not finding any that I was very happy with), I walked by the plywood section and saw a really nice looking piece of plywood made by the Araucoply company. Not only did it look better than the plank boards I found on my visit, it was 1/2 the price of the board I was looking at. I live in Fairbanks, Alaska and it only cost $29 for an 8' sheet of Aruacoply. I brought it home and ripped it with my circular saw, using a homemade rip guide. I made the table 2' wide by 8' long and stained it with ebony stain. I spent the next two weeks cutting stencils and painting the table top. Once it was covered with some of my favorite quotes, poems, lyrics, and graphics, I sealed everything with three coats of semi-gloss polyurethane. I blurred out poems written by my kids in the photo attached to this post.
I built the base in about two hours and stained the legs with a light blue Varathane stain that was on discount at the local box store because the can was dented. If I hadn't spent so much time stenciling, I could have easily been done with the whole thing in no more than 2.5 hours.