Narrow Cottage End Tables

Submitted by Ana White on Wed, 06/22/2011 - 12:37
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About Project

Free do it yourself easy DIY plans to build cottage style end tables. Featuring a narrow design, perfect for fitting in tight spaces, with one large room drawer, this step by step project plan can be made by beginning woodworkers.

I've been on this quest of late to find and build the perfect end tables for my small home. Requirements - some storage, narrow profile, just right height, and add a little color and charm to my otherwise natural colored living room. I love how this table turned out - a perfect drawer to stash remotes, the perfect height for resting a morning cup of coffee (and laptop) yet a narrow profile that works just right for smaller living spaces.

Dimensions are shown above.


Shopping List

1 - 2x2 @ 8 feet long (grab 2 if you don't have a pocket hole jig)
1 - 1x10 @ 8 feet long
1 - 1x4 @ 4 feet long
1 - 1x3 @ 4 feet long
1 - 1x2 @ 2 feet long
1/4" plywood scrap (for bottom of drawers)
1 - knob or handle
1 set 16" drawer slides, the white cheapo ones that fasten on the bottom corners

Common Materials
1 1/4 inch screws
2 1/2 inch screws
120 grit sandpaper
wood conditioner
paint brush
Cut List

1 - 1x10 @ 24" (Top)
2 - 1x3 @ 24" (Top Trim)
2 - 1x10 @ 19" (Sides)
1 - 1x10 @ 9 1/4" (Width of 1x10)
2 - 1x2 @ 9 1/4" (Width of 1x10)
4 - 2x2 @ 24" (Legs)
3 - 2x2 @ 9 1/4" (Width of legs, use if you do not have a pocket hole jig)
Drawer cut list given in plan

Tape Measure
Speed Square
Safety Glasses
Hearing Protection
Kreg Jig
Circular Saw
Power Sander
Drill Bit Set
General Instructions

Please read through the entire plan and all comments before beginning this project. It is also advisable to review the Getting Started Section. Take all necessary precautions to build safely and smartly. Work on a clean level surface, free of imperfections or debris. Always use straight boards. Check for square after each step. Always predrill holes before attaching with screws. Use glue with finish nails for a stronger hold. Wipe excess glue off bare wood for stained projects, as dried glue will not take stain. Be safe, have fun, and ask for help if you need it. Good luck!


Step 1

This narrow cottage style end table can be made with either the Kreg Jig or countersunk screws. The great thing about the Kreg Jig is your joints will be precise and square - super important when you are building with drawers. Your drawer won't fit right if your box is not perfectly square, so take great care to check for square after each step.

Build the back first. I did things in this order so you can get your drill in for pocket holes.

Note that the end apron needs to be cut to the width of your 1x10s, expected to be 9 1/4" but dimensional lumber can vary in width.

Step 2

Now build the front, using the 1x2s as shown here. If you are not using pocket holes, you will need to very carefully predrill holes and use 2 1/2" screws and glue, predrilling from the outsides of the legs.

Note these boards need to be cut to the width of your 1x10s.

Step 3

And now attach the sides to the front and back.

NOTE: You may wish to attach drawer slides to side aprons before attaching side aprons to end/front due to lack of clearance for your drill. Slide bottom will sit 2" from bottom of side aprons. See last step.

Step 4

If you have a Kreg Jig, build your top as shown in the diagram. Otherwise, add blocking with 2x2s and attach the top to the blocks with either finish nails from the top, or 2" screws from the underside. The 1x10 will fit in the center, not crossing the side aprons. Put the 1x10 on first, followed by the 1x3 side trim.

Step 5

Step 6

Fit the drawer box in the drawer, with the fronts of slides starting at the legs, and the bottom of the slides (the long flat part of the box members) attached 2" up from the side apron bottoms. Once you are happy with the drawer slides, cut a face for the drawer from the 1x10s, and fit so an even 1/8" gap rests on all sides, and attach with 1 1/4" screws or finish nails from insides.

Finishing Instructions
Preparation Instructions
Fill all holes with wood filler and let dry. Apply additional coats of wood filler as needed. When wood filler is completely dry, sand the project in the direction of the wood grain with 120 grit sandpaper. Vacuum sanded project to remove sanding residue. Remove all sanding residue on work surfaces as well. Wipe project clean with damp cloth.

It is always recommended to apply a test coat on a hidden area or scrap piece to ensure color evenness and adhesion. Use primer or wood conditioner as needed.