When we moved earlier this year — from a spacious and funky mid-century modern house to a 100-year-old, cozy (and what I mean by that is much smaller) Craftsman — we got rid of a lot of furniture that just didn’t work. The Salvation Army was the lucky recipient of our giant round coffee table, which felt like it took up most of our new living room. While I tried to decide whether to keep and reupholster some Goodwill armchairs or store them, where the fainting chair worked (or didn’t), and whether to give in to my husband’s repeated pleas for a sectional, a sort of decor paralysis set in and the lack of a coffee table fell off the radar.
That’s where my husband stepped in: With some copper pipe and other inexpensive supplies, he made a beautiful custom coffee table in a weekend. I love the industrial craftsman feel of it — and how indestructible it is (for the price of an Ikea table). And I’m excited to see the patina develop on the copper as it ages.
What you’ll need to get started, including links for any item that might need a bit more explanation:
– 10′ section of 3/4″ copper pipe, about $15 (depending on size of your table, you may need 2)
– 6 Copper pressure tees, used to make the joints that connect table legs to the middle bar, about $2.75 each
– 4 Copper tube caps, used to cover the edge of the pipe where it meets the floor, about 70 cents apiece
– 4 SharkBite connectors, which allow the straight-edged copper pipe to connect to the floor flanges, about $6.50 each
– 4 floor flanges, used to attach the legs to the top, about $5 each
– tubing cutter, which starts at about $7
– wood of your choice for the tabletop
Total cost for materials: less than $90
There’s nothing too tricky about putting it all together. Once you decide on a tabletop, you’ll need to do the back-of-envelope sketches to determine lengths of tubing. The cutter is so ridiculously easy to operate that if you cut a piece too long, it’s easy to adjust. (In fact, it’s a nice thing to do while watching TV. Just don’t leave any small pieces around because they’re sharp!)
When you have all the pieces, it’ll become pretty obvious how they all go together so I’m not going to go into excruciating detail. Here’s a detail photo to help:
With the adhesive of your choice and a few screws to attach the flanges to the tabletop, you’re set! Do you have any DIY furniture favorites? I’d love to see photos.
Speaking of photos… I’m terrible at printing the photos I take with my phone, so I was pretty excited to learn about Sworl, a delightful app (developed in Seattle, our new hometown) where you can print, frame and send your most cherished iPhone and Instagram photos. The whole thing is customizable and takes about 4 clicks. I ordered a 5×7 desk photo for my husband for about $20, including shipping. It was delivered promptly and wrapped in peppy orange paper — a free feature. The frame selection is limited to four colors of wood — silver, white, espresso and black, but I’m happy with the quality. I also dig that the photos are printed and framed right here in the Northwest.
Want to give it a shot? Sworl is offering Pink Tumbleweed readers 20 percent off your order! Just type “PINKTW” in the promo code box. Let us know what you think! (And rest assured, this is not a sponsored post so these are my actual opinions.)