This is something I’ve been incredibly excited to show you.
For a few months now, I’ve been planning on making a custom DIY farmhouse table for my amazing in-laws. They just moved into a beautiful new home with a large, open dining area, and they’ve been looking for a large table that our growing family can gather around.
I truly believe that no one deserves a handmade, custom dining table more than these two hardworking, generous souls that I’m honored to call family. So, when I asked them if I could make a table for them, I was humbled, nervous and SO excited when they said yes!
A few weeks later, I discovered that Ana White, (the DIY legend and a personal inspiration to me), had started an Instagram contest. People could make a project inspired by any Ana White design, submit a “brag post” about it on her website during the month of October, and have the potential to win cash prizes AND the chance to be featured on her personal social media.
(When I read that, I may have started dancing. And barfing.)
(More dancing than barfing, though.)
When my in-laws found this Ana White custom DIY farmhouse table plan that they loved and told me I could enter the final product in the contest, it all came together. We modified the design to fit their needs, and within two weeks this project was planned, launched and completed!
Ready to see how we did it? Here we go!
Building a Custom DIY Farmhouse Table:
[This post may contain affiliate links, which means I make a small commission on products you purchase through the links provided at no extra cost to you. See my disclosure for details.]
We didn’t follow Ana White’s plan exactly. My in-laws needed a bigger table, so I added one extra foot in width, three extra inches in height, and three extra feet in length, including two 10″ extendable table leaves on each end of the table. Fully extended, the table is 10′ long, and without the extensions, it’s 8.3′.
Because of this, I attached the upper support section to the underside of the table top, rather than the top of the leg support section, because the ends of this table aren’t stationary like the table ends in her plan.
(If you check out Ana’s plan, you’ll see what I mean!)
So, after we knew what we wanted to modify from Ana’s plan, it was time to come up with a custom DIY farmhouse table plan of our own, which leads us to…
Step 1: Planning
In order to create a project like this, (and keep your fingers, toes, and sanity in tact), you have to PLAN like a PRO.
And to be real, planning has never been my go-to. I LOVE throwing out the instructions and just winging it. But, I knew I had a lot to learn in order to make this table safe, sturdy and beautiful.
(And not wobbly – I was SO DETERMINED that it would not be wobbly!)
Once we, (my in-laws and I), determined our dimensions, I added three support beams for extra security. The table needed something that would disperse the weight of the long, heavy table top without taking away from the natural simplicity of the design.
Then, I digitally created the table with some architecture software to determine the intricate dimensions of all the other components of the table. If you’re thinking of making a project like this, I highly suggest taking this step! It took a REALLY long time, but I honestly believe it was the #1 factor contributing to this table’s success. And, it took SO much stress out of the measuring and cutting process!
Step 2: Materials
Once we had the plan in hand, it was time to head to Home Depot for the supplies!
An important lesson I’ve learned from this DIY project: if you only go to Home Depot once during your project, something’s not right.
(Or you’re a pro and you need to teach me your ways.)
I planned the nonsense out of this table, and we still ended up going to Home Depot seven times! The first time we went, though, we were able to purchased the bulk of our supplies, including all our lumber, so that’s where the plan made things flow smoothly.
So don’t be discouraged when the people at the Home Depot check-out lanes know you’re name. While you’re working on a big project like this, it’s normal for supplies and equipment wear out, break down, and you’ll always need more screws than you ever thought humanly possible.
Here’s a list of the general materials I bought for this project:
- 4 2″x10″x10′ Prime Douglas Fir wood planks, (for the table top).
- 8 2″x4″x8′ Prime Douglas Fir wood planks, (for all the support structures).
- 1 4″x4″x10′ Premium Cedar wood plank, (for the table legs).
- 3 50pk 2″ screws
- 2 liquid nails super strength wood glue tubes
- 1 32 oz can of Espresso-colored stain
- 1 32 oz can of water-based, satin sealer. (Water-based sealers leave a completely clear finish, and I wanted this so the Espresso color could remain untainted!)
Here’s a list of the equipment I used for this project (some I already owned, some I purchased for this project):
- A circular saw, with a blade designed for cutting hardwood)
- A Swanson speed square for quickly and accurately measuring the cuts. (And why would you not get a Swanson?!)
- A sander, for smoothing out the wood and protecting everybody’s fingers from splinters!
- Long wood clamps, for holding the planks together while the glue hardend
Step 3: Building
The hardest and most rewarding thing here? Accurately measuring all the cuts I came up with in the planning process. This part took a long time as well, but since everything was intricately planned, (and because of my new Swanson speed square), every minute spent here was purposeful and productive, rather than frustrating and stressful.
Once everything was measured and cut, I started assembling each section. During the building process, there were three primary sections: the table top, the underside support section for the table top, and the “H” support structure with the table legs.
Once all of those were completed individually, I added the underside support to the table top, and made sure the table legs would fit in the designated slots underneath the table top. I didn’t attach the legs at this point, because otherwise the table would be too difficult to transport. (AKA it wouldn’t fit through doors.) Instead, I prepped the screw holes so that the table legs could be easily attached to the table top at my in-law’s house.
Step 4: Sanding, Staining & Sealing
With the three sections of the table narrowed down to two, I then sanded every surface. Especially problematic places, like corners, sides, and the table top itself. The sanding was an intimidating process, because there were SO MANY SURFACES, but it was worth it for the smooth finish, and the finger protection.
(Have I mentioned I don’t like splinters?)
After all surfaces were sanded, I painted on the stain. (With the moral support of my amazing hubby and super cute doggy, as evidenced by this upcoming photo!). Than, I let the table air-dry outside for two full days. This was to ensure the stain was 100% dry before sealing, AND to get rid of the stain smell.
(Well, as much as possible. That stain be stank.)
Lastly, after the table was dry, I painted on the sealer, let it dry for another full day, and BAM – the table was ready for transport.
Step 5: Decorating
It was at this point in the process that I took the time to stare at the table for a good hour or so and say, “Oooooooh, gurl, that looks GOOD!” about 30 times.
(This is an integral part of any DIY project.)
Then, my AMAZING husband helped me load this crazy contraption into a box truck, and we delivered it to it’s final destination! Now, the table itself was not a surprise, because my in-laws were part of the planning process. BUT, the fact that it was complete and ready to deliver on this particular night WAS a surprise. I literally couldn’t wait to drop this baby off!
Once we got to their place, they graciously agreed to wait in another room while we ran the table inside.
(Well, more accurately, we shuffled it inside, but tomato potato.)
Once the table was placed and the legs were attached, now came the DECORATING! Since we’re in the process of moving, I only had a handful of decorating supplies at my disposal. But man, I could NOT wait to get those items on the table.
Step 6: The Reveal
It was all complete. The table, the decorations – everything! The only thing left was to let my in-laws out of their room so they could see it. Here’s what they saw when they opened their eyes:
I’m not a master at table building, and I learned a lot during this process that I’ll use to hone my skills in the future. But regardless, I’m very proud of how this table turned out!
We’re calling this table, “The Gathering Place,” because it’s designed to be a safe, steady and beautiful focal point where friends and family can gather together to celebrate each other’s company. For me, it’s also a testament to trying new things and believing in yourself, which is what The Restless Creative Co is all about!
Don’t be afraid, and don’t wait to take a chance on yourself. Try something new this holiday season, and enjoy the process!
Oh, and one more thing…
Stay restless, Creatives!