Make a Sofa Table in 10 Minutes Using IKEA Parts!
It’s always a little funny to me what projects really take off. Without fail, the carefully conceived, created, and documented tutorials seem to flop; while the “I pulled this off in 10 minutes” projects soar almost instantly! The reality is, most of us like a fast, easy DIY that actually works; and that is absolutely the case for the DIY sofa table we made (yes, in 10 minutes!) with some IKEA parts. Let me show you how to make your own sofa table quicker and easier than you might have thought!
When To Use a Sofa Table
I think the sofa table is an often overlooked solution to many couch layout problems. All too often, we assume side tables and coffee tables will provide the perfect spots for our lamps, drinks, and decorations; but in reality, these surfaces can be too low, too high, too far away, or all of the above!
Based on our own living experiences, here are some situations when a narrow table behind the couch was (or could have been!) the perfect solution!
- When you need to float the couch away from the wall (like in our Kansas Living Room)
- When the couch acts as a room divider, and the back of it is therefor exposed (like in our San Diego Living & Dining Room)
- When the couch is too long to comfortably support side tables
- When you need to fill an awkward void created by a bump-out or bay window
- When you need added storage for pillows, games, coasters, remotes etc in a family or living room
- When you have a sectional, and side tables feel too far away from all seats (like in our San Diego Living & Dining Room)
We used this console table in our Kansas Living Room. It sat, quite inconspicuously, behind our floating couch where side tables just would not fit. It really did a fantastic job of holding lamps, baskets, decorations, and drinks; and it made me a true believer of this often overlooked furniture item!
Yes, You CAN Make a Sofa Table!
There are lots (and lots and lots) of stylish and affordable sofa tables available on the market, but if you don’t want to invest in (yet another) expensive piece of furniture, making your own is actually one of the easiest DIY projects you can tackle…even if your’e not very handy.
In fact, this specific DIY sofa table tutorial is something anyone can do (as it requires very few skills or power tools); and the result is surprisingly sturdy considering how fast and easy it is. Let me show you how it comes together!
This DIY sofa table is actually a super clever and quite affordable “IKEA hack” because it is made from an IKEA Lack Shelf and four legs. Because the shelf isn’t real wood and the legs simply screw on, you won’t need any power tools…just an electric screwdriver!
- 1 Ikea Lack Shelf – we used the white 74″ length, but this same shelf also comes in 48″ and several colorways. Be sure to pick a shelf that is proportionate to your couch length.
- 4 Ikea Legs – the specific decorative legs we used are no longer available, see below for some great alternatives
- Electric Screwdriver
Alternatives to the IKEA Lack Shelf
IKEA Lack hacks exist all over the Internet. So I assumed the Lack products were great quality and sturdy, especially considering the thickness of these floating shelves. However, when I picked up my Lack shelf, I was shocked to discover that…like most IKEA items (especially ones at this pricepoint)…it was very hallow and light-weight. I discuss the “sturdiness” of this couch table below, but if you’d like to use something a littler more…ahem…solid, consider these other options:
- Other floating shelves – Floating shelves are indeed a great solution because they will be finished on all sides and tend to have a thicker profile. Shop around for ones that are made of real wood or have a finish you like!
- Sheets of reclaimed wood or common boards from the hardware store – These will require cutting, sanding, and staining; and you will also likely need to pre-drill pilot holes with a drill/drill bits and use wood screws to attach the legs. (Not impossible – just a little more work than what I show in this tutorial.)
Alternatives to the IKEA Legs
The curvy, decorative IKEA legs we used for our DIY sofa table are unfortunately no longer available. However, there are lots of great alternatives you can use. When shopping for table legs, keep these two things in mind:
- Most sofa tables measure 30″ finished height, so you will want legs around 28″ tall.
- IKEA table legs come with mounting plates pre-attached that allow you to screw them right on, no additional plates or hardware necessary. Below are some great table legs that have the same attaching mechanism.
1 – Adjustable Metal Desk Legs, Square | 2 – Adjustable Metal Desk Legs, Circle | 3 – Adjustable Hairpin Legs | 4 – Adjustable L-Shaped Hairpin Legs | 5 – IKEA Hilver Table Legs | 6 – IKEA Krille Table Legs
How to Assemble This Easy DIY Sofa Table
Get ready for the quickest, easiest DIY ever. (It was so fast, in fact, we didn’t snap any pictures!)
- Unpackage the IKEA shelf and turn it over onto a clean, protected floor (like a carpet) so it doesn’t get scratched.
- Use the included screws to attach the legs to the four corners with an electric screwdriver.
- Turn the table right-side-up and place it behind your sofa.
I told you it was fast…no cutting, no measuring…10 minutes!
Give It Some Style
I intentionally made our table to “blend” into the background, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take a few extra steps to dress it up a bit and make it more of a statement piece. Here are some fun upgrades you can add on to this basic project:
- Spray the table legs with spray paint for a pop of color.
- Wrap the Lack shelf (before you add the legs) in peel-and-stick wallpaper, contact paper, or even decorative tapes (like I did to this striped dresser) to give it some pattern and charm.
- Apply a subtle pattern with vinyl cutouts (like I did to this other IKEA table)
- Use iron-on wood edging or furring strips to give the table a modern two-tone look.
Is This DIY Sofa Table Sturdy?
It took me a long time to share this project here on the blog. Why? As you can probably tell from the picture below, this table is not the sturdiest. Because the width is fairly narrow and the tall legs are so close together, it tipped pretty easily when we first assembled it and stood it up. In fact, I was worried we’d be constantly knocking it over each time we sat down on the couch.
But snug up against our couch, this table never budged! Although the feet being nestled into carpet might have helped, it never tipped, never wobbled…even with kids building forts under it from behind the couch!
TIP! If you plan to use this specific DIY table against a wall (like as an entryway table or sideboard in a dining room), I suggest securing it to the wall with anchors and brackets so it doesn’t tip with heavy traffic/use.
When faced with setting up homes quickly and for such a short period of time, we often find ourselves trying to balance the desire for good quality investment pieces and just getting something to fill a very specific need. Since we never know what we’ll use/need in the next house, affordable hacks like this one can be just the ticket.
Pairing an inexpensive shelf with some table legs solved our couch table problem without committing us to another big, more permanent piece of furniture; and it was easily one of the most functional solutions we implemented in this room. If you’re faced with an awkward room arrangement that just doesn’t allow for side tables, I hope you give this easy DIY sofa table project a try!
20 Comments on “Make a Sofa Table in 10 Minutes Using IKEA Parts!”
Oh how I love this. I have a love seat that I “float away from the window so I can have my curtains back there. But there isn’t any place to put drinks or anything. This is so clever. What a great idea. Thanks for sharing a simple solution to a problem. Now to see if this will work in my living room!
What a great idea! I’m definitely keeping this in mind for when we move into our new house this fall; it looks easy enough for even un-handy me to do!
Amazing!! Would you please be able to tell me where those lovely lamps came from?
Just an idea – if on wood or tile. You could use 3M Command Strips to anchor it to the floor. If removed properly, they should come off without ruining stain finish.
We built the table and it looks beautiful, very good idea! But the thing is, its wobbeling an falls down when we go sitting in the sofa. Now our question…what do you mean with
Henry s building forts under it from behind the sofa? What did he do against that problem.
? MANY THANKS FOR YOUR ANSWER!!!Best whishes Uschi and Holger
Hello Uschi and Holger!
Thanks for your comment, and I am sorry to hear you’re having trouble getting the table to stay put. In the blog post, I tried to convey (as much as I could) that the table is not very sturdy. We had no trouble with it falling, but knowing how skinny of a table it is, I’m not surprised that it does. My son would sit under the table with pillows and blanks and books and play. I’m not sure if it was he pile of our carpet or the sturdiness if our couch…but honest, ours never fell over.
There are some things you can try, depending on what kind of floor you have. You could put sticky command strips under the feet to hold it in place. Or try double-stick Velcro along the back where the table/couch meet. Lastly, some sort of hooks on the two ends also might help.
Hope these suggestions spark a solution for you! Please keep me posted if you come up with something that works well!
Thanks and good luck!
Great idea, but cannot locate the legs, not listed at IKEA could you possibly tell me the height and I could substitute something else.
I made one using hairpin legs found on Amazon. It is extremely sturdy and can stand alone easily. I’m in the process of redecorating, so excuse the chaos and bareness. Picture links follow. I rotated the legs to fit, and the angle they make helps with the sturdiness. I had to use special screws the Lowes guy found for me to get them to hold. I also used gorilla glue.
Btw, I also wanted 31″ legs to put it at the right height for my sofa.
So glad to hear this project worked out for you! And thank you for sharing the pictures!
We made a sofa table few years ago which I loved behind our sofa. Our room, was big enuf for 2 sofas and table behind one of them with coffee table in middle. Still miss that house in KY with 1 1/2 acres of grass and trees.
Love your sofa table, very smart idea. Your living room is very gorgeous with wonderful furniture and your fireplace is incredible. When a blogger features photo of their rooms I take time to really look at every part of room with accessories. Get so many good ideas for using what I have or want to make.
Enjoy your great blog and will be subscribing. Happy week
Hi! Looking forward to giving this a try. Where did you get those cute lamps on the sofa table. Thanks!
Thanks so much for your comment! The lamps you are referring to are actually a DIY! You can see how I made them here: https://thehomesihavemade.com/2014/11/easy-and-awesome-lamp-update-target-hack/
Hope that helps!
A great idea . a great project. even the best ikea idea i have ever seen
Great idea! Where did you get those lamps from?! They are perfect for my room! 🙂
Such a great idea! Where did you get those lamps?
I actually DIY’d those lamps but they were pretty easy to do! You can see the full tutorial here: https://thehomesihavemade.com/2014/11/easy-and-awesome-lamp-update-target-hack/
Hope that helps!
How deep is the shelf ? I’m guessing 10”. Let me know
Yes…we used the 10.25″ deep Lack shelf from IKEA.
Hope that helps,Megan
Hi! I have scoured the internet for a sofa table that is 74″ (or so) long and 26″ high. Just wondering… I love the ease of using the Lack shelf, but what do the screws have to hold onto when you’re attaching the legs? I think I read that the Lack shelf is hollow. Thanks! Karena