Tea and coffee tables are an excellent addition to your kitchen or family room, and you can add some personalization by building your own! Building a tea table is relatively simple, the most challenging aspect is getting the motivation to sit down and get to work. Tea tables can add class and style to your home’s interior, and building one yourself offers the opportunity to make it exactly how you want it.

Building your own is cheaper, more readily customized, and will add sentimental value that many store bought tables can’t provide. We are going to walk you through the process of building your own tea table, and you will see that it’s not as daunting as you might assume. Tea tables come in a variety of materials, but for this article we are going to show you how to make a wooden tea table. These can be personalized through design, pattern and dimension. This article will offer the basics and give you a couple of tips on how to make a tea table your own.

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What is a Tea Table?

living-room with tea table

A tea table is a small, usually square, table made for serving tea. Tea Tables were accessible in the 18th century, and we’re all about the tea presentation, and were placed in the middle of the room when it was time to serve tea. Tea tables were sources of social gathering, and were a symbol of prominence, as not many people could afford tea in the early colonial days. Nowadays, tea tables are used for much more than just tea. Generally placed in the dining room or kitchen and offers a place for the kettle and teacups to sit while guests or family members enjoy a cup of tea. It is meant for afternoon snacks or evening drinks but can be used for. It can be used for more than serving tea and will make an excellent addition for extra table space and add to your room’s aesthetic.

Is it Only Used For Tea?

While tea tables are originally meant for tea, they can also act as a coffee table or nightstand. The name comes from the historical use of tea serving, but modern applications have broadened the purpose and use for these cute little tables. They can be great additions to your balcony or patio, can be used as a nightstand for tight-knit spaces, a wine or cocktail bar, or work as a coffee table in your living room. Recently, many homeowners have been using tea tables as aesthetically pleasing storage devices. Adding a few mason jars and wicker baskets to the bottom shelf of your tea table can add warmth to your kitchen or living room.

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The Build – Instructions, Tips, & More

What you will need:

  • Five 2×6 boards of your choice. You can find these at your local hardware store. The cheaper woods range from 6$-9$ per piece.
  • Four 24inch pre-cut black steel 3/4-inch pipes
  • Four 12-inch pre-cut black steel 3/4-inch pipes
  • One 36-inch pre-cut black steel 3/4 pipe
  • Eight 3/4 inch black steel floor flange (these are the bottom pieces of the frame that keep them stable while standing)
  • Six black 3/4-inch pipe tee joints (these connect the pipes together and come in a T shape)
  • 1.5-inch pocket screws
  • Two 2-hole tube straps (these go underneath the pipes to attach to the wooden shelves. They look vaguely like horseshoes)
  • 32 1.5 inch wood screws
  • Pocket hole jig system
  • Wood glue
  • Electric drill

All of these supplies (excluding the drill) come to about 115$.

The dimensions for the table made through these instructions will be 4 feet wide, 17 inches deep, and 40 inches tall. These instructions are good for any size table; you will just need to adjust the material according to your preferred size.


Step 1: Cutting the boards

Cross-cut table saw sled

The 2×6 boards should come in runs of about 8 feet, so you will need to cut these to four feet for the four-foot table. You will only need 9 out of the ten 4-foot pieces, so there will be one extra in case there is an accident with one of the boards.


Step 2 (optional): Staining the wood and sealant

If you want to stain your pieces, now is the time to do it. It is better to stain the wood while the pieces are loose. This prevents unwanted pooling and dark spots. Lay some tarps on the floor and stain away! There are many types of stains, and the type you use depends on the look you are going for. Stains provide a color for the wood, but not a finish. The finish gives the wood its shiny and sleek appearance.


If you will be using your tea table for hot beverages, it will be beneficial to use a sealant on the wood. You can use store bought sealant or make sealant with beeswax and olive oil. Sealant will help protect your table from stains, heat damage, and scrapes. Store bought sealants are, of course, are also a good way to go.


Note: only stain indoors if you are using a natural stain. Never stain inside if your material is toxic, only if it is made of natural materials (like vinegar and tea).


Step 3: Screw the boards together


If you are inexperienced with a power tool, this is where the pocket hole jig system comes in. The pocket hole jig system can be used to pre-drill and screw together the boards. Place one screw every 11-12 inches. You might also use the wood glue to glue the boards together before screwing if you are having trouble keeping them together. This will produce three 16.5-inch by 4-foot shelves.


Step 4: Assemble the frame

The frame will be H shaped and made from the black steel pipes. It is important to try to screw the pipes together with the same number of turns. This will help keep the table symmetrical.

First, screw a ‘Tee’ branch onto each end of the 36-inch pipes. Then screw a 4-inch pipe onto each end of the ‘Tee’ brace. This should end up looking like a long ‘I,’ and lay flat on the ground.

Then add a single end of the tee brace to each four-inch pipe, but turn them to face in the opposite direction. This will become the middle part of the frame

The next part is determined by how large you want your table shelves to be. For this article, the tables top shelf will have a higher top shelf with more room in between the bottom shelf. This is for taller jars and to place linens. To create this, add one 12-inch pipe to the top of each tee brace and one 24-inch pipe to the bottom of each tee brace.Finally, to the top of each 12 and 24-inch pipe, add a flange. These will be mounted to the bottom and top shelves and form the frame of the table. The frame will come out looking like an ‘H’.


Step 5: Drill the holes for the middle shelf

Temporarily remove the top 12 inch pipes and flanges to mark the places for the hole.

*Remember to make sure everything is level and symmetrical before doing this step*

Next, place the shelf on the middle part of the frame and draw circles where the holes need to go. The holes will go on the underside of the self. In order to make the shelf flat, drill a 1.5-inch hole halfway through the board first, and then drill a 1.25-inch hole the rest of the way.

The shelf should fit onto the hole and lay flat. Finish this step by screwing the 12-inch pieces with the flanges back on.


Step 6: Attach bottom shelf

For this step, you will want to level as you go. Use the wood screws to attach the top and bottom shelves. The very last step is to attack the middle shelf with a few tube straps on the underside.

And that’s it! Tea table complete and ready to be added to your home.

tea table with cookies
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Making your own tea table may seem like a daunting task, but in reality, it only takes a few hours and some motivation. The materials for this table are inexpensive, but the product will add some class and personal touch to your home. This article is a guide to building your own tea table, and you can adjust the dimensions to make a tea table that is the exact fit for you.

Furniture is an essential, but expensive, part of your home. Learning how to build your own tables and chairs can ease the burden on your wallet and let your home become completely customized to your exact wishes. Tea tables are the perfect piece to start your DIY journey, one that you’ll regret you didn’t start sooner.

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