Farm Table Tutorial

by | Nov 3, 2011 | Popular, Tutorials, woodworking | 163 comments

I received several requests for the tutorial on building a simple farmhouse table (with just a drill) that was published in the October 2011 issue of Cottages & Bungalows.  I just got the “thumbs up” to publish the full tutorial on my blog, so here you go!


What you’ll need:
Pine lumber

3 – 1” x 12” x 6’ (top)
2 – 1” x 3” x 64” (apron/frame)
2 – 1” x 3” x 28” (apron/frame)
2 – 1” x 3” x 26 ¼” (bracing)
2 – 1” x 2” x 28” (bracing)
2 – 1” x 3” x 28″ (bracing)
Four pre-turned legs, 29” high
Electric drill
One box self – drilling 1 ¾” wood screws (matching bit included in box)
Clamps (optional)
Router (optional)
Wood filler
Putty knife
Fine grit sanding sponge

How to do it:
1. On a level work surface, set out the four pine lumber pieces cut for apron in the shape of a rectangle. The 64” pieces should run parallel to each other and perpendicular to the 28” lengths. Working on one corner at a time, set the two meeting pieces of lumber on end and butt together, forming a right angle. Clamp to work surface to hold in place. If clamps aren’t available, have one person hold the pieces tightly together while another screws them in place. The 28” length should be on the outside of the joint and three self-drilling screws will be inserted through it into the end of the 64” piece. A scrap piece of lumber can be used to prevent clamps from marring the wood. Repeat on three other corners, making sure the joints meet in the same manner as the first joint.


2. Place a pre-turned table leg on each inside corner of the rectangular frame. One at a time, clamp leg tightly into place and insert four self-drilling wood screws from each side corner. Position screws so one doesn’t run into another. Repeat with other three legs.

3. Determine which side of the 12” wide planks will make the top of the table and lay all three face down on work surface. Place two to three medium-sized nails between each board to ensure even spacing. Lumber can be butted tightly together, but this slight gap will enhance the cottage look of the table. Place assembled table frame and legs upside down on table top, centering it. There should be a 3” overhang on all sides. Position two 1” x 2” x 28″ pieces inside rectangular frame. Lay them flat to underside of table, each spaced about 1 ½ feet off center. Screw into underside of table top. Place each 1” x 3” x 28″ piece perpendicular to brace just screwed into table top. Screw into place at each end through table apron and into flat brace. Insert two last brace pieces (1″ x 2″ x 26 1/4″) , laying them flat between the legs at each end. Drive screws through apron into each brace and screw to table top.

4. Use a putty knife and wood filler to fill screw holes. Allow filler to dry and then sand smooth with a sanding sponge. Use the sanding sponge to smooth any rough edges of the wood. Optional: A decorative edge can be created on the table top by a router, if desired.

5. Finish table with stain, paint, wax or polyurethane. This table was finished with a medium stained top protected with furniture wax and a painted base.




If you are interested in getting the full issue, which is lovely, you can purchase it online through Beckett Media.  You can also subscribe, if you haven’t already!



 If you’d like to connect with other C&B readers and discuss some of the articles and features in each issue, you can “like” Cottages & Bungalows’ Facebook Page and join in.

Cottages & Bungalows is also graciously offering up a giveaway to one of my readers.  Just leave a comment on this post and you’ll be entered to win.  The giveaway is open through Friday, November 4, 2011 at midnight PST and I’ll announce the winner on Monday.


  1. Lee Anne Johnson

    I subscribed to Cottages and Bungalows because you mentioned the farm table tutorial. Unfortunately, when I read the article on the farm table and the chalkboard they didn’t make sense. This tutorial fixes the questions that I had about the farm table. Thank you!!

  2. Jessica

    This is amazing, love it!

  3. Julie Mullins

    Great tutorial! I enjoy your blog and all the great information. I tried ASCP for the first time this year after reading one of your posts and I love it. I also tried the paint/stain combo on a piece of furniture and it turned out beautiful. Thank you for all the inspiration!

  4. Michele

    Thanks for posting – I was looking all over for the magazine and couldn’t find it. This is very helpful. I have an amazing dining room table, and this farmhouse table would be perfect for my craft room. Thanks for being such a generous person to share all the information that you post. Your blog was my door way into the wonderful world of bloggers. I pushed the little link on the Houzz feature and voila – a whole new world hiding in plain sight.

  5. Beth Montour

    You are such an inspiration! I want to do this for our home, and can’t wait to go lumber shopping with my hubby!! Thank you for sharing all you have learned, and your talents; and helping to make our homes better places!!

  6. Judi

    Hi Miriam
    Amazing…I love the table and the colours you’ve chosen are wonderful. I wish I could do something like that too. YOur pictures are very good too. Now I really like that colour….maybe I’ll start with using your colour choices on my coffee table. Thank you!
    have a great day
    and…please enter my day in your draw. I also have a US address cottage..if I win.

  7. Nora


  8. Lisa

    Love this table, thank you so much for the tutorial:) Would love to make one someday!!
    Thank you for your blog, it is so inspiring!!

  9. Cara

    Love the tutorial!! 🙂

  10. Melissa R

    Thank you!! This tutorial has inspired the next piece for my lil’ consignment space 🙂

  11. von

    lovely, simple table!

  12. Grace

    Great tutorial – making a table is something that I’ve been toying with for awhile. I was wondering if there is any problem (like swelling etc) with putting the boards together on the top rather than spaced apart. Do you find you have problems with crumbs or spills getting down the cracks or did they fill up with stain?

  13. Melissa

    What a FABULOUS table and it looks pretty darn easy! Thanks for posting such detailed steps.

  14. just another preppy shopaholic

    I LOVE this table! Curious how much it cost you for supplies, excluding the stain finish and paint? I would love to make one myself! Thanks!!

  15. Virginia

    Thanks for the tutorial! Definitely going to add this to the to do list. I love your dining room and wanted to ask where you found those gorgeous blue and white damask curtains? Thanks again!

  16. gertie @ The Old Block House

    So now I know that my list to Santa this year is going to include a few tools, because I’d love to make this table.

  17. Emily

    Hi! I love your table and my husband is getting ready to build it for me..with my help of course! 🙂 It looks like you used a router on yours? We have never used one before. Can you explain how you did it and at what point you used the router? Thanks!

    • Miss Mustard Seed

      Yes, he did use a router, but that is optional. The farm table in my kitchen has straight sides with the corners just sanded smooth. If you want a decorative edge, the router is used one the table is assembled. He just held the router and ran it along the edge. I think he used a ogee (sp?) edge for it.

  18. holly

    just wanted to let you know that my boyfriend and i just built a desk using your tutorial. we modified it- used two legs and mounted the legless side to the wall in my office. we also lopped off the three inch overhang on the back side. this is the first piece of furniture we have ever built and we knocked it out in about 2 hours. thanks so much for such an awesome (and easy) tutorial!

  19. christie

    Brace measurements Question. The supply list has four brace pieces at 261/4″ and two braces at 28″. Is it the other way around ? The photos show two short braces that meet up with the legs and four longer braces ( two perpendicular pairs) in the middle.
    ~ C

    • Miss Mustard Seed

      You know what…I think you’re right!

      • Michele Holton

        Can you tell me where you got the rug and curtains. I love them!
        Thank you,

  20. Heather

    I am having some difficulty sourcing the screws – Lowe’s and Home Depot tell me that 1 3/4″ is a VERY unusual size for them. Can you tell where you got them from?

    • andrea at Knick Knack Parade

      Thanks for this tutorial. I went out and bought C and B when the issue first came out, and am finally getting around to doing the project. I too am modifying the size to make a desk, and couldn’t find the 1 3/4 screws at Home Depot. I used 1 5/8 instead. They seem to work ok… although I am having a hard time screwing everything in with my drill – but I think that is just my inexperience. Thanks for the additional pictures, they really cleared up some questions I had, particularly about the bracing.

  21. sallye

    I love the rug. Any chance you made it and id so how?

  22. Make up tutorial videos

    Thank you for every other informative blog. Where else may I get that type of info written in such a perfect means? I have a mission that I am simply now working on, and I’ve been at the look out for such info.

  23. Melissa Wilson

    I love the rug too, where did you get it?


  24. Reese

    So, my wife gave me this blog post and wanted me to make her this table… I am half way done, but have a few issues. I have the outside frame complete and my legs in place and I am ready to start the bracing underneath. Here are my issues: 1) my 1 bys ended up being 3/4bys so I am half an inch short on all my bracing boards… I guess I should not have pre-cut my wood. 2) When you put the 28″ 1×3 on the outside for the frame and then put the legs on the inside you are left with about 22 inches… I didn’t see anything about cutting a 22″ 1×2 in order to use that as a brace… am I missing something? (I am talking about the last sentence in step 3 “between the legs” Where do the other 1x2x28″ boards go?



  25. Alicia

    Thanks for this tutorial Marian. I did the slipcover for my wing chair already using your tutorial…. I have a new project…but I think I’ll make a couple of sidetables with this …..thanks for giving me the courage and guts to try… Love ya girl.

  26. Cindy Griffis

    Where did you find the turned legs for your table? I would love to make a table with legs like yours and our HD doesn’t have them. ;-(


    • Deana

      I think she got all her supplies at Lowe’s you can give them a try. Or any of your smaller home improvement stores might have them.
      deana in Texas

  27. sherran

    Just found your site and love the tutorials…was wondering did you do the bamboo rug the table sets on or from where was it purchased. Love both the table and the rug…

  28. Zach

    Really great tutorial just wanted to let everyone know there is one mistake in the dimensions of the aprons. The tutorial calls for 3″ overhang on all sides but tells you the short side of the apron should measure 28″. This would give you a 4″ lip on the long side of the table. Which is fine just thought it should be corrected. Other than that my table turned out great. Thanks

  29. Misty

    Where is the rug from? Love it!!

  30. Adena Vivanco

    Where is the rug from? Or how did you make it? It is perfect! Thanks.

  31. Katriina

    Thanks so much for this tutorial! My nice big brother finished this for me today, hubby is not into wood working, and since I have a precious baby in my belly I needed some help! My question is: I have fiddes & sons and annie sloan stain wax but we will be using this table daily with little ones so should I stain and then use hemp oil, or will the wax be fine?

  32. Megan

    Where did you buy the turned legs from?

  33. Regina

    This is the easy instruction I’ve been looking for. I nabbed four heavy farmhouse table legs for $20 and beautiful old boards at another place.
    Your tutorial gives a way to build my table without having to buy (and operate) an expensive bisquit jointer just to make one project!
    Would love to post a pic when I’m finished, is there a way?
    Thanks again.

  34. Elena Azmitia

    I’ve been thinking of buying a farm table ever since my family is growing, but now I’m going to give this a try and save money. Thank you!

  35. Amy

    Would love to find out where the rug is from? Thank you!

  36. Allison

    I do not understand how this table is sturdy. The legs are very narrow and the frame is very thin. Is there something I am missing in the directions that makes it sturdy?



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Marian Parsons - Miss Mustard Seed

I’m Marian, aka Miss Mustard Seed, a wife, mother, paint enthusiast, lover of all things home and an entrepreneur, author, artist, designer, freelance writer & photographer.  READ MORE to learn more about me, my blog and my business…

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