Step 1: Tools and Materials
- Lots of building blocks.
- A piece of thick plywood as large as your planned tabletop.
- Trim boards for the outside edges of your table.
- A base or legs for your table.
- Wood glue
- Tape measure
- Hammer and nails
- Paintbrush and small pail
I have been somewhat successful in finding used wooden blocks at our local thrift stores. You might have some kicking around already or you can ask friends. I have a preference for using the simpler shapes but you can use cylinders and triangles and other shapes that might work. A typical end table takes a fairly substantial pile of blocks. I have also found that manufacturers definitely have different dimensions so you might not be able to easily mix between companies (not that they are ever labeled).
I love finding trashed tables with good bases. The one I used was from a restaurant table that I reclaimed from the landfill. If you want something new, you can order from tablelegsonline.com (I am not affiliated - just a very happy customer.) Or you can build something yourself!
Step 2: Layout Your Table and Cut the Sub-tabletop
Then measure your table top's dimensions.
Cut a piece of thick, flat, plywood (I used 3/4 inch) that is the same size. It doesn't have to be pretty, but it should be flat. Mine was a little warped so I screwed 2x4 boards underneath to level it up nicely.
Step 3: Glue Your Pieces in Place
Step 4: Trim the Outside Edge and Seal
If you want to, you can use a paintbrush to put a coat of polyurethane on the blocks. The first table that I made like this, I used a pour-on epoxy to level the entire surface. I wanted this one to be a little more rustic because the epoxy one definitely turned out more glossy.
Step 5: Add the Base
My first building block table was similar, but I didn't use a base layer below the blocks and then used the poured-on epoxy. The gluing took much longer and the epoxy took a long time to dry. Then, I had to sand many of the edges to square it enough to put the trim on. In the end, I think like the slightly more rough look of the weekend version I detailed in this Instructable.