Introduction: Accent Table (Built Entirely From Balusters)

I've been a fan of Instructables for awhile now, but I finally took the time to create my own piece of furniture and I'm very pleased with how it turned out. This is loosely based off of this coffee table from Homemade-Modern but I didn't want to mess with the concrete, so I created what I call a "mini faux bowling alley floor". Also, I added a shelf.

When my wife and I moved into our new house a year ago, we couldn't figure out what to put in this space on our wall. We tried to order an accent table from Target, but despite it saying that it was yellow online, when we received it and I put it together... my wife informed me that it had a greenish hue. We returned it and have been struggling to find what to do since.

I got annoyed with the space a couple of months ago and took an old, ugly bookshelf that someone gave us and cut the top off. I spray-painted it yellow and it has currently played as an accent table, but it still wasn't cutting it and it was time for "franken-shelf" to go. This project became it's replacement and I think it looks MUCH better.


  • 36" Long 2x2 Fir Balusters (32)
    • At Home Depot, they sell these in packets of 16 for about $16 in my area. I bought 2.
  • Screws
    • I bought 3 inch screws
  • Stain
    • I have used the Varathane stain once before and loved it. This time I got Varathane Poly + Stain, in Kona, at Home Depot for about $12. It's worth it
  • Total Cost: About $45

The first thing I did was cut all of my pieces to the required sizes:

  • 36" - 14 pieces uncut
  • 27" - 7 pieces
  • 18" - 14 pieces
  • 10" - 8 pieces
  • 9" - 7 pieces

Then I sanded all of the ends so that all of the pieces were identical.

Step 1: Create the Top and Shelf

I started by lining up the top pieces exactly how I wanted. I didn't want it to look like there was a pattern, so I made sure to mix it up by making the cuts show at random places. Also, I rotated the pieces around so that different shades of the grain would show, planning towards the stain showing those differences well.

I started at the front and then screwed the second row pieces into the first, making sure to keep them clamped and level. I continued to work my way back screwing each of the pieces into the one in front, leaving me with only one piece that had screws showing, in the very back (mine was going against a wall and I wasn't worried about the screws showing. I sanded the top and edges again to ensure a level top.

The shelf is made exactly like the top, except that it is only 7 5/8" wide rather than 10".

Step 2: Start the Frame

I started with the front side of my frame, so to focus on not showing the screws as much as possible. I laid one uncut baluster out horizontally and then measured where the four front vertical uncut pieces should go. After finding their places and then screwed them into the horizontal piece. I did the same with the bottom horizontal piece. NOTE: Do not add the second top horizontal piece until you have followed the step below!

I then took my four top and bottom 10" pieces and placed them in their spots and attached them using wood glue and then through the bottom with screws. (The bottom pieces could potentially scratch your floor if they stick out too much. I purchased a rounded felt bottom that stuck straight to the wood to prevent this from happening on our wood floor.)

I then added the last top horizontal uncut piece underneath my 10" pieces and glued and screwed from the bottom as well. For extra measure, I put screws into the 10" pieces, from the top of the horizontal piece also. I added the last two 10" pieces that will brace the shelves by using screws from the inside vertical pieces.

Step 3: Finish the Frame

I then built the basic frame of the back, similar to the front side. I laid out the horizontal uncut pieces and attached the four vertical uncut pieces to it. I then added the bottom horizontal piece. At this point, I laid the front part of the frame on it's side and pushed the back side of the frame into place.

I glued and screwed the 10" pieces into place and added the last top horizontal piece to the back. I then took the time to sand and ensure that the frame was level and did not rock on the floor. Thankfully, the 10" pieces on the bottom make it easy to find a level frame. And then it was time to add the top and shelf!

Step 4: Add the Top and Shelf

I add the shelf in first, so that I had room to work with without the top getting in the way. I placed it on the two 10" pieces and made sure that it was square. Then it was just a matter of inserting screws from the bottom. I went ahead and added a few more screws from the back of the frame into the shelves, for extra support. I didn't do it in the front however, because I didn't want the screws to show.

Lastly, I placed the top on the frame and leveled it up into place. I then used screws from the bottom, through the horizontal uncut pieces at the top, into the top piece. I could have put screw through the top, into the frame, but again, I have this weird thing about screws showing, so I voted against it.

Step 5: Stain

Lastly, I stained the entire piece with a brush and let it dry for an hour. Then I took a clean rag and wiped all excess and wet stain off of the piece of furniture. I took some sand paper to the edges of the top and frame, to give it a "used" look.

I then brought it inside the house and replaced the yellow spray-painted "franken-shelf" with this awesome new accent table.

Let me know in the comments below if you have any questions or comments! Hopefully this will not be my last instructable!

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