Introduction: How to Make a Couch Table

About: I am a student at UALR.

The purpose of this table is to provide a space to place a computer or any item while sitting on a couch. This table has a shelf for cords, computer shelf, and bookshelf. I am in school, and this table allows me to be comfortable while working on school. This table is attached to foam to help with sliding across hardwood floors, and it will provide the ability to store items while relaxing on the couch.

Use caution when working with tools and wear safety glasses.

Step 1: Equipment and Materials


  • nail gun (ours is attached to a compressor)
  • drill
  • sander (optional)
  • measuring tape
  • 10 in miter saw
  • safety glasses


  • wood glue
  • 18 gauge, 2 inch brad nails (15)
  • Simpson Strong-tie, 90 degree angle (9) - picture above
  • 3/4 inch screws
  • Paint of choice
  • Sand paper
  • 1 in x 12 in x 4 ft pine boards (3)
  • foam paper

Step 2: Cut the Boards

Use safety glasses when using a miter saw, dust can get in your eyes. Use a miter saw to cut all boards. I ended with 2 boards 24 inches long for the top and bottom pieces, 2 boards 12 inches x 11 inches for the shelf, and 2 boards 30 inches long for the front and back pieces.

Board 1: Cut two 24 inch boards

Board 2: Cut a 12 inch x 11 inch board for a shelf divider and a 30 inch side board

Board 3: Make the same cuts as board 2

Helpful Tips:

  1. When you measure your boards before cutting them, make a mark "^" to indicate where to cut.
    1. Picture above for example.
  2. Make sure the saw blade is on the outside of your marks, not inside.

Step 3: Make a Mark for the 2 Shelves

Make a mark on the front and back (30 inch long) boards to indicate where to screw in the 2 shelves. Use a pencil so it won't be a noticeable mark. Do not omit this step. It will make assembling the table easier in later steps.

  1. From the top of front and back boards:
    1. mark boards at 5 inches down,
    2. second mark at 15 inches down.

Step 4: Screw in the Steel Angles

Screw in the angle brackets to the boards with a drill. Each angle requires 4 screws total. Each angle will only use 2 screws in this step.

  • 12 inch x 11 inch boards- screw in 1 angle to the center of each 12 inch side
  • back piece (30 inches long)- screw in 2 angles at the top of the board
  • front piece (30 inches long)- Screw in 1 angle in the center of the top and 2 angles on the bottom, opposite side of top angle bracket
    • see picture above for example

Helpful tip: You can use the extra pieces of boards to brace against the shelf to keep the angle square as seen in the picture above.

Step 5: Assemble Your Table

Glue the edges with wood glue to make the table extra sturdy. Spread the glue evenly as seen above. Line up where you want to screw together each board before putting glue on it, because glue will get everywhere. Use a drill to screw the boards together by the steel angle:

  1. One shelf board to the back board at the 15 inch mark previously made
  2. Front board to the bottom shelf- the side with one bracket should be facing the shelf and on the top.
    1. You will now have the front and back boards attached by the bottom shelf.
  3. Top board to the table.
  4. Bottom board to the table
    1. This board also needs 18 gauge, 2 inch brad nails by use of a nail gun to the bottom.
  5. Last shelf board, 5 inches from the top
    1. Not necessary to glue this shelf, because it is a tight fit.

Step 6: Attach the Walls of the Shelves

This wasn't in the original blueprint, but I had extra wood. Cut the extra wood with a miter saw as follows:

  • two 3.5 inch x 11 inch boards for middle shelf
  • one 6.5 inch x 11 inch board for the bottom shelf on one side

Nail the shelves to the table using 18 gauge, 2 inch Brad nails. Two nails on each side is needed.

Step 7: Sand the Table

Sand the table with size 80 sand paper. Sand the edges and any bumps. Dust the table off after sanding. If this is not done then paint in the next step will not stick.

Step 8: Decorate Your New Table

Spray 2 cans of primer then last coat is yellow, satin spray paint. Spray primer more on the edges since they soak the paint up more. I then applied vinyl wallpaper, self-adhesive to the top for decoration. Let the paint dry before adding another coat.

You can choose any color or any design. This step is what looks the best to you.

Step 9: Add Foam to the Bottom

This helps protect hardwood floors. First, put a piece of foam on the floor. Then add the glue to the bottom of the table. Last, put the table over the foam and let dry. Cut the edges off as seen above.