Poker Table

Introduction: Poker Table

My husband and I are big poker fans. Our dining table was getting old and did not look good at all. Since it was still sturdy and of great size, we decided to convert it into a permanent poker table.
Our first attempt (pictures shown) was made out of green felt but after a while we discovered that it was getting difficult to clean up and that felt was starting to shred.
We redid it with velvet. Velvet is prettier and so easy to clean (we use a slighty wet towel and a lint roller).

total cost of project: 23$
table: free
spray glue: 4$
velvet: 14$
sand paper: 1$
wood glaze: 4$

  • This was our first and only attempt at making a poker table and we came up with this "concept" ourselves. We didnt think of taking step-by-step pictures at the time so I tried my best to show you the process. Also, this is my first Instructable so be gentle... :-)

Step 1: Measuring and Carving the Table

You will need the following:
a table (duh)
flat screwdriver
wood scissor
spray adhesive
velvet or your choice of fabric
sand paper (optionnal)
Vernish (optionnal)
lighter fluid, rubbing alcohol.

You do not need to prep your table in any other way than washing it clean and make sure it dries fully.

measure your table, remove 2 to 3 inches out of your measurements (where the wood edges are going to be) buy velvet accordingly: make sure to buy at least an inche more than what your measurements are, wihtout the wood edges! Velvet is pretty easy to cut but can make a mess, so be prepared to vaccuum everything after it's all done!

Measure and draw a line along the edges of your table of approximately 2 to 3 inches.

We used a simple hammer and flat screwdriver to carve along those lines. (sorry, no pictures of this process!!)

Step 2: How to Carve

Using the hammer and the screwdriver, we simply carved a basic line along the one we previously draw. Do not worry if your line is not perfect at this point, as long as it is straight. You would need to carve about an quarter of an inch deep, more or less.

When your basic carving is done, you will need to use a wood scissor to refine the edges of your line and make it a bit wider in a V shape.

Step 3: Glue the Velvet

Once your line is carved, place your velvet on your table, making sure it will cover it. Dont worry about it being longer/larger than the actual part you'll cover.

Fold the velvet to uncover about 6 inches long of the table, spray glue evenly on the part of the table that is now uncovered. The spray glue dries quickly, so this next part has to be done pretty fast.
Unfold the velvet onto the glued table and stretch it evenly with your hand.

Once this part is glued, you can roll the other end of the velvet close to the glued part, to be able to glue the rest using the same process: apply glue over about 6 inches wide, the roll the velvet back on the table, flatten with hand and so on until you cover all your table up. Of course, do not apply glue over the carved edges of your table!

Step 4: Placing Velvet Into Carved Line

This part is fairly easy, although it is a lenghty process.

Spray glue into the carved edges about 3 inches at a time, and with a screwdriver or any other sharp tool insert the velvet into the groove.

At this stage, it does not matter that the velvet is a bit too long and goes over the edge. It'll be cut later.

Step 5: Trim the Edges

(No picture)

Place an Xacto into the groove and cut the excess velvet. The velvet should stay glued into place and only the excess part will be removed.

Step 6: Finishing Touch

You can either sand the wood area of your table and vernish it or leave it like that, removing only the excess glue with a towel damped in alcohol or lighter fluid.

We still use this table as a dining table, we simply cover it with a tablecloth (not the vynyl one with flannel under it!! it'll make a mess!)

bring friends over and play POKER!!!

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    11 years ago on Introduction

    Try this website:

    Also there's a pretty good forum on poker table building at:


    12 years ago on Introduction

    Very nice and economical. I have also seen people use 1/4" carpet padding to make the padded top. If you don't mind paying a bit more, there is also actual poker table felt you can get online that might be a bit more durable than the velvet. Either way, you probably saved hundreds on this project.


    12 years ago on Introduction

    I just finished a poker table based on this project. I changed a few things to suit my needs better, and will share them here. I stained the racetrack(wooden track around the cloth) using 3 coats of very dark wood stain, then applied 4 coats of spray on Polycrylic finish. The color and shine are great, help the table look more professional, and protect the wood from water damage if someone has a drink. I also plan on putting pull out cup holders underneath the table. After the stain and finish were dry, I placed the velvet on the table to see if I liked the color and I noticed that even with how soft the velvet felt, the wood was still very hard underneath, and I wanted a softer playing surface. Jo-Ann's only had 1/2inch foam, which I felt was too thick. I found a roll of craft foam 1/8th inch thick at Hobby Lobby for less than $5 that was the same size as my table top (3ft by 5ft). It added the softness I needed, and it provide a little height over the racetrack to help people pick up there cards. Cleaning up the glue was a very difficult, messy process. I realized afterwards an easier thing to do would be to cut the felt down to the right size and glue the velvet tight to the top of it. Then pull the velvet underneath and glue a little along the edge, cut off the excess fabric, then glue the foam w/ velvet top to the table. This stops you from exposing glue to your finished wood, requires less cleanup, and you don't have to deal with loose threads after you take the xacto know to the cloth. The last thing I did was go to Home Depot and buy a set of easy to install metal folding legs fpr $16. They are the kind that go on banquet tables and long card tables. I put these on and took the old legs off, so the table would be easy to move and store when not in use. These modifications added $30 to the table, although my velvet was on sale and cheaper, at only $5 and I already had the sandpaper and glue available. My total cost was $40. Thanks for the idea.