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A Step-by-Step Guide: How to Build a Wicker Coffee Table

Recently updated on February 21st, 2024 at 11:07 am

Ready to add a natural aesthetic to your space through the means of a wicker coffee table? Just imagine sipping your favorite coffee while admiring your handcrafted creation. No need to break the bank buying one when you can make it yourself with the right tools and supplies. Don’t worry if you’re not a DIY expert; building the table frame is easy and fun. And with a little patience, you’ll master the wicker weaving of the rattan in no time. Your friends won’t believe you made it yourself! Get your gloves on, and let’s uncover how to build a wicker coffee table. In just a weekend, you’ll have a stunning new centerpiece that will make your living room setup come to life.

White living room  how to build wicker coffee table with drum style

Photo by Alihasheikh21 from Freepik

How To Build A Wicker Coffee Table: Prepping the Base

The base of your wicker coffee table provides the foundation, so it’s essential to construct it properly.

Supplies Needed

You’ll want:

  • Four wooden boards for the legs (1″ x 3″ x 32″)
  • Two wooden boards for the side aprons (1″ x 3″ x 15″)
  • Two wooden boards for the end aprons (1″ x 3″ x 25″)
  • Wood glue
  • 2 1/2″ wood screws
  • Electric drill/driver
  • Safety goggles

Read More: 10 Eco-Friendly Wicker Coffee Table Ideas for Coastal Perfection

Assembling the Frame

Attach an end apron to two leg boards, making a U-shape. Then, secure with glue and two screws at each joint. Repeat this to make the second end section and attach a side apron to the ends of the two end sections. Repeat this to attach the remaining side apron, and this completes the basic frame. Once the frame is assembled, turn it over so the aprons face down. Attach a center support stretcher across the middle for added stability and allow 6-8 hours for the glue to dry completely.

Related Article: Craft a Custom Piece With Our 19 DIY Coffee Table Design Ideas

 how to build wicker coffee table  and wooden top

Photo by Bella786alex from Freepik

 Insight – Why not get imaginative and add your own unique touches? Try incorporating a stained wood inlay or eye-catching decorative metal accents to make it truly one-of-a-kind. The possibilities are endless!

Weaving the Rattan: Techniques and Patterns to Use

Once your rattan strips are cut to size, it’s time to start weaving them together. This step requires patience, but with the correct technique, you’ll have a sturdy table base.

Related Article: 15 Rattan Coffee Table Designs To Showcase Sustainable Living

The Basic Weave

The most common pattern is the basic weave. Start with two strips parallel to each other for the sides of the table base. Take a third strip and weave it over one side, then under the next, over and under until it’s woven all the way through. Secure the ends to the side strips. Repeat the process until you have the size and shape you want.

For extra stability, weave in diagonal strips. Weave one end over the existing strips, then continue the over-under pattern at an angle. This crisscrossing creates a strong foundation. You can also vary the pattern by weaving two or more strips at a time or leaving wider gaps between some. Get creative!

Finishing Touches

Once woven together, use heavy-duty gardening twine, rope, or rattan cane to securely bind the edges and any points where panels intersect. Double knot at several points around the edges to ensure maximum durability. You can also use waterproof glue on the underside of the table for extra protection.

Gain Insight: Spice Up Your Space: 25 Unforgettable Unique Coffee Table Ideas

Wicker ottoman and rattan arm chair

Photo by julienprotz from Freepik

 Insight – Ensure your wicker tabletop stays tip-top by sealing it with a water-resistant finish. This way, you won’t have to worry about those pesky spills or moisture damaging your masterpiece!

How To Build A Wicker Coffee Table: Adding the Finishing Touches

Now that the main construction of your table is complete, it’s time to add the final details that will pull it all together.

Staining or Painting the Tabletop

If you want to stain or paint the tabletop to match your decor, now is the time. Lightly sand the surface to rough it up and wipe away dust. Apply 2-3 coats of your chosen stain, sealant, or paint, waiting for each coat to dry as directed. This will protect the surface and enhance the look of the new table.

Discover More: Embellish Your Home with 25 Painted Coffee Table Design Ideas

Securing the Legs

To provide maximum stability for your table, you’ll want to securely attach the legs. Place the tabletop upside down on a flat surface. Position the legs in the corners, angled slightly outward for best support. Then, secure the legs to the underside of the tabletop using glue, brackets, corner blocks, and screws. Wipe away any excess glue that squeezes out.

Adding Casters (Optional)

For easy mobility, you can include casters to the bottom of the legs. Attach 2-4 casters to the underside of the legs, evenly spacing them for balance. Ensure the casters are rated to hold the weight of your table. Please note that locking casters are best so you can keep the table stationary when needed.

Flipping & Positioning

With the legs securely fastened, you can flip your table right-side up. Carefully lift and turn the table, then place it in your desired location. Make any final adjustments to the position and leveling of the legs.; and then your custom wicker coffee table is now complete and ready to use.

For More Info: 29 Coffee Table Decor Tips: Subtle Touches for Maximum Impact

Coastal interior with adrum coffee table with cuvred sofa

Photo by Biancoblue from Freepik

Insight – Don’t forget to attach furniture feet! These nifty little accessories can be screwed or glued to the bottom of each leg, and they’ll not only safeguard your floors but also give your furniture a chic and polished look.

How To Build A Wicker Coffee Table: Troubleshooting Common Issues

Building a wicker coffee table seems easy enough, but there are a few common issues that may come up during assembly. Be prepared for these hiccups so you can troubleshoot them quickly and get back to enjoying your handiwork.

Warped or Damaged Pieces

Rattan is flexible but still susceptible to warping or damage during shipping or storage. Inspect all pieces for any cracks, dents, or pieces that are misshapen. Minor warping can often be repaired by wetting the area and then weighing it down as it dries to help it hold the proper shape. For more significant damage, you may need to apply waterproof wood glue to cracks or dents and clamp the area until the glue is dry.

Related Article: Rescuing Your Coffee Table From Water Damage

Difficulty Inserting Ends into Frame

The ends of wicker coffee tables, like weaving strands or spindles, need to slide into the frame. But if the frame has warped even slightly, inserting the ends can be challenging. Try wetting the end of the piece you’re inserting to make it more pliable and be patient, wiggling and working it into place. Using a rubber mallet to gently tap the end into the frame may also help.

Uneven Tabletop

Once all the end pieces have been inserted into the frame, lay the tabletop slats onto the frame. The slats should sit evenly and level for the best appearance and function. If some areas seem higher or lower, try re-seating the end pieces to make minor height adjustments. You can also place felt pads under shorter slat areas to build them up.

Securing Loose Ends

To finish your wicker table and ensure all pieces are firmly in place, you’ll want to secure any loose ends. Trim off any excess length, then apply glue to the ends and along the inside of the frame where that piece connects. Hold in place with clothespins or clamps until the glue dries completely. This prevents ends from popping out or becoming loose and unstable over time.

Read More: A Roundup of Reader Favorites: 15 Rustic Coffee Table Ideas

Living interior with low set table

Photo by Stellar from Freepik

 Insight – To achieve a neat and tidy look, make sure to tighten the rattan strips as you work and snip off any extra with wire cutters. This way, you’ll have a flawless finish for everyone to admire.

Final Thoughts

You’ve done it! With patience and the right tools, you now have a custom wicker coffee table to enjoy. The simple woven style adds warmth to any space. Kick back, put your feet up, and appreciate your new table – you earned it. Who knows, this project might have sparked a new hobby. If making furniture brings you joy, keep learning and creating. And if rattan’s not your thing, try building tables from wood, metal, stone, or whatever strikes your fancy. The possibilities are endless once you realize you have the power to craft and build. Congrats again on your new table, and happy creating!

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