How to Make an Inexpensive Coffee Table. If you've shopped for a coffee table lately, you're aware that the price can go off the charts. Here are some ideas for a less-expensive stand-in while you wait for your ship to come in.
Build a platform of glass blocks; two blocks high (about 16 inches) is about right. Top the blocks with a sheet of thick, ground-edge glass for a slick modern look. Join the blocks with silicone caulk.
Cover any type of sturdy base - a footlocker or two same-size broken stereo speakers, for example - with a rich-looking wallpaper such as faux leather, faux marble or faux granite; you might want to paint any exposed hardware a coordinated color or special metallic. Top off your creation with a glass top or a wood top from a home center (apply stain and a clear-coat to the wood or paint it).
Put clay flowerpots (can be inverted), sturdy wooden trash cans (inverted), cement urns, porcelain fish pots or a chicken coop to work as a table base. Use the bases singly or in pairs, and top them off with glass or wood.
Cut down the wooden legs or pedestal of an old - but not valuable - table to suitable coffee-table height.
Purchase an unfinished coffee table and finish it yourself. Unfinished-furniture stores and home centers may offer classes or easy finishing products such as spray-on or sponge-on faux finishes.
Purchase furniture legs (sold at home centers) and screw them in to a wooden table top. Finish as desired.
Put a couple of stacks of coffee-table books to work as a table base that you can top with glass.
Haunt thrift shops and tag sales for a secondhand piece that will work. It doesn't have to be a coffee table per se; consider a cedar chest, rustic toolchest or a flat-top steamer trunk.