DIY Armrest Table

We don’t have a lot of space between one side of our couch and the wall, so we haven’t put a side table there. Scott and I set our beverages on a coaster on the floor when we sit on that side of the couch. But it’s really hard to reach your mug (or glass) from this position.

I had been thinking about building an armrest table for a few months, but I was too intimidated to do it by myself. So, when my parents came over Thanksgiving, I got my dad to help me… well, in the end, he basically made the tables himself because I was busy making backpack waist pads or cooking a turkey.


We used this design as a template. We measured the width of the arm of the couch using two of Scott’s yearbooks. To get the cut of wood for the top of the smaller table, we also added 1.5”, since each piece of the “arms” is ¾” wide. We made the inside arm 4” and the outside arm 8”. We also made an extra long armrest table for the other couch; it is 7 inches wide.


We bought the most expensive piece of pine (which is still pretty cheap) and had Lowe’s cut the wood to our measurements. The wood chipped during the cutting process, so we got a discount on the wood.

My dad sanded the wood before starting. Then we measured where the screw for the brackets would go. Next, my dad built the tables by attaching the brackets. Finally, my dad put on a stain-and-varnish. He did two coats, sanding in between coats.

Unfortunately, my parents had to leave for home before we had a chance to see how great the tables look.



  1. Books/ruler for measuring
  2. Wood of your choosing (cut at store – or add a saw to the materials list)
  3. Stain
  4. Drill
  5. 4 L brackets (plus screws) for each table


  1. Measure top of armrest. We basically followed the method from this Etsy site.
  2. Cut wood to measurements (or ask the person at the store to do this for you)
  3. Sand the wood
  4. Mark where brackets will go with pencil
  5. Assemble tables using the L brackets
  6. Stain (use tack cloth first, if you have one)
  7. (You can add more layers of stain if you sand in between coats)



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