Published on June 11th, 2010 | by Jules Yap


Coffee table turned night stands

Materials: Ikea Coffee Table (Unsure of Name), Thin Maple Ply, Jigsaw, Tapered Legs

Description: This coffee table was bought on Craigslist, so we don’t know the name. We’ve looked high and low for the name, so if anyone knows, let us know!

We removed the ugly matte metal legs, then cut the table roughly into thirds. Next, using a jigsaw, we cut the thin maple ply for the backs, then stained them a nice walnut color.

Unfortunately, the veneer on the coffee table chipped a little when we cut it, so we applied a thin strip of veneer edging to cover it, and stained it the same walnut.

After adding matching walnut tapered legs (from Ace Hardware), our new nightstands were good to go, and surprisingly sturdy!

~ Matt and Beth, Pennsylvania

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The Author

Jules Yap

"I am Jules, the engine behind IKEAHackers and the one who keeps this site up and running. My mission is to capture all the wonderful, inspiring, clever hacks and ideas for our much loved IKEA items".

32 Responses to Coffee table turned night stands

  1. beth says:

    yes, those lamps are vintage — my grandparents had them in the 60s. They were a gross salmon color before we painted them and added ikea shades.

    Yikes! Makes me glad we only paid $25 for this one…

  2. PTDTS says:

    Very cool! I’m gonna attempt.

  3. Anonymous says:

    where are those amazing lamps from?? please don’t tell me they are vintage!

  4. IPv6Freely says:

    Ouch! Looks good, but knowing how much I paid for my BUSKBO table at IKEA, I cringe at the thought of cutting it up. That coffee table was $200-300 new.

  5. Anonymous says:

    to help avoid chipping the veneer when cutting (this also works when routing formica type counter tops) run a line of masking tape over your cutting line.

  6. Judith says:

    Funny how you can’t help but look at the owl. At first it reminded me of Pretty ‘lil things owls.

  7. Trish says:

    Love it and the tray idea.

  8. Beth says:

    @Robin – Thank you so much for telling us the name. Couldn’t find it anywhere.
    @Jennifer – I’ve actually been considering making more owls for sale..I’ll leave another comment here when that happens. Thanks!

  9. Leo Sigh says:

    Ooh absolutely love this. We’re getting an Ikea in Bangkok soon, can’t wait – so there’s lots of lovely IKEA crafty things I’ll soon be able to do.

  10. Robin says:

    Matt & Beth…

    I’m an IKEA nerd dropping in to tell you that the coffee table is called the BUSKBO. Hope that helps! Great hack, love the look of the new tables.

  11. Jennifer says:

    I was going to ask about the owl pillow too. Super cute. If she ever decides to sell them on Etsy or anything, let me know. I love owls. And the clock is also awesome. I really love the new nightstands. They go with your current decor perfectly. Great job!

  12. Beth says:

    @anonymous – the clock is a vintage find, I’m guessing from the 60s. It’s called the GE Date Alarm clock. It still keeps perfect time, and tells you the date and the day of the week!

    @elle pee – those metal Xs are the braces that were originally holding the table together; we just left them as they were.

  13. Cara says:

    This looks so cool! And so useful!

  14. Anonymous says:

    very, very clever. love the simple lines. I like the two tone effect. You’d never guess it was a hack job!

  15. elle pee says:

    Just curious, what do those x metal things on the inside do? Does the top go up and down? I kinda liked the old legs, but I understand that you couldn´t magically make two legs become four!

  16. Anonymous says:

    Inspired hack – looks great.

    Wanted to know what the bedside clock is?

    Thanks !

  17. Matt says:

    @anonymous re: the pillow -
    The owl was handmade by my wife for my birthday a few years ago.

  18. What I love! says:


  19. gail says:

    Great idea! You must be a very creative and resourceful couple!

  20. Anonymous says:

    I love this retro Ikea hack. The legs fits perfect and it looks great.

  21. Anonymous says:

    where did you get the owl pillow? i love it!

  22. Matt says:

    Thanks to everyone for the nice words!

    @redvic and eric-
    Unfortunately, the curvature of the tabletop made it impossible to fit the extra pieces onto the backs. Plus, we just liked having two tones of wood. We are planning on doing something with the extra middle pieces – they would make great tv trays…

  23. majeral says:


  24. redvic says:

    couldn’t you have used the middle thirds (which i assume you chucked out?) as the back pieces instead of having to buy the “thin maple ply?”

  25. Anonymous says:


  26. Eric says:

    What a great looking room! Those bed stands add a really nice retro style, definitely a ingenious hack you guys came up with. Though I’d have to agree with redvic about using the left over 1/3 for the backing. Is there a particular reason why you didn’t use it?

  27. Anonymous says:

    That’s fantastic!! Great hack, I love it!

  28. Robj98168 says:

    Matt and Beth- I really like the retro look. Great Hack!!!

  29. Pam says:

    That is a super idea! The “retro” legs match perfectly. Pam @ Sallygoodin

    • Bevin Chu says:


      It makes them look like 50s era “Danish Modern” furniture.

      Ditto, kidney shaped coffee tables.

      On a separate note, I’ve always thought that night tables ought to be designed so they face the bed.

      They would have to be positioned slightly higher of course to clear the top of the bed.

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