Nothing says love like a handmade gift. This simple scrap wood armrest table takes almost no time to make, is beautiful and functional and costs next to nothing… except for the love you put into making it.
I’ve been thinking about the Holidays this year, and while my family is fortunate and I have been employed throughout this Covid mess, there are far too many that haven’t been and/or are not.
Which means that money is tight for most of us, but love is abundant – so handmade gifts are more important than ever.
I’d seen these cute armrest tables on Amazon – and I believe there are some makers out there selling them on Etsy as well – but I wanted to show you how easy it is to make one yourself.
For yourself, for a friend, for family etc.
This little beauty was made from 4 pieces of scrap 2″x 4″ that were only (about) 12″ long.
Yup, those crappy little bits that are usually thrown away or used for kindling can actually make this fabulous armrest table.
I’m working on my video skills, and while I won’t profess to have it yet, I think I’m getting better (in very small increments lol).
Scrap wood armrest table
- (10) strips of 2×4 ripped to ¼” thick by ~10″ long
- (2) strips of 2×4 ripped on the wide side so you have 2 boards, ¼” thick by 3 ½” wide.
- Using wood glue, stick your two wide boards together and clamp until dry. This will be your tray surface.
- Sand your narrow strips and tray surface with 220 grit sandpaper.
- Stain your boards on the edges and top, and let dry.
- Use a polyurethane to protect your finish.
- Using wood glue – Titebond or Gorilla glue (suitable for all surfaces)- adhere your tray surface to the centre of a piece of leather, pleather, suede or thick felt.
- Repeat to attach the thin slats on either side of the tray section.
- Cut your leather down to size.
- Place something heavy on the wood and leave overnight or until the glue is fully cured.
- With a staple gun, use ¼” staples through the back of the fabric into the wood boards. I went with one staple on either end of each board, four on the tray section.
I wasn’t sure if this armrest table would work on a round-armed sofa, but it does!
The tray gives a nice flat section to rest your tea (or in my case hot cocoa) and the slats on the sides give it weight to keep it from sliding around.
Seriously, I wouldn’t have photographed this with a full mug of hot chocolate on my light beige couch if I hadn’t tested it for stability first.
I was able to stand on the cushions next to the armrest tray to take this photo and the mug didn’t move at all.
This is SO GREAT if you have an (upholstered) armchair without a side table next to it.
If you have a giant sectional, like mine, then you can also lay the armrest table on the seat cushion and it makes a pretty stable surface for your drink or food. The slats are spaced so closely together that the tray can’t invert; it can only hang over a sofa arm or lay flat.
Yes, the mug was chosen intentionally for this project. lol
It’s actually quite pretty too, so I don’t mind leaving it out all the time.
This took about an hour to make (not including dry time for the stain, poly or glue) so not only is it a useful and pretty gift, but it’s really easy to make.
And if you know anyone with scrap wood, this armrest table is almost free as well!
The Holidays aren’t about quantity or dollars spent – they are about letting loved ones know just how loved they are – and there’s no better way than with a handmade gift.
Have a great one!