A coffee table is an integral part of the living room. Not only is it the centerpiece of the room, but it also serves a useful purpose when entertaining guests. If you are in need of a good coffee table but don't want to break your budget, you can always build one yourself. Here are 11 affordable coffee table ideas that fit just about any style.

1. Pallet Coffee Table

You can construct a cheap coffee table with a wood pallet, plywood (or MDF), and a few casters. Simply take a wood pallet, install plywood on top for a smooth surface and add some wheels to make it mobile. You can paint the wood any color to match your home's existing décor. Because this coffee table is made from recycled lumber, it fits well with other rustic pieces and wood furniture. Overall, the cost of a pallet coffee table is minimal, especially if you can find free pallet wood. The only costs are the plywood, casters and paint. It is also a quick and easy DIY project that should only take a day to complete.

wood pallet coffee table

2. Barrel Coffee Table

A barrel coffee table can really add a farmhouse feel to your living room. All you need for this project is an old wood barrel, some wood for the base, and planks for the top. Start by cutting the barrel in half and installing semi-circle wood cutouts for the base. Attach the top of the coffee table to the cut portion of the barrel. You can add a few hinges if you want to utilize the barrel for storage space. This type of coffee table works well in a rustic setting and should only take a few days to construct.

3. Crate Coffee Table

Old crates, such as wine crates, can be assembled to create an affordable and stylish coffee table. All you have to do is stain or paint the crates a color of your choosing and fasten them together with each crate facing out. This gives you a flat surface for a table top and side storage options. You can decorate a crate coffee table with old books or old corks, which fits well if you are using wine crates. You can also incorporate a rustic tray to hold candles or flowers. Installing casters on the bottom of the crates is a good option for making it mobile.

wine crates
Enjoy your wine crate long after the wine is gone. Photo provided by Pexels

4. Wood Slab Coffee Table

A wood slab coffee table is one of the easiest to make on this list. All you need is a hunk of good wood (preferably with one flat side) and some metal legs. Simply attach the legs on all corners of the wood and protect the surface with a layer of polyurethane. You can stain the wood as well, depending on your style. A wood slab coffee table is clean and modern in look, so pairing it with a few books and an interesting decorative item is pretty much all you need. It should only take you a few hours to complete this project, though the cost will vary depending on what kind of wood you use for the top.

slab of wood coffee table
A beautiful slab of wood can be transformed into a coffee table. M. Unal Ozmen/Shutterstock

5. Suitcase Coffee Table

If you are looking for more of an antique look for your living room, look no further than a suitcase coffee table. Old suitcases can be transformed into coffee tables by simply adding a few hairpin legs to raise it off the ground. Start by cutting and installing a piece of plywood inside the suitcase so that you have something to drill into. Then attach the legs on the bottom and you're done. The inside of the suitcase can be used for storage and little decoration is required because you want to draw attention to the suitcase itself.

Old suitcase coffee table

6. Recycled Lumber Coffee Table

Recycled lumber is great for making a coffee table at a minimal cost. Thick pieces of lumber work better as they require less work and provide plenty of stability. All you need are several pieces for the top, a few for the sides, and a couple for the bottom. You can make it as long or wide as you want, depending on the type of lumber you are using. Old books, wood bowls and plants are great for decorating recycled lumber. Consider using contrasting wood on the table to really bring out the colors in the wood.

7. Log Coffee Table

A DIY log coffee table is a great way to bring the outdoors inside. With this project, you will need an assortment of birch logs, all of which are cut to the exact same length. The base of the coffee table is made out of a piece of MDF with casters installed on each of the corners. Once the base has been constructed, stand each piece of log upright and attach it to the base with some wood glue. Continue stacking the logs in straight lines until the base is completely covered. This project should only take a few days to complete, and you can decorate the top with some flowers or wood trays.

log coffee table
Turn logs into a coffee table for a rustic look. M. Unal Ozmen/Shutterstock

8. Wood Slice

If you are looking for a smaller coffee table, then turning a slice of wood might do the trick. All you need is a wide slice of wood and a few hairpin legs. Attach the legs to the bottom of the wood slice with screws and stain the surface to your liking. You can paint the legs a unique color to match existing décor. Plants are great additions to wood slice coffee tables as they really bring out the rustic and natural look of the piece.

wood slice
A wood slice coffee table will add flair to any room. Sezgiakin/Shutterstock

9. Window Coffee Table

An old window makes a great surface top for a coffee table. Start by constructing a frame that is the same length and width of the window frame. Add some planks of wood to the bottom of the frame and screw in a few casters to add height and mobility. Then install the window on top of the frame with a few hinges on one side. You can then use the glass surface for a table and the inside of the frame for storing books and magazines. Painting the frame a different color than the base can also add some depth to the piece. This project should take no longer than a few hours to complete and is well within your budget.

10. Wood Door Coffee Table

Old wood doors have a lot of DIY potential, especially when it comes to coffee tables. One solid wood door is all you need for this project, depending on how large you want the table. Start by cutting the door into three pieces. The largest piece (which should include the handle) will be used for the top while two smaller pieces are required for the sides. Add some plywood for a base and attach wheels for height and mobility. You can leave the wood door in its original state or weather it with some paint and sand paper. Simply attach the sides of the door to the ends of the base and screw in the top. You can use the middle of the coffee table for storing items and the top for entertaining guests.

wood door coffee table
Upcycle your old door into a useful and appealing coffee table. Barna Tanko/Shutterstock

11. Wine Barrel Coffee Table

With a piece of glass and some filler material, you can easily transform an old wine barrel into a coffee table in as little as a few hours. Start by cutting the wine barrel in half to your desired height. Then add some wheels to make it mobile and stuff the barrel with filler material. Straw and old corks are great for stuffing. Then simply install the glass piece on top of the barrel, using the weight of the glass to hold it in place. Add some flowers and a few candles on top to complete the look.

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