DIY: Copper and wood side table

I have been itching to try my hands at making something using copper piping for months, and the Christmas break seemed the perfect time to tackle a more demanding project.  I always think winter is nesting season i.e. the perfect time to make some changes round the house, throw some clutter away and restyle your living space.  My go to for this is making new cushions (so sue me – I’m a sewist at heart haha!!), but there is a limit to how many soft furnishings you can squeeze into a flat (apparently I’ve hit this limit… I’m not so sure), so a beautiful side table seemed like the ‘healthy’ option.

Homebase have been running a brilliant campaign all about updating and transforming your home through simple DIY – Small Change, Big Difference.  They’ve teamed up with interior designer Julia Kendall to share some really innovative and fun ideas from upcycling furniture, creating chalkboard walls, and how to install your own beautiful pendant lighting.  You can see all the videos here as well as some wider interior inspiration from Julia -it all looks amazing!

Copper has been a bloggers dream this year, and I for one am not yet over this trend. so I particularly loved the copper shelves DIY – and if I owned my flat I definitely would have considered trying to make these, but as a renter standalone furniture is much more practical so a table it had to be!  For this project Homebase provided most of the materials (except the table top) and also a handy Ozito 3.6V auto screwdriver to help me speed up my making.  Because you can buy fittings to create 90 degree corners or T joins it made designing the table really straightforward – just make sure you work with straight lines!

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I took a really long time to decide what to use as a table top.  I needed to be able to screw into it to attach the copper base so it couldn’t be too thin and I wanted either a circle or square top.  You can buy wood slices online or get something made bespoke but feeling thrifty after Christmas I sourced a gorgeous wooden chopping board from TK Maxx which worked like a charm.  It has a hole to one side which would have been used to hang the board but I quite like it as a design quirk.

You will need:

  • 15mm Copper Pipe (I used 3 metres)
  • Mini Pipe Cutter
  • Equal T solder ring x 2
  • 9 degree bend fittings x 8
  • Saddle clips (to join your base to your table top)
  • Short screws
  • washers (depending on screw length)
  • Screwdriver
  • Wooden chopping board for your table top

Here’s the plan for how I made my table.  You can adjust all of the lengths as needed, I designed mine to fit over the top of our wine rack.  Each corner is connected with a 90 degree bend fitting and the cross pieces are connected with equal T solder rings.side-table-plan-2

I used the mini pipe cutter to cut all of my measured pieces.  Secure the cutter around the pipe and rotate it 360 degrees (you’ll see the blade leaves a small indent).   Then tighten the cutter and repeat, again and again until the pipe cuts.  It takes some time but it’s definitely the best way to achieve a really neat and accurate cut.  Once I had cut and assembled my table to check all the pieces fitted accurately I added a little super glue at each join to secure it.
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Now it’s time to move onto securing the table top.  Place your board upside down on the floor to position your base.  I used masking tape to make sure the base wouldn’t move.  Now lay your sadly clips over the piping and screw into place.  I added a washer under each screw to absolutely ensure that they wouldn’t come through to the surface of the table.  I used my Ozito electric screwdriver for this task and it made a huge difference having a little extra power (my chopping board was made of different types of wood which looked gorgeous but meant some were quite hard to actually screw into -why do I never check these details??).
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The screwdriver is really easy to use – and my favourite detail is that all of the different heads to fit different types of screw/bolt are fitted within the screwdriver itself – you simply rotate and select the one you want to use.  I would have lost a detachable set in a second into the chaos that is our tool box/craft store so hooray for idiot proof screwdriver design!
Here’s my finished table – I am over the moon with how it came out.
I think it looks really stylish and it has passed my extensive wobble test so we can actually put nice things on it securely.  I still have lots of copper pipe left so I can’t wait to think up some more designs to create – maybe some matching candlestick holders?
Do you have any early 2017 DIY plans in place? and if you have any ideas for what I should make next let me know
Hannah x
This post was created for Homebase as part of their Small Change Big Difference challenge.  I received the materials and screwdriver for free but the ideas and designs are all my own
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