DIY: Ikea Occasional Table

DIY: Ikea Occasional Table

occasionalAnyone remember those Ikea Occasional Tables? I remember seeing them the first time I walked into an Ikea. I instantly fell in love, but I couldn’t justify the $130 price tag. I filed it in my mind as a “someday purchase” and moved on with life. Well, I was finally ready to buy one last week but I found out they don’t sell them anymore. Can you believe it? I was heartbroken.

I simply had to make one myself. Now I am in no way, shape or form a know-it-all when it comes to DIY projects. But I figured I could tackle this. Here’s how I did it.

I found this tutorial on I Save A to Z and based my project off of it. Mine ended up costing a bit more than hers because I had to buy stain and buy two sets of brackets (whoops), but I still only spent about $60.

First I bought a 2x12x12 board from Menards. I can’t remember what kind of wood it was, but it was $15. Be sure to check that the board is flat. You’ll have a hell of a time with this project if your board is wrapped. Just lay the board on the ground to check to see if it’s flat. Mine was a little off on one end, but overall, it was pretty good. Also, if you’re going to stain it, make sure you like the wood grain. If you’re going to paint it, don’t worry about it. It will be covered up anyways. You can have an employee at the store cut your boards for you. I did, it’s much easier to transport the project in smaller pieces. I have a full size bed and cut my board 3 times – 60″ for the top and two cuts at 29″ for the legs. I based these dimensions off of the tutorial I found. In retrospect, I wish I would have cut my board for the top a bit longer, at 62″. I have carpet in my room and the table doesn’t slide perfectly. I would have been easier if it was bit wider and not so snug on my bed. It still works, but I wish I had a bit more room. I think 60″ would be great if you’ve got hardwood. The table slides around great on the hardwood in my living room. I also lowered the legs to 29″ instead of the 29 1/2 ” the tutorial suggested. I didn’t want the table sitting too high for my bed. Just measure your bed to be sure.

Now for the brackets. Get the biggest brackets you can find. Trust me on this. I got small brackets at first and it was very wobbly. My large brackets were $3.50 each. The little ones I bought were $3 for 4. Don’t be cheap on this, trust me.

You’re also going to need a box of wood screws. I bought 1 1/2″ screws, since my boards were 2″ deep.

You’ll also need 4 two inch rigid wheels. Get rigid so that they don’t swivel in all directions.


Alright. Let’s talk about assembly. First I attached my brackets to the boards. I attached the legs under the top board, not on the side? Does that make sense? That way my top board was completely smooth and you don’t see the ends on the leg boards.


Then I sanded it down. This didn’t take too long, really I was just prepping it for staining. I also sanded the exposed edges of the board, because they were a bit rough from cutting.


Next I flipped it over and attached the legs. Easy peasy. I did this because it would be easier to stain if it was elevated off the ground a bit.

The next step was to stain. I bought a gel stain… which I regret. I had a hard time with it. It was difficult to spread out and was incredibly goopy. Next time I’d go with a traditional stain.

The final step was to polyurethane the whole thing. I still need to put one more coat on the top. I want an extra coat on the top so that I can put drinks and things on it without worrying about watermarks.


Here is the full material list:
1. 2x12x12 board (1) cut at  60″, 29″, 29″ (the 29 inch cuts are for the legs. Measure you’re bed to see how high you want your’s to sit. Remember, it will be elevated by the wheels.
2. 2″ Rigid Caster Wheels (4)
3. 1 1/2″ Wood Screws (1 box I used 28. My brackets needed 3 each and then 4 for each wheel)
4. Large “L” Brackets (I can’t remember the size, but mine had 3 holes, not 2)
5. Sand Paper
6. Stain/Paint & Polyurethane Optional

Today I am linking up with:
Jess at Bless Her Heart Y’all for Celebrate Southern

  • I love this idea! Your table turned out great and looks like it was fairly easy to do! Thanks for sharing!

    Doused In Pink

    • Thanks Jill! We used it for the first time the other night and it was fantastic. Ivan was able to do his work and I watched netflix :)

  • What a great idea! I wish I had more room around my bed so I could try this. Definitely love it!

    • It really doesn’t take up too much room. I was afraid it would still be a little wet when I took this picture so I didn’t want to pull it up around the white blankets. Now I keep it over the foot of the bed during the day. When we sleep I pushed it back, but for most of the day it fits in the footprint of the bed :)

  • Wow! This looks great! It looks better than the kea version to me!

  • Nan

    Hello and THANKS so much!
    Hahaha, I too fell in love with the Sliding Bed Table from IKEA.
    I even saved the catalog page for when my “definitely one day would come.
    Today is the day and after realizing it is likely a no-go with IKEA, I googled sliding bed table….found YOU and others.
    I’d always figured I’d end up building it myself, LOL.
    And at the right price!
    Thanks again and keep on DIY 😜

  • Excellent post, really informative, thank you

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