We recently hosted a backyard party, and we wanted some high top tables for people to be able to mingle around. We looked around online but nothing was as simple as we wanted (we were going to cover them with table clothes so they didn't need to be fancy), and the ones we were able to find at all were pricier than we wanted. So, we did what you do when you want something to exactly match your vision: we built them.

The Materials

  1. Three 1"x4" boards, cut to 40" in length.
  2. Three 3" hinges, with hardware.
  3. One raw round table top, 24" diameter. I found these at Lowes.

The total cost of materials ended up being about $35 per table. The table top was by far the priciest piece, at about $18 each.

The Build

  1. Cut your boards to length (40"), if you haven't already.
  2. Use a square or protractor and mark the exact center of the underside of your table top.
  3. Position your hinges in a triangle around the center mark, with about 1/8" space between the hinges. See the picture below for an example.
  4. Mark the holes on the table top for the hinges with a pencil or pen.
  5. Remove the hinges and drill pilot holes for your screws. Here's a guide for choosing the right size pilot hole. If you skip this step, you will likely crack your table top.
  6. For each board, lay a hinge on the end, making sure that you have the orientation correct. Compare with the photos below if you're unsure.
  7. Mark the holes on the boards for the hinge with a pencil or pen.
  8. Remove the hinges and drill pilot holes for your screws. Here's a guide for choosing the right size pilot hole. If you skip this step, you will likely crack your table leg.
  9. Get out your screws and attach the hinges to the boards first, screwing them down snug but not so tight that you crack the wood or strip the hole. Be sure you have the hinge oriented properly (when attatched to the table top the hinges should swing away from the table freely, see the photos below to compare).
  10. One by one, screw the hinges to the table top, again double checking your orientation. You may need an extra hand to hold up the legs as you finish if you dont have enough space to lay out the legs flat.
  11. Now gather the legs carefully together and flip the table over so that it is upright. Spread out the legs so that they are even with the edge of the table top. Adjust the legs a bit as necessary to create a level table top. You're done! [^1]

The Result

[^1]: We left ours unfinished, but if you plan to use them without tableclothes or leave them outside you should paint or stain them. Also, if you plan to use them on a very smooth surface, you'll need to find some rubber feet or build a strap to prevent the legs from slipping out.