Tutorial: $50 Or Less DIY Marble Side Table

How to build a marble table for $50 or less.

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Y’all, I love marble. I really do. Does that make me basic?

Just kidding, I don’t care if I’m basic.

I needed a table for my bedside and I wanted a marble table a whole lot. I also wanted not to pay over a hundred dollars a whole lot. We have been looking idly at tile recently, in preparation for an upcoming tiling project, and I thought, “Hey, tile comes in marble and also square shapes, I could make a table out of one of those maybe.” So I did.

What I bought:

– an 18″ x 18″ marble tile from Floor & Decor, $9.50 (ish). I’m pretty sure I bought this one.

Note: Lowe’s, Home Depot, and Menard’s did not carry the 18 inch size of marble tile in their store, nor did The Tile Shop; it may take some looking around to find one if you don’t have a Floor & Decor nearby. I did find a porcelain tile at The Tile Shop that I almost used, and that would be okay in a pinch. You could also affix smaller tiles or mosaic tiles to a board, if you like that look; this would require some grout. Maybe some sweet metallic or other color grout. You could use crown molding or picture frame molding to make a decorative edge. It also doesn’t have to be a tile; you can find round marble trays or lazy Susans that you could convert to a table top, though they’re more expensive than a tile.

This basic construction method would work with all kinds of table shapes. If you wanted a different size or shape, you would just need to figure out how the legs would work. A perfectly symmetric round or polygonal shape would be the same idea, but you might want to peep some oblong or rectangular tables on Google Images if you wanted to do a longer shape. Or add a fourth leg.

– 3 table legs, $3.63 each, $10.89 total
– 1 can gold spray paint, $5.98. I used maybe $2 worth painting the legs.
– 3 angle leg plates, $2.28 each, $6.84 total
– 1 tube of Gorilla Construction Adhesive, $4.98. I used very little of this, less than $1 worth. I originally tried a different adhesive and it didn’t work that well; I highly recommend this exact adhesive if you can get it because I know it works very well.
– 3 wood blocks. I actually used scrap wood, but if you need to buy wood blocks, you can find plinth blocks like this near the crown molding. You might also be able to ask for scrap. Buying plinth blocks would set you back somewhere in the area of $5.64 to $7.74 (based on the prices I saw in the store vs. the prices I see online); just make sure they’re wide enough for the leg mounting plates, which are conveniently nearby. Also make sure to get blocks with flat surfaces so they adhere properly. It’s okay if they have decorative edges; it’s the middle that needs to adhere.

The plinth blocks I found in Lowe’s

This all comes out to $45.93 if you purchase the plinth blocks. Your prices may vary a bit depending on what you can find in marble tiles, blocks, and so forth. The price of just the materials I used was more like $30.23; I know I’ll use that gold spray paint on other projects, and I’ve already used the Gorilla adhesive again. It’s good stuff.

Step One: Prepare Your Legs

Table legs taped up and ready to paint

I wanted to paint my table legs partway with gold paint. This is optional, or you could use a totally different color paint. Tape the leg at the spot where you want the paint to stop and also tape over the hardware at the bottom, unless you want to paint that, too.

Not only did I tape up the legs like you see in the photo, but before painting, I also wrapped a plastic grocery bag around it like a skirt and taped that in place, so I wouldn’t get any stray paint on the part that I wanted to keep naked. Spray painting works best if you do a number of light coats instead of one heavy coat. This paint had good coverage, so I think I only did two coats. I didn’t love the paint that I got; it had an antique gold finish to it that was not what I was after. I may paint over it in the future. The one I used was a Valspar metallic shade.

After painting, drying in a chair with its skirt still on.

Also? Have an exit plan for these table legs before you start painting. I was scrambling to find something where I could prop up the leg without the painted part touching anything. Oops.

Step Two: Ready Your Legplates

The steps are pretty easy on this one:
– Position your leg plates where you want them on the blocks.
– Mark holes with a pencil.
– Drill holes where you marked with a small drill bit. If you don’t have a drill and you want to do this by hand, use a hammer and nail to make holes by hammering the nail where you marked the block and then pulling the nail back out, leaving a hole. (Clamp your block to something for best results.) Pilot holes help you get your screws to go where you want them when you attach your plates.
– Line the plate back up with the holes and attach with the screws it came with. Use a drill or a screwdriver to put the screws in the pilot holes. Be prepared to work harder if you’re not using a drill! It’s doable, though.

I used plates like these. They come in singles as well, but Lowe’s was out when I went to buy them.
Lined up more or less center-ly, but if it’s not exact, that’s fine.
My holes marked and drilled!
Done. I guess I didn’t take photos of myself drilling. That was probably dangerous.

Step Three: Attach Your Legplates

A seemingly easy thing, but I want to say that I totally did not line up my legplates right and my table is a little wobbly as a result. I wanted you to be able to avoid having to do geometry with angles on the fly (which I did try to do and which I screwed up–I am hella good at math but I guess not patient enough to get proper tools and draw things out), so I made you a template you can print out to line up your legs. You can get a 6″ template for an 18″ table top here.

To use the template:

-Cut out the circle and place it in the center of the underside of your tile.

-On your blocks, mark where the center of the raised edge of your plate is. (The plate has a higher edge and a lower edge, to make the leg sit at an angle. The higher edge should face toward the center, not the outside. Mark the center of the plate, not the center of the block. This is why it’s fine if your plates were not at the center of your block; it only matters where the plate is.)

-Line the mark on your block up with a mark on your circle; the center point should also be lined up with the center point of the circle. It’ll look something like this:

This is a very poorly drawn representation.

– Repeat for all three legs. This method should improve the spacing and angling over what I did. You could do this much more precisely with rulers and, I dunno, compasses or whatever, and better math. This is a quick and dirty method. To be honest, even with the slight wobble, my table is still super sturdy.

Once you have the spacing to your liking, use your Gorilla adhesive and glue those babies down to the underside of your tile. You will want to hold them in place according to the directions on the glue. I think it calls for a minute or so of holding the surfaces together.

Love.
I did not angle these correctly at all and that’s what I get for trying to eyeball it.

Step Four: Patience

Let the glue set. It needs to cure or your table will not be sturdy. Follow the directions on the glue.

Step Five: Assemble Your Table

Once the glue has cured, you can screw the legs (heh, that sounds super dirty) into the leg plates:

Take off the tape and such. And your table is done.

Ta-da!

This would have been a weekend project if I hadn’t had to hunt for my marble tile. You could probably be smarter than I was and call around, because the store I found the tile at was within walking distance of my house.

Oops.

I honestly love my table. It’s not the thickest table top and it’s rough around the edges–I didn’t do any polishing or finishing work to the tile itself–but that’s okay with me. If I had wanted a thicker table top or a professionally finished edge, it would have cost me a lot more time and money; I like the natural look of stone, so this works. (Though this reminds me: if you’re super industrious, you could call around to places that sell countertops to see if they have any marble remnants you could use instead of a tile.)

Next, I just need some better organization, because my table is already strewn with headphones and Carmex and gadgets and chargers. Sigh.

If you try this tutorial, tag me on social media or leave me a comment letting me know how it worked out! I’m @msdiscoglitter on IG and @thebooksluts on Twitter. The blog has been quieter than I mean it to be, but we have been ripping out our floors and painting our railing and lots of other household DIY. Plus, school has started again, so I’m knee-deep in reading and homework. Still, I have a lot of tutorials planned out and I’ll get to them when I can. Until then, happy DIYing!

Author: Susie

Writer, dreamer, ice cream maven, lover of all things sparkly.

2 thoughts on “Tutorial: $50 Or Less DIY Marble Side Table”

  1. Nifty idea! There’s antique shop near us that has architectural salvage, including marble pieces. The larger ones are spendy, but they’re also thicker than tile, and would make decent tables (but might need more leg support). Something for folks to look into, maybe! 🙂 (Me, I want a small marble slab for the kitchen to make candy on, but then I’d just make more candy…)

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    1. Yeah! Now I’m wondering if I should hit up our architectural salvage. *scratches chin* I can always use more marble. (Mainly because I have almost no marble.)

      Like

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