How to Build a Wooden Card Table

Although the name of a wooden card table may associate it with a particular activity, this type of small tables actually has a wide variety of different uses, both inside and outside of the house. They are light and small and are suitable for supporting a number of different lightweight items. Additionally, they are easy to build and can be put together by those with little experience and with only a few inexpensive materials and tools. Read on for a brief guide on how to put together a wooden card table from scrap materials at home.

Tools and Materials

  • Sheet of 1/2 inch thick plywood
  • Upholstery fabric (about 3 yards)
  • Measuring tape
  • Sharpie or other permanent marker
  • Chalk line
  • Hammer and nails
  • Circular saw
  • Jigsaw
  • Upholstery staples and stapler
  • Electric knife
  • Wooden legs
  • Power screwdriver, or drill with screwdriver bit, and screws
  • Leg hinges

Step 1 -- Design the Table Surface

There are a number of ways that you can design the surface of your table. It can be a square or rectangular shape if you prefer to leave the plywood sheets as you found them. Other common shapes include circles and ovals. You can also trim the plywood surface of the table to another less common shape if you'd like. Use the sharpie to draw out the shape of the plywood, and then use the jigsaw or the circular saw to cut the plywood around the shape of the table.

Step 2 -- Lay the Fabric

With the surface of the table complete, lay the upholstery fabric over the top of the table. Staple one end of the fabric to the side of the table, then stretch the remaining fabric very tightly over the table. Have an assistant help to smooth out the fabric so that you can be sure that it's properly fitted, and then staple it to the other side of the table opposite the first staples. Work your way around the table, stapling fabric into place, until the entire table is secure.

Step 3 -- Cut the Fabric

Turn the table surface over, and use the electric knife to cut off any excess fabric that is left on the underside of the table. Remove enough fabric so that there aren't any loose sections hanging down, and then fold about 2 inches of the fabric back over, and staple it to the underside of the table for stability.

Step 4 -- Attach the Legs

There are two ways to attach the table legs. The first is more straightforward and requires only a hammer and nails. Decide where to place the legs, and then fasten them to the table with the nails.

The second way is more sophisticated and appropriate for those who will want to store the table when it is not in use. Use the power screwdriver to attach screw-on hinges to the underside of the table surface. Attach the legs to the other end of the hinges, and test it to make sure that the legs will collapse separately and appropriately before affixing them to the bottom of the table.