Paris je t’aime: a DIY folding table inspired by French chic
- Cost50-60 £
- Duration3 - 8 h
Oh, wouldn’t it be simply marvellous to relive times spent wandering through romantic alleyways and sipping a café au lait in charming bistros. Impossible, you say? Mais oui! We’ll show you how to bring un petit peu de Paris into your home with a classic folding table inspired by French chic. Follow our step-by-step instructions to make this stylish piece of furniture, and you’ll soon be living la vie en rose!
- work gloves
- paint brush
- drill template (for drilling into the pipes)
- pocket rule
- safety glasses
- thin marker
- copper cleaning agent, e.g. acetone or metal cleaner
- nail to prepare the drill hole
- protractor template (so that you can saw at the correct angle)
- 1 board made from beechwood: 40 x 40 x 2 cm (LxWxH)
- 4 wooden slats made from beechwood: 40 x 2 cm (LxW)
- 4 copper pipes: 56 x 1.6 cm (LxD)
- 4 copper pipes: 30 x 1.6 cm (LxD)
- 8 copper pipe elbows: 1.6 cm (D)
- 8 screws for the tabletop: 16 x 3.5 mm (LxD)
- 2 screws for the metal table frame, 40 x 6 mm (LxD)
- 4 matching nuts
- 2 straps for folding and unfolding the table: 60 x approx. 3 cm (LxW)
- copper-coloured paint
Let's go - step by step
Drill holes into the long copper pipes
You need: Cordless impact drill (depending on wall condition), 6 mm metal drill bit, drill template (for drilling into the pipes), g-clamps, pocket rule, hammer, nail to prepare the drill hole, thin marker, 4 copper pipes 56 cm in length
The first thing you’ll need to do is build a stable folding frame for your DIY folding table from copper pipes. That means it’s time to get drilling – you will need to drill a hole into the centre of each copper pipe. As the hole needs to be at the exact same height on all pipes, you should get out your pocket rule, carefully measure the position on the pipes and mark it. Secure the first pipe using G-clamps so that it can’t shift during drilling. You can also make a little hollow on the marking using a hammer and nail so that the drill won’t slip on the smooth material. Then, you can simply drill into this hollow. Before positioning the drill, you should use a drill template so that you will be able to drill straight into the pipe. Simply place it on the pipe and place the drill in the appropriate template hole. Now, apply some pressure while drilling – the template will ensure that you drill straight.
Assemble the first structure for the metal frame
You need: glue, 4 copper pipes 56 cm in length, 4 copper pipes 30 cm in length, 6 copper pipe elbows
The metal table frame will consist of two rectangles made from copper pipes screwed together. You will need two long and two short copper pipes to construct each of these. To make a rectangle, you should arrange the pipes in such a way that each short pipe and each long pipe face each other. This is because you will need to glue the ends of the short pipes to a long pipe. Use a copper elbow at each corner to form a right angle. Begin with a short pipe. Glue inside the end of an elbow. Then, put a long pipe into it. Place the next elbow into the free end and glue the second short pipe to it. Repeat this step with the second long pipe. Then, glue a fourth elbow to connect the first short pipe with the long pipe. The first part of your metal table frame is now complete.
Glue a long pipe and a short pipe together using an elbow to prepare the second frame. Do the same with the remaining two pipes. But be careful and make sure not to glue these two-pieces together!
Screw the metal table frame together
You need: Cordless impact drill (depending on wall condition), Socket wrench attachment, wrench, 2 screws: 40 x 6 mm (LxD), 4 nuts, 2 copper pipe elbows
Now it’s time to screw together the metal table frame that will be placed on the tabletop later on. To do so, take the completed pipe rectangle and put one of the two-piece pipes into it, so that both long copper pipes lie parallel to one another and the holes are at the same height. Now, twist a screw through both holes and secure them using the nut on the other side. Use a second nut to conceal the screw so that it doesn’t look out of place. Simply place this behind the first one. To ensure that it remains firmly in place, tighten the nut using the wrench and the socket wrench attachment on the cordless impact drill. Glue the second pipe arrangement together before screwing the other side. Place the metal table frame on the part you have already screwed and assemble both two-pieces and elbows. Screw together the two other long pipes when you have glued all of the pieces.
Your table frame should now consist of two rectangular pipe structures that are screwed to each other on the long pipe side and can be folded up and unfolded.
Wipe down the frame – and your first part is now complete
You need: copper cleaning agent, e.g. acetone or metal cleaner, towel
You can wipe down the copper frame using a special copper polish as a finishing touch. Apply a few drops to a cloth and rub it along the copper pipes to remove any fingerprints and smudges. The first part of your DIY folding table is now complete!
Cut the tabletop to size
You need: Circular saw blade special, g-clamps, pocket rule, work gloves, board
Now it’s time to make your tabletop. Measure the dimensions 40 x 40 cm using the pocket rule and mark them on the board using a pencil. Then, secure it to your work surface using G-clamps so that it can’t shift while you are sawing.
Put on suitable work gloves before you start sawing and set the cutting depth of the cordless circular saw. Add 2 mm to the thickness of your material in doing so. Then, place the switched-off saw on the board in such a way that the saw blade does not yet touch the board. Switch the device on and wait until it has reached full speed. Carefully move the saw forwards before moving it slowly, but evenly and consistently, through the wood.
We recommend using a guide rail if you are feeling a little unsure of how to use a hand-held circular saw or you have to make a long cut.
Sand down the wooden board
You need: Sanding sponge, safety glasses
You should sand down the surface and edges of the board to make sure that you are able to enjoy your French-inspired folding table without having to put up with annoying splinters. Move the sanding sponge over the wood in one direction, evenly and without applying too much pressure. You can simply sweep away or hoover up the sawdust at the end. We recommend using to protective goggles to prevent sawdust from getting in your eyes.
Saw the wooden slats to length and attach them to the underside of the tabletop
You need: Jigsaws, Jigsaw blade T 101 B, Cordless impact drill (depending on wall condition), 3.5 mm wood drill bit, g-clamps, work gloves, protractor template (so that you can saw at the correct angle), pocket rule, wooden slats, 8 screws: 16 x 3.5 mm (LxD)
Now it’s time to build the wooden frame for the underside of the tabletop. The wooden slats must be sawn at a 45-degree angle at both ends. Measure 45 degrees on the wooden slat using a protractor and mark the position using a pencil. In order to saw straight, you are best off drawing a line from the marked point to the opposite corner (your starting point). You should secure the wooden slat using G-clamps to ensure that you stay safe while sawing. You can now position the jigsaw and slowly lead it away from you while making sure not to exert too much pressure. Repeat this step for the ends of all four slats.
Drill holes in the wooden slats and the board to screw the wooden slats to the tabletop. You need to drill one hole in each slat about 5 cm from each end of the slat. The holes in the wooden slats should be 0.5 to 1 mm larger than the screw diameter. The holes in the board should be 1 mm smaller. This will allow the thread to gain purchase. You should mark the screw points at the same spot on both parts. Now, place the sawn wooden slats, arranged in a square, on the underside of the tabletop and screw them tight.
Attach the straps to the metal table frame
You need: Cordless tacker, 2 straps
Turn the tabletop upside down in front of you with the wooden frame facing upwards to build the folding mechanism for the metal table frame. Position each strap 6 cm from the edge of the tabletop. Place the copper frame on the strap. Now, loop the end of the strap around the pipe and tack it to the strap lying on the wooden board. Do this for the other ends, too.
Add the finishing touches
You need: paint brush, copper-coloured paint
You can now paint the screws and nuts of the copper frame using a special copper-coloured paint so that all parts of the frame match. You can set up your frame properly and place the tabletop on it once the paint has dried.
Voilà – c’est fini! Your new French-inspired folding table is ready to make its début.