Ikea Hack Farmhouse Table

apples on ikea hack farmhouse table

After posting about my shelves, I realized that the post about our new kitchen table (which you can see in the shelf post) was still in my drafts folder!

We finally outgrew our old kitchen table this year.  To be honest, our table had been too small for a while.  It wasn’t a particularly big table, but with a couple of benches in place of chairs, a permanent leaf, and a lot of togetherness we made it work… until JM (#8) was old enough to sit in a high chair.  At that point, we couldn’t put off a new table any longer.

On the other hand, we didn’t want to have to mortgage our first born in order to afford a table big enough for all of us.

I have a friend who haunts Craigslist day and night looking for bargains.  Chickens, goats (she thinks I need goats), horses (ditto the horse), large conference table sets… you name it.  She’s been able to furnish her house for a fraction of the cost it would have cost if she’d bought the furniture new, and the way they made the large-family-table-thing work was to snag a large conference table set on Craigslist.  It doesn’t look like a conference table.  It looks like a dining room set. If you’re the kind of person who likes to watch Craigslist, it’s a great tip.

But I am Craigslist-challenged.  So what to do?

Ikea hack table 1

 Ikea hack, of course!

After putting together our wall o’ shelves that looks like a built-in bookcase, my husband is now hooked on Ikea hacks. So he was poking around the Internet one day, and he found these instructions for an Ikea hack farmhouse table.  At first, they seemed too good to be true. (Really, you should click through the link and check it out, because each of the Ingo tables that forms the base of this big one costs $69.  I feel like a used car salesman bolding that number, but we were looking at table and chair sets that cost $3500.  From $3500 to $69 x 2?  Wouldn’t you think it was a mistake at first?)  But after we pulled up the Ikea site and started looking at it, we realized that it was totally doable.

building Ikea hack farmhouse table

(Ok, I say “we” but I mean “he” realized it was totally doable.  The only thing I did with this table was to help get it in the house.  Although he did have a few other — smaller– helpers, too.)

boys helping

 We actually ended up ordering two of the Ingo sets — 2 tables and 8 eight chairs all together.  The tables are basically fastened together by the tabletop built on top of them.  For the most part, Andy followed the directions for the hack, but he did make a few modifications.  Because the new tabletop is built on a subframe attached to the Ikea tables, there is a gap beneath the tables.  Because Andy is the father of a large family, he immediately thought of what would happen if little people spilled their milk and it leaked into the cracks between the tabletop’s boards.  So he drilled holes in the underside of the Ikea tables, and that has proved massively necessary.

(In retrospect, it would be good to find something to putty in the cracks in the board or otherwise seal them heavily.  Food — like rice, for instance — tends to fall into those cracks and get stuck.)

putting up the table

The other thing the original hack post doesn’t tell you is that, while the table is cheap to build, it ends up weighing roughly 3,000 pounds.  Andy is wearing his weightlifting belt in this picture because he needed it to protect his back.  You can see the two Ikea tables underneath in this picture with the farmhouse table top built across them.  If you think about it, that means that when you lift the table, you’re not lifting just one table.  You’re lifting three tables simultaneously.  It was really, really, really heavy.  Andy built the table on the driveway, and then we had to move it around to the back door in order to get it in the house.  We put one end of it in a utility cart and had two of us stabilizing the other end to get it to the door.  Lifting it to get it in the house and then flipping it over once we put the legs on was very hard.

Some people have even said that it will never move from this spot again, ever.

the table in place

Now, instead of being all scrunched at the table, we have a hard time passing food down it.  We went from a 72 inch table to a table that is over 100 inches long.  It’s about as long a table as we can fit in our dining space and has been a great solution for us.

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  1. Love it! I’m requesting this table!
    Cassie recently posted…{ pretty, funny, happy, real } July 17, 2014My Profile

  2. wow that’s over 2.5 meters!! no wonder you had trouble lifting not to mention 3 table weight! Well done, kudos to Andy!!
    Erin recently posted…What To Do With The Picture Books?My Profile

  3. Love it! I love that farmhouse look. We just got a new table too but it was done the Craigslist way. Laughed when you said you now have trouble passing food down because we are finding that also. :)
    Amy recently posted…Hot July DaybookMy Profile

  4. I have been scouring craigslist also, as well as other sites and comparing prices and what would work for us because we are in need of a new table, too. 8 children also, and one on the way and it really is a tight fit for us. But I was finding that, same as you, it was going to cost an arm and a leg! Sigh… Then I saw your post about organizing your shelves and I was going to comment and ask where you got your table, when I saw, under your “Popular Posts” heading, the post about your farmhouse table! Imagine my excitement!
    How doable would you say this is for someone who is not as experienced in doing this sort of thing? If we can do this, it would be a huge blessing!



    • Well, you need some really basic woodworking skills — like being able to operate a circular saw to cut boards. But it’s a pretty simple project. My husband says he chose it specifically because it looked forgiving. (The boards that form the table top don’t need to be planed, for instance, and any imperfections really look like they ought to be there.) He says that putting it together was pretty easy, but that you definitely need to think ahead about how you’re going to move it into place. Because it is really, REALLY heavy.

      Good luck! I like our table a lot and it was SO much cheaper to do it this way!


  1. […] Hack Attack.  Need a new, expansive dining room table around which your numerous offspring may gather for meals, homework, and craft projects?  For few dollars?  Three Plus Two Homeschool shows you how in this detailed post. […]

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