How to Build a Dining Room Table With Leaves

Are you looking for a way to add extra seating for your next dinner party? Building a dining room table with leaves is an easy and affordable option that can help you accommodate more guests. Here’s how to build one yourself.

How to Build a Dining Room Table With Leaves

Making furniture from scratch can be a very rewarding experience. Not only will you have the unique satisfaction of having crafted something with your own two hands, but also you’ll end up with an exquisite and custom-made piece for your home. 

One intermediate project DIYers may find interesting is building a dining room table with leaves. Doing this yourself gives you a chance to tailor your design to fit exactly what you need in terms of functionality and décor enhancement at an affordable price point too! In this post, we’ll walk through each step involved in how to build a dining room table with leaves.

What Will You Need?

Before you can get started, it’s important to note the materials and tools needed for this project. You’ll need the following:

  1. Wood Planks: Choose a type of wood that is strong enough but still easy to work with.
  2. Table Leaves: These are how you will be able to extend your table. They should be the same width as your table planks.
  3. Fasteners: Make sure you purchase screws and nails suitable for wood and metal, depending on how you decide to attach the table leaves.
  4. Table Saw: This is used to cut the wood planks into consistent lengths.
  5. Drill: For attaching the fasteners to the wood planks (and sometimes the leaves).
  6. Sandpaper or Sander: To smooth out any rough patches in your wood after it has been cut and drilled.
  7. Finish of Choice: You can choose a paint color, stain, or other types of finish to complete your dining room table’s look.

Now that you have an idea of what materials and tools are needed let’s move on to the actual how-to guide!

10 Easy Steps on How to Build a Dining Room Table With Leaves

1. Measure and Cut the Planks: 

Measure how wide your table is going to be, then make sure to select planks that are a few inches longer. Use the table saw to cut them down to size, making sure they’re all the same length. This is how you will create the top of your table.

2. Assemble the Table Top:

Lay out your planks on a flat surface, keeping in mind how you want the grain of the wood to look when you’re done. Make sure all your pieces fit snugly together, and use screws or nails to attach them at each end, making sure not to damage any of your wood planks. As you go, use clamps to hold the planks in place.

Use Clamps to
Hold the Planks

3. Attach Legs:

Attach legs to each corner of the table top with screws and make sure they’re even by measuring from one end to another diagonally across. If you want to be extra sure, use a leveler or have someone help you. It will also make your table sturdier.

4. Add Braces:

To ensure your table is stable, add braces to the center of each side of the top for extra support. You can get creative here and make them into decorative features as well. For example, adding a center beam to the underside of the tabletop can give it an extra touch of style.

5. Attach Table Leaves:

Measure how much space you want between each leaf and cut boards that are slightly longer than this size so they can be clamped together when needed. Then attach the leaves to both ends of the table using fasteners and make sure they fit snugly against one another when extended out. Make sure the edges line up perfectly so that when extended, you can’t see any gaps.

6. Sand Down Rough Areas:

If there are any rough areas on your planks or legs, use a sander or sandpaper to smooth them out until everything looks neat and even. Another option is to use a router with a round-over bit to give your tabletop an even smoother look. If you do choose this option, make sure to wear safety glasses!

Use Sandpaper to Smooth

7. Weatherproof:

To make sure your table is protected from the elements, apply a weatherproof finish. This can be a paint or other protective coating that helps keep your wood safe from rain, sun, and snow. Don’t forget also to weatherproof the table leaves.

8. Attach Handles:

If you want to make it easier to pull out the leaves each time they’re needed, attach handles to them so they can be grabbed easily. It is important to make sure the screws used for this are properly secured. Because they will be used often, they must be especially sturdy.

9. Attach Tablecloth Clips:

Attach clips to the edges of the tabletop so you can secure a fitted tablecloth in place when desired. This will give your dining room table an extra pop of color and style when needed! Additionally, it will make cleanup a breeze.

10. Enjoy Your New Table:

Now you can enjoy your new dining room table with leaves, knowing that you made it yourself! Remember, if you ever have any issues with how your table looks or how it functions, there are always ways to tweak it until you’re satisfied. You can also take pride in the fact that you built it yourself with your own two hands!

Building furniture doesn’t have to be expensive, and this how-to guide shows that you can make a beautiful dining room table with leaves at an affordable price point too! Hopefully, this post has given you the confidence and knowledge to start building home furniture.

5 Additional Tips and Tricks

  1. When building a dining room table with leaves, it is important to consider how much space you want the finished product to take up. Building a smaller table with leaves that can be added or removed as needed may be beneficial if you are limited in space.
  2. Always make sure your table is level and even before adding any leaves. Use a spirit level to ensure that the surface of the table is completely flat. Any slight unevenness will become more pronounced when additional leaves are added.
  3. If you plan on attaching the leaves directly to the table, consider how they will be attached securely while allowing easy removal and reattachment when desired. Ensure all screws are tightly fastened but not too tight so they don’t strip over time.
  4. If you wish to hide how the leaf attaches to the main table, consider using pocket screws and concealed hinge systems. This will provide a seamless look and make the table appear as one solid piece when the leaf is in place.
  5. Finally, be sure to thoroughly sand all dining room table surfaces with leaves before finishing with a protective layer such as polyurethane or varnish. This will ensure that your finished product looks smooth and professional while also shielding it from wear and tear.
Using Pocket Screws

Following these tips will help you create a beautiful, functional dining room table with leaves, you can enjoy for years!

5 Things You Should Avoid

  1. Not Measuring the Space Correctly for Your Table: Before building a dining room table with leaves, measure how much space you have accurately. The table won’t fit in the desired area if it is too large.
  2. Skimping on Materials: Building a quality dining room table requires good materials and tools. Make sure to use high-quality wood and reinforce joints with screws or nails.
  3. Not Allowing Enough Clearance Between Chairs and Walls: When placing chairs around your new dining room table, leave at least 12 inches of clearance between them and any nearby walls or furniture pieces. This will help prevent unnecessary scuffing when people move their chairs back and forth while sitting down and getting up.
  4. Not Accounting for Furniture Placement: Before you begin building your table, consider how it will fit in the room and how you want to place the chairs around it. You may find that you need more or fewer leaves than originally planned, depending on how many people you plan to seat regularly.
  5. Overlooking Leaf Mechanisms: If you’re planning to include leaves in your dining table design, make sure they are easy to add and remove when needed. Invest in high-quality hardware that allows the leaves to be secured properly and stay stable when placed on top of the main table surface.
Use High-quality Wood

With proper care and maintenance, your dining room table with leaves will serve you well for years to come!


To conclude, building a dining room table with leaves can be an exciting and rewarding experience. Not only will you be provided with an aesthetically pleasing item, but it can also be something that you cherish and keep in your family for years to come. If you take the time to plan out each step of your construction project, it’s sure to be a successful endeavor.

Another great thing about constructing furniture like this is that once you’ve built a dining table with leaves, other projects, such as assembling desks or nightstands, will become more manageable. Aspects like cutting wood and measuring and attaching legs, hinges, and leaf extensions all become easier. So whatever the size or shape of your home DIY project may be, take the plunge into woodworking and add a truly unique piece of furniture to your house!

Hopefully, the article on how to build a dining room table with leaves has been helpful to you. Good luck and happy building!

Photo of author

Adrian Green

Adrian is a woodworking hobbyist and has loved Woodworking since he was 10 years old. Back then in childhood, his father used to have a furniture shop. He used to help his dad and learned a lot from him about how to fix woodworking furniture, basic carpentry knowledge and also about how to work hard and take care of business. He enjoys woodworking as a hobby. He loves the feeling of creating something with his own hands, and the satisfaction that comes from seeing his finished products used by others.

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