Emily Henderson

Customize It: Copper + Leather Weave Table

Friends, friends, friends. Many of you might consider me a DIY person and while I love some DIY and I’m not incompetent (i’m sorry but have you not seen my 4-h state ribbon collection?), I have some friends that are wildly better at it. So, with my collaboration, the very lovely Stephanie Todaro came up with some projects that we styled and shot together to share with y’all. (Shot by the lovely Tessa Neustadt).

This first one involves copper and leather – two of my most favorite and on trend materials for 2014. Plus there is a Bearcat modeling in this post which guarantees it to be a big old hit. Thanks, Steph!
Customize It: Leather and Copper Side Table

As of late, I’ve seen so many wonderful pieces with leather weaving. I’m a fan as much as the next girl, so I thought it would be fun to try and recreate the look in a custom side table with copper detailing.

This project will definitely take up a couple hours of your time, but I think the end result is well worth the DVRing of  Shahs of Sunset….err…I mean 60 Minutes.

Customize It: Leather and Copper Side Table

Here’s what you’ll need…

  • Approx. 3-4 yards leather piece or pieces (I decided to hit up a local discount leather store scrap bin in downtown LA and found some great pieces. I recommend finding one near you or checking out your local fabric store.)
  • grommets
  • 13-15 ft copper piping  (we used 2 –  3/4” diameter, 10ft metal pipes found at Home Depot and cut them down to size with a tube cutter)
  • 8 copper cross-bar connection pieces
  • 8 copper corner connection pieces
  • tube cutter
  • Gorilla glue
  • x-acto knife
  • cutting mat
  • paint matching the color of your leather
  • ruler
  • hammer


1. Measure out the appropriate lengths for each section of tubing and cut with the tube cutter.

*HELPFUL HINT: You can really make this table to any size you like. But if you would like to follow my exact proportions to create a small side table, here are the dimensions:

Customize It: Leather and Copper Side Table

2. Once all of your pieces are cut, assemble them using the connection pieces. (See detailed graphic below) NOTE: You will have to disassemble portions of the top section to fit the leather pieces on…so no gluing yet.

Customize It: Leather and Copper Side Table

3. Take your leather pieces and start cutting them into 1” strips (or as thick as you like) to appropriate length. NOTE: Make sure to leave an additional 3” on either end of your strip for looping around.

Customize It: Leather and Copper Side Table

*If you are following the measurements of the table I made, you will have 4 – approx. 24” long strips going longest-side across and 11 – approx. 18” long strips going shortest-side across. You are going to want the leather to stretch tightly across the top, so be sure to accommodate to get that taught look.

4. After cutting all of your strips, start creating the loops that will hold the strips to the pipe by folding over one end (approx 3”) of your leather strip around and lying flat on the cutting mat.

5. Then with your x-acto knife, cut a tiny X in the center of your folded section (the goal is to create a hole for your grommet to fit through both sides of the now folded section).

Customize It: Leather and Copper Side Table

6. Put your grommet in place and secure with a hammer.

7. Repeat on all ends of every strip.

Customize It: Leather and Copper Side Table

8. Once all of your leather strips have loops created on either end, you can start to place on the copper piping. (This is where the disassembling begins.)

9. As you begin sliding each strip into place, keep in mind the weaving pattern and continue to re-assemble the table top as you go.

*HELPFUL HINT: You will have to be a bit forceful with the shifting and nudging of the leather to get it to stretch taught across the table top, so don’t be afraid to put some elbow grease into it.

Customize It: Leather and Copper Side Table Customize It: Leather and Copper Side Table

10. After all of the leather strips are in place, you can trim any excess leather from the bottom fold and start to paint the grommets in the same color as your leather – totally optional. If you like the look of your silver, brass or gold grommets, by all means let those grommets shine!

11. Once you are happy with the look of your tabletop, attach the top to the bottom legs by dabbing some Gorilla glue on the interior of the attaching connection pieces. This will keep things in place.

Customize It: Leather and Copper Side Table

12. Go ahead and shine that copper up with a homemade polish of white vinegar, water and salt.

Customize It: Leather and Copper Side Table

13. Finally, set your side table in your desired location, adorn with your favorite trinkets and admire from afar.




Stephanie Todaro is a Midwest-bred, West coast-raised, globetrotting gal who spends her days running a creative digital agency in Los Angeles. She recently opened up a small wood shop, Maker Made, with her dad where they handcraft simple and rustic items for the home and garden. In her time off, Stephanie likes to craft, blog about her pup, Mr. Harvey, and roam the streets of LA looking for inspiration and marvelous things to photograph.

All photos by Tessa Neustadt

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  1. What a clever DIY! I’d love to see what the top of the stool looks like! Also, is it just me or does this look hard? *Lightbulb moment* You should create a scale to rate DIY projects from easy to hard! So readers can easily look at a DIY post and search archives based on how hard they want to try. ha


    1. Look at the picture above stpe #10 – on the left. thats what it looks like. And good idea about the scale. This one looks difficult/time consuming but its really not. xx

  2. Loooove it!
    I see the collaborating person sells products on etsy….any chance these beauties will be purchase able for those of us who can’t DIY!?!

    1. Hey S,

      Thanks so much for the kind words. No plans to sell this exact table in our shop yet (we are mostly a wood shop right now) but I love mixing up materials, so copper and leather may be making more of an appearance in our products in 2014. Stay tuned!

  3. I love this! Do you have a rough estimate of how much this project costs? We’re about to start a remodel in our first house (we’re homeowners! Yay!) and have been voraciously browsing houzz for inspiration, which is how I landed on your blog! A member of houzz cited you as an inspiration. : ) We have also been on HGTV marathons. Haha.

    1. I love that end table! I’m guessing the one shown here is ok without copper epoxy and sand since the frame has a different, sturdier structure. I can totally see needing those extra steps for a C-shaped based like yours though!

  4. Does your website have a contact page? I’m having trouble locating it but,
    I’d like to shoot you an e-mail. I’ve got some creative ideas for your
    blog you might be interested in hearing. Either way, great
    site and I look forward to seeing it develop over time.

  5. Love these DIY ideas … you have amazing style. I access your blog at least 3x a day trying to catch decoration ideas( I never get tired of your posts) for my apartment ..

  6. Great idea; stunning table. Love the juxtaposition of woven leather with polished copper. But most of all, I love Bearcat, who obviously has good taste, and just nestled right in there to put her stamp of approval on this project! By the way, what is gorilla glue?

  7. This is beautiful! I would love to attempt this but am not sure I can afford it. Do you have an estiate of what this cost you?

    1. Hey Alex,

      The cost really depends on the size of table you are looking to construct and the leather/faux leather you’d like to use. In total, mine was around $80…but you can definitely cut those costs by swapping out for other materials. There are so many awesome scrap piping options too!

  8. I just made the copper base part (thank gosh for super helpful Home Depot employees doing all those cuts for me), and am going leather shopping tomorrow… one question: on the long sides, it looks like the leather goes over the T-joint, whereas on the sides you just put one piece on either side of the joint. Does that make sense? How did you do that? Also do you recommend wetting the leather before attaching it so it dries more tightly? Thanks for your help!
    p.s. The guy at the Home Depot asked if I was making a bench for a cat. Best idea ever. I think you should give yours to Bearcat. :)

  9. Love this! Was thinking of DIY-ing a pallet into a coffeetable, but I wouldn’t mind doing something like this as well for a serious bit of cool.

  10. This design would make a nice laundry basket too. Instead of the leather, a bag could be slipped down into it. It’d be pretty.

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