A Super Easy and Inexpensive Spiral Table Base

I made another table this weekend!


It used to look like this.


It was another hand-me-down from my husband Paul’s aunt. The base was really intended to be hidden under a tablecloth, secured by a glass top.

Clearly it was in need of a makeover.

This table lives in a corner of our new basement family room. I’ve been meaning to update it, but the project wasn’t high on the list…that is until I saw this old magazine page I had ripped out and stuffed in my desk drawer. Check out the vintage 1950’s swirl stools on the bottom left.


Cool, right?

When I took a closer look at the photo, they looked relatively easy to duplicate. So I enlisted Paul, who (despite his extreme dislike of all things home improvement-related) helped me brainstorm how we could make a similar base for our table.

I went digging through the basement to see what we had on hand and headed off to Home Depot to find the rest.

I hauled a junky old table top out of the basement to use as our base.


Then we bought some inexpensive plumbing supplies, a one-inch floor flange and a one-inch metal pipe.


We screwed the flange right into the center of the old top and screwed in the pipe.


This little system provides the structure of your table, so make sure you get a pipe that’s thick enough to support the weight of your top. You can have a place like Home Depot cut the pipe and thread it for you to get the right length.

From there we needed to find our spiral materials.

Let me first say, you need a lot of wood to do this project. We wound up using 31, 3/4 inch pieces to make the table, which was roughly 30 inches tall. Each piece needed to be six inches wide and 28 inches long, which was the length I thought would look best with our table top.

When you’re looking to buy wood the costs can add up. So we decided to change direction and headed for the cheapest MDF we could find.

We found a 4’x8′ piece of MDF for around $30 at Home Depot had them cut it lengthwise into eight, six-inch strips.


When we got home we cut each strip widthwise  into 28-inch pieces. We were able to get three full pieces from each strip, leaving us with 24 pieces. It wasn’t enough to make the table as tall as we wanted, so we started rummaging around for more wood.

We managed to dig a few pieces out of the basement and our neighbor Lisa came through with the rest.

Once we collected the wood, we drilled a one-inch hole in the center of each piece, so we could slide it onto the pole.


Once we had all the holes drilled, I primed the wood, which took FOREVER. Hand.Cramp.

When the pieces were dry, I threaded them back onto the pole. Once I stacked it to the right height, I attached another flange to the underside of the table top and screwed it onto the pipe. This makes it super easy to take the top on and off.


Then I fanned out the boards to  make the swirl design.



Easy right?

One problem with this table…it weighs like a million pounds. So you’ll need to assemble it in place. Luckily the pieces are super easy to pop on and off. Just unscrew the top, pull off the wood, move the base and put it back together. It only takes a couple of minutes. Once I moved the table downstairs and reassembled it,  I gave it a second coat of paint to finish it off.

The best thing about this method is you can probably thread just about anything onto the pipe to create a decorative base for your table. It’s easy, and inexpensive.

Most definitely easier than making a table out of paint sticks.





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