Himmeli is a Nordic technique used to make Christmas decor from straw or brass tubing. Himmeli inspired mobiles, sculptures, hanging planters and wall art are all the rage lately… and it inspired Brittany Cramer of brittanyMakes to make a very cool DIY side table.
It’s her contribution to our series DIY Challenge: Pipe. We asked Brittany and several other fabulously talented crafters and bloggers to come up with ingenious DIY projects that use pipe as an ingredient. It could be just about any kind of pipe: galvanized pipe, PVC pipe or, as in this case, copper pipe.
Brittany’s DIY side table is amazing. It’s elegant. It’s cutting edge. And it’s something you can make yourself! Just follow our step-by-step tutorial.
If you ran a report of all the purchases I’ve ever made at The Home Depot, I guarantee you copper pipe would be at the top of the list. I LOVE thinking of creative copper pipe projects. Ironically, I never thought I had any business hanging around the plumbing aisle, but my dear copper pipe, you have my heart. You and I will make all the things!
I’ve made quite a few projects from copper pipe (you can check them out at my blog), so when The Home Depot asked if I would be interested in a little DIY Challenge involving pipe, I absolutely jumped on board! I had had an idea rolling around in my head for a while, and this was the perfect opportunity to bring it to life: a himmeli-style DIY side table.
Let’s get to it!
Copper Pipe DIY Side Table Tutorial
- Walnut veneer plywood
- Edge banding tape
- Clear polypropylene twine (you need about 40 ft.)
- Pipe cutter
- (3) 10 ft. ½-in. copper pipe rods
- (3) ½-in. copper pipe hanger
- Clear creme wax
- Waxing brush
- Lint-free cloths
Step 1 – Create the Himmeli Base
First, measure and cut the copper pipe to 30 pieces of 10 in. lengths.
Next, cut about a 10 ft. length of twine.
Following this tutorial, start stringing together the first three pieces of tubing.
My recommendation throughout this project: Make sure you pull very tightly and tie a secure knot at the end of each triangle to prevent the twine from gaining slack. The tighter, the better.
Also, it’s normal for the himmeli orb base to feel flimsy while you’re creating it, but don’t give up. The strength and stability of the table is created at the end when all pieces are tied together.
If you run out of your first piece of twine, cut yourself another 10 ft. length, and attach the new piece to one of the corner joints.
Step 2 – Cut the Table Top
I’ve been wanting to use walnut veneer plywood for a long time, and this seemed like the perfect opportunity. The only downside to using this is it’s a special order item, meaning you cannot purchase this item off the shelf at your local Home Depot store. I ordered a 4 x 4 ft. piece of walnut veneer plywood. It was delivered rather quickly! It’s unfinished, so you will have to apply a top coat to protect it from staining.
There are a few tricks to measuring out a perfect circle. I first measured the diameter of the widest points in my copper himmeli side table base using a piece of twine. I folded the twine in half, marked the center, then laid it flat on the plywood. I taped the center down with a piece of painter’s tape, took a pen and held the end of the twine in my fingers as I drew out a circle. This is a nice little trick if you don’t have an over-sized protractor handy.
Next, I cut out the circle using my jig saw.
Step 3 – Finish the Edges of the Veneer Plywood
Since we’re working with veneer plywood, the edges of the plywood are exposed after your cuts are made.
To finish the edges of the table top, I took a strip of walnut veneer edgebanding, also called banding tape, with iron-on glue and applied it to the edges of the round top. The edgebanding is typically wider than you need, so all you have to do is use a box cutter to cut off the excess. Once you do that, give the edges a gentle, low-grit sanding to smooth things out.
Step 4 – Apply Clear Wax to the Table Top
Next, I applied a protectant coat of clear wax to the wood top using a waxing brush. I treated both the top side and the underside. You’ll notice the wood grain really comes to life after the wax was applied!
Ah walnut, you are my favorite!
Depending on the wax you use, you may have to buff it out. I just used a lint-free cloth and buffed the wax smooth.
Step 5 – Attach the Base to the Table Top
Once the table was dry, I placed it on the ground, and placed the orb center and fastened the himmeli orb base using three 1/2 in. copper pipe hangers.
Make sure you use super short screws; you don’t want them to pop through the other side of the table top!
If the exposed twine at the corners of the himmeli base bothers you, you can always paint it using liquid copper leaf found at your local craft store.
And there you go! This unique DIY side table is impressive, easy to make, and trendy all in one package!
Brittany Cramer describes herself as “a fierce accountant by day, and a zealous DIYer by night.” She lives with her husband in the San Francisco Bay Area. She shares tutorials and writes about decorating, cooking and lifestyle on her blog brittanyMakes.
Check out more of our DIY Challenge: Pipe and our simple DIY projects here on The Home Depot Blog, and follow our Projects Using Pipe board on Pinterest for more fun projects using copper pipe. Browse your nearest Home Depot store or our online Plumbing Department for supplies for your next DIY project using pipe.