I built a table from scratch! I had this dingy black kitchen table from IKEA that I inherited from a friend, and it depressed me to look at it. I really wanted one of those gorgeous live-edge tables, but they're outrageously expensive, and I struggled to justify the expense. I figured I could build one myself for less money, and it'd be more fun! So I did it.

Step 1: Go to a lumber yard and pick out the wood. The top 3' of that cherry slab at the end looks like it would make a lovely kitchen table, don't you think?

Step 2: Chop off the top 3' of wood, ensuring that the edges are aligned.

Step 3: Lug it home and order hairpin legs. Wait two weeks for the legs to arrive.

Step 4: Sand the table by hand for half a day to get rid of some weird green mold on one side and apply four coats of tung oil, bringing out the gorgeous natural color of the cherry.

Step 5: Try, unsuccessfully, to attach the hairpin legs, breaking 5 screws in the process. Ask for the assistance I needed and get a truly amazing friend to help me. Discover that I don't have the proper equipment. Learn how to use a power drill. Learn how not to use a power drill. Learn that sometimes using a regular old screwdriver is the best course of action.

Step 6: Step back and appreciate the fact that I built a table from scratch. It's quite imperfect and it took way longer than I anticipated, but I love it for its imperfections, its screwiness and scratches. It's a table with a story. And it's mine.