How to Extend a Table

My mom lives in a lovely home on the Chesapeake Bay and it is “party headquarters” for our family. Every holiday we gather together to celebrate with laughter, love, wine, and food. Between my sisters and I, we have eight kiddos so often create a “kids’ table” for our meals. However, this year we decided to celebrate Passover together with a traditional Seder and wanted the children to participate at the same table. My mom’s dining room table is oblong and seats only 10 comfortably. Here is her creative DIY solution to making her table able to seat 16!

how to extend a table

 Supplies Needed to Extend a Table:

how to make table longer

Instructions on How to Extend Oval Table

Step 1: Place your additional table up against your dining room table. Measure the distance between the end of the additional table and add at least a foot for board overlap onto your dining room table.

Step 2: Place your hardboard over the end of your oval table and get underneath the table to trace around it with a pencil. You are creating a pattern. Trace your board to the dimensions of your original measurements.

Step 3: Use a jigsaw to cut out your hardboard. Smooth any rough edges with a sanding block.

table extended

Step 4: Place drawer grippers over the gap where the two tables meet. This will prevent the hardboard from sliding.

how to extend table longer

Step 5: Gently place your hardboard over the two tables and cover with table cloths. (Two dollar store plastic table cloths were used to protect the hardboard and wood from spills and then covered with two rectangular tablecloths.)

This is a fantastic little trick to remember if you have an oval table that needs lengthening for a group event. There is of course a slight 3/16 inch raise where the hardboard rests on top of your original dining table, but this can be easily covered up and isn’t noticeable  Just be sure not to place a place setting where the board is raised and no one will even notice. You can see what the finished table looked like with all 15 of us around it. Well, I don’t have a wide-angled lens for my camera yet, so I couldn’t photograph everyone sitting down. But you get the general idea!

how to extend table

I’m so proud of my clever DIY’ing mother :). (That is her pictured above in the green floral cardigan and yellow shirt.) With my dad gone, she has really stepped it up a notch and figured out how to do so many handy things herself. She rocks! Thanks mom for letting me share your project!

how to extend a table

p.s. The pretty lady above holding the water pitcher is my big sister Kim, from Sand & Sisal. You can read more about our Easter celebration here.


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  1. Karen says

    What a great solution to a common problem! And to think we used tv trays when this happened! LOL My brother up North is married to a woman with a huge family. When they had their house built, they designed it with family Sunday gatherings in mind. The living room/family room had a wall removed while building to make one huge room. Then he had their dining table custom built with 8 – yes, 8 table inserts. The carpenter who built it for them also built a custom cabinet with felt lined shelves to hold each table insert when they weren’t using it. Their dining table, with all inserts, seats 30 people! LOL Crazy!!

    • Beth says

      That is awesome! I love that :). If my mom is still in this home (and up to hosting) when our kids start having kids we might need to think of doing something like this :).

  2. Julianne says

    Fantastic idea, Beth…thanks for sharing! On a side note & totally off-topic, your mom looks amazing!! Totally looks young enough to be your sister! Please share her secret ‘fountain of youth’ formula!! :O)

    • Beth says

      Ha! I probably should have clarified that the pretty lady holding the water pitcher IS my sister! That is Kim from Sand & Sisal and she’s just a few years older than me. My mom is the brown-haired lady in the green floral shirt standing up in the pic with all my fam. She’s still totally beautiful but a tad older looking :).

  3. says

    That is a genius solution to a universal problem. Thank you!
    And, um….that’s your mom? She doesn’t look nearly old enough to have grown children.
    Enjoy your holiday.

  4. says

    I love this idea! With our family ever growing with siblings and their spouses and more grandchildren added to the mix, no one wants to sit in a separate room… I am pinning this to use for our next family gathering! Great idea, Thanks to your mom and you for sharing!!

  5. says

    I think every household needs this tip. It is the one of the best solutions and most practical I have seen. A larger table is really needed especially during the holidays and Thanksgiving.

  6. Adie says

    Love this! We are on our way to Home Depot right now to make this. Then we’ll have enough room for Thanksgiving dinner. Yay!

  7. Alex says

    Wish I would have discovered this neat idea before. Could have used it for Thanksgiving! Will definitely use it for an upcoming event.

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