Above: $50 Conference table is painted with $12 flat white paint. $8 Desk grommets are installed next to the mic stands. A $13 mini desk outlet is powering the devices. Adhesive cable clips under tabletop are $7.95, velcro cable ties are $7.99. Under $100 before tax!
Podcasting can get rather expensive, especially when investing in high-quality microphones, mixers, and headphones. If you livestream like we do, then aesthetics can also come into play. You want a neat, good looking podcasting table, but since you're just starting out and have already spent quite a bit of money getting started, you want to spend as little as possible. I put together our tables for under $100 each, with a little luck and a little ingenuity. This is my inexpensive DIY podcasting table journey.
Finding The Right Table
Use Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, & Garage Sales
I knew I needed a table big enough for four people, and I also knew that I wanted a wooden table so that I could drill holes and use nails or screws for cable management and mounting things. So plastic was out the question for me. The first things that came to mind were kitchen tables and conference tables. I quickly searched the web hoping for something very cheap to come up. Buying new was out of the question for me, based on the pricing that I found. It was time to get crafty.
My savior? Facebook Marketplace! I typed in "conference table" into the search bar and found just what I was needing for only $50 from a small private school. Within hours it was hauled into our basement studio. Luckily our church had a closet full of unused chairs, so I snagged four for the podcast table (with permission).
Not everyone has chairs laying around that they can use, but check out the FREE section in Facebook Marketplace and Craiglist in your area, you never know what you might find!
Functionality & Cable Management
Use Power Grommets, Cable Grommets and Cable Ties
There were a few things I knew I wanted to do to my table - add desk grommets so I could make sure my cables were tied together or managed in a way that kept them organized and out of the way, off the top of the podcast table. If you have cables running under the bottom of your table, the last thing you want is someone to accidentally unplugging something with their feet during your recording. Believe me, it happens.
I used a two inch hole saw to bore through the tabletop where my two-inch desk grommets would go. Before drilling, I set out my podcast stands to see where I wanted them and then marked where I would be drilling. Measure and plan twice, drill once.
To power the USB interface and headphone amp, I installed a two outlet power grommet in the center of the table. The outlet comes with its own power cable, so I ran that to the nearest wall outlet with an extension cord. It also has two USB ports where I can plug in phone chargers, etc. Believe it or not, some people do want to charge their phones while they're podcasting. Me, I'm some people.
To Paint Or Not To Paint
Use Paint, or A Tablecloth
For one of our podcast tables, all I did was use a black tablecloth over the top, and cut holes through the fabric to be able to run my cables. The other table I decided to paint instead of using a tablecloth. If I had to do it again, I'd paint my table a color other than white because all the little knicks and scratches show up easily. And with the black tablecloth, I'm constantly having to brush off the dust and particles that accumulate with each use. I suppose it's all part of the deal! You decide which way you want to go.
*Future tabletop idea: use free pallet wood cut into strips that create a top for a used conference table, sand, and then stain. In this case, I'd drill out desk grommet holes and mount a power grommet in the center of the table.
Use Moving Blankets As An Inexpensive Sound Treatment Solution
This doesn't necessarily have to do with your table, but it is a simple, inexpensive solution for a problem you may run into. Depending on where you're recording your podcast, you may have sound reflections. Reflections are caused when sound travels and bounces off of bare walls and floors, causing your audio to sound like you're sitting in an empty room or in an echo chamber. Hanging a few moving blankets on your walls and placing a rug on the floor are the easiest fixes, but certainly not the best treatment. If you're looking for more professional treatment, check out these kits at Sweetwater.
Happy shopping! Below are links to the items I've purchased in the past for my DIY podcast table projects.
*Use of these affiliate links may result in me receiving a small commission