I have wanted a kotatsu since…. FOREVER! But they are really expensive. INSANELY EXPENSIVE. I was able to make mine from mostly recycled materials and only shelled out money for the heating unit.
Step One: Get a low table (any length). Ikea, Target and Walmart may have what you are looking for but, start with Salvation Army or any other local thrift. You should be able sit under and maneuver out from the table comfortably and easily.
I, literally, found mine on the street. Someone was throwing it away. I fixed leg, cleaned it off and got to work!
Step Two (Optional!): I HATED THE ORIGINAL COLOR SO MUCH!!! So, using a power sander (You can do it by hand with sandpaper or a sanding block.), I stripped the original stain off. Stained it with a new color. Sanded it once more to get rid of any fly aways. Stained it three more times. Then, I finished with a clear varnish.
Since I work for a real estate/construction company, they had leftover stain on hand but you can find stain you like easily at E-bay, Home Depot, Loews, or any other paint supply store.
Step Three: I bought my kotatsu heater from this E-bay vender for round $80. Using brackets and screws, I secured the heater to the bottom of the table with a power drill.
Step Four: I was lucky enough to have been gifted my kotatsu blanket set from when I lived overseas. However, you can easily just buy quilts or comforters at a local thrift or department store. Rakuten.co.jp has official kotatsu blankets for cheap BUT it’s the shipping cost that will get you… :p
Anyway, throw your blanket on top and your table top and you’re done! (My table top actually came from some old restaurant furnishings. I do plan on buying, cutting and staining one to match in the future, but for now, this will have to do!)
ENJOY STAYING WARM THROUGH THIS CRAZY-ASS POLAR VORTEX! :)