Premade cuts at the hardware store make this do-it-yourself unit simple enough to assemble in an afternoon.

On Display

This DIY cabinet sets the stage for the pretty things in your home.

Premade cuts at the hardware store make this do-it-yourself unit simple enough to assemble in an afternoon. Display books, magazines and decor items in it, and it becomes a living room focal point. In a dining room, the console could be a stylish buffet filled with serving dishes and table linens.


  • ¾-inch Medium Density Fiberboard
  • ¼-inch plywood board, cut to 2 x 4 feet
  • Nails for nail gun
  • Phillips head screws
  • Wood filler
  • Fine grit sandpaper
  • Paint with primer (we used Valspar mark twain’s cabin)
  • Straight leg plate hardware (we used waddell straight leg plates from Lowe’s)
  • Tapered furniture legs (we used 5-inch hardwood bed leg with walnut finish from Capitol City Lumber or Amazon)


  • Angle level
  • Nail gun*
  • Electric drill
  • Level
  • Cabinet paint roller
  • Paint brush
  • Phillips screw driver
  • Hacksaw, optional


When purchasing Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF) at a home center** ask the staff to cut boards to these measurements:

  • 2 pieces @ 48 x 15¾ inches
  • 4 pieces @ 24 x 15¾ inches
  • 3 pieces @ 15 x 15¾ inches

Place one 48 x 15¾-inch board on its edge. This will be the bottom of the unit. Create a 90° angle with the bottom board and a 24 x 15¾-inch side board, making the 15¾-inch ends flush. Using a nail gun, attach the bottom board to the side board with four evenly spaced nails through the 48-inch board. At the other end of bottom, attach another 24-inch board to enclose the other side. Place a third 24-inch board as an interior partition, spaced 15 inches from one side, securing it with nails. Nail the last 24-inch piece leaving 15-inch measurements on each side of this board.

With the unit still laying on its back, attach the three 15-inch shelves. Starting from one side, space the first shelf 16 inches up from the bottom board, the center shelf 11½ inches up from the bottom board and the last shelf at 7¼ inches up from the bottom board. Attach each of these shelves, making sure they're level, with four Phillips head screws (front and back on each side) using an electric drill.

Stand the unit right side up, with the bottom board on the ground. Place the remaining 48-inch board on top of the unit, making sure all of the sides are flush. Using a nail gun, secure the top board to each of the four side and partition boards with four, evenly spaced nails.

Use wood filler to cover nail and screw holes. If heads stick up, hammer or screw fasteners so they are just below the surface. Lightly sand excess filler to make smooth.
Apply two coats of paint to console body and interior side of the plywood back, allowing each coat to completely dry.

Set the unit facedown on a cushion or blanket. Align the plywood back flush with the four sides. Tack to secure it to the unit.

Lay unit on back. Use a screwdriver to attach leg plates to the bottom board of the unit, 1½ inches in from each corner. If furniture leg bolts are too long, saw excess off with a hacksaw. Tightly screw legs into leg plates. Stand unit on its legs.

*Many home improvement stores, including Lowe’s and The Home Depot, rent power tools to customers at a daily or weekly rate.

**Lowe’s, The Home Depot and many other home centers, hardware stores and lumberyards will make exact cuts for no cost in the lumber section before you check out with your materials.

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