Now that we have lived with the console table a few days, I can honestly say I am loving it. It was such a simple project, but it makes a big difference to the function in the playroom. As I type this I am sitting on the playroom sofa, with a nice cold drink on the console. Before we had no where to set drinks. Being able to have lights behind the sofa for reading (and writing blog posts) is wonderful too.
I initially looked for an off the shelf console table to buy for this space, but nothing was long enough or narrow enough. I knew to get the look I wanted, I had to make a custom console.
Before we get started, below is a general picture of how the console is put together. This was my “dry fit” after the pieces were cut and I laid it out on the floor to make sure everything was right. There is one continuous top that will be joined to two sides (legs). A shelf will be inserted 4 inches below the top.
Here is the complete how to for the console table bookshelf:
(Disclaimer: I am an amateur and do not claim to be sharing best furniture building practices…just what worked for me)
- 1 x 10″ Poplar (cut to size)
- 1 x 4″ poplar (cut to size)
- 1 and 1/4″ screws
- Wood Glue
- Kreg Jig
- Drill and Screw Driver
- Right Angle Clamp
- Measure your sofa or location for the console table. For my project I wanted a console 10″ deep, 78″ long (the length of my sofa back), and about 38″ high (the height of my sofa back plus about 5″ for the shelf).
- Cut your wood to size. I used 1 x 10″ poplar that I had cut at Home Depot. I personally don’t trust their accuracy very much, so I have them cut each piece a few inches long and then I do the final cuts at home with a miter saw. My finished boards measured:
- 78″ – 1 x 8 for the console top
- 37.25″ – 1 x 8 for each side leg (finished height minus .75″ to accommodate width of top piece)
- 76.5″ – 1 x 8 for the shelf (top measurement minus 1.5″ to accommodate width of side pieces)
- Optional: 76.5″ – 1 x 4 brace (top measurement minus 1.5″ to accommodate width of side pieces)
That is it…three boards (and maybe a brace), eight pocket holes, and eight screws. Did you notice I said you need wood glue, but did not include it in my step by step? That is because I always forget it. I made my console without wood glue and I am sure it will be fine. However, if you want stronger joints put a bead of glue along the edge of the board before your screw it in place.
I took a few more shots of the console table at different angles. You can see from the side view how it is one continuous piece on the side instead of legs. This was intentional to avoid toys from ending up behind the sofa.
From this view you can see the console extends the entire length of the sofa back, as does the shelf. We have not put it to use yet, but I think the shelf is going to be fabulous for holding all the kids books that are a little too big for the book ledges on the other side of the room.
For now the console will stay natural to match the ruler growth chart in the space. I do plan to spice up the inside of that shelf, either painting it a bright color or lining the inside with a decorative shelf paper. Right now I am thinking red or my standby lime green would be fun.
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