How to Build an Occasional Table

Make a cube-shaped coffee table that doubles as a storage piece in four simple steps.

Materials and Tools:

1/2-inch birch plywood
1 x 4-inch lumber
1/2-inch and 1-inch decorative molding
finish nails
wood glue
wood for cleats


1. Cut the plywood into sections: four sides, a top and a bottom. (The featured project's dimensions are 20 inches high by 20 inches wide, requiring a 24-inch square for the top.) Glue and nail the box sides and bottom together using a butt joint (one board butting into another). To help hold the pieces of plywood together, use small cleats attached to the inside of the box.

2. Trim the top and bottom of each side with mitered 1 x 4's. To create a raised panel, add 1 x 4 verticals to the outer edges of each side, butting the edges to the edge of the plywood. Use the 1/2-inch decorative molding to trim the outside corners of the box.

3. Use the 1/2-inch decorative molding along the inside edge of the inner panels — this creates the illusion of a raised panel edge without a lot of steps. To finish the piece, use 1-inch decorative trim around the perimeter of the top and bottom of the entire box.

4. Cut 1 x 2 cleats to the inner dimensions of the box and attach them to the underside of the top piece. This will fix the top to the table and prevent sliding yet allow easy entry to the storage space inside.

Keep Reading

Next Up

How to Refinish a Dining Room Table

Easily refinish a dated or worn dining room table to give it a fresh look.

How to Clean a Wood Kitchen Table

Got half an hour? Make your wood kitchen table spotless and germ-free.

How to Refinish a Kitchen Table

Give an old kitchen table new life in a weekend with these simple steps for refinishing wood furniture.

A Space-Saving Side Table That Doesn't Skimp on Style

Calling all space-savers and style gurus. This chic-yet-practical side table is simply a must-have. Bonus? You can make it yourself!

How to Build a Retractable Canopy

Control the shade by making your own retractable canopy. Open it up to create a shady retreat or close it to let the sun in.

How to Build a Wood Pergola

Pergolas provide some much needed shade from the summer sun. Learn how to build a pergola with these step-by-step instructions.

How to Build a French Drain

If you're having problems with standing water in your yard or a leaky basement, improper drainage is the culprit. Fix your water drainage issues once and for all by adding a French drain in just a few short steps.

Printable DIY Table Numbers for Weddings

These DIY table numbers are adorable, easy to make and could easily double as wedding keepsakes.


Shop This Look

Found a living space you love in HGTV's Photo Library? Get the look in your own home with products from Wayfair.

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.