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We’ve made it a tradition to build our family furniture for the holidays. Last year we built Andrew’s parents this DIY coffee bar and this year we’re tackling a DIY media console.
But not just any media console. A HUGE 100″ media cabinet with doors and plenty of hidden storage. It’ll also have a little bit of open storage in the middle to store their DVD player and cable box (The open storage also works great for a sound bar).
We’ll be building it primarily out of plywood, but since it’s so big, it’s going to take a few sheets.
Alright, let’s start DIYing and make you a DIY media console of your own!
- Circular Saw
- Accu-Cut Circular Saw Guide
- Rip Cut Circular Saw Guide
- Jig Saw
- Miter Saw
- Nail Gun
- Kreg 720
- Kreg Drawer Slide Jig
- Kreg Shelf Pin Jig
- Kreg Multi-Mark Tool
What You’ll Need
- 3 – 3/4″ 4×8 plywood sheet (we used primed)
- 1 – 1/2″ 4×8 plywood sheet (we used maple)
- 1 – 1/4″ 4×8 plywood sheet (we used maple)
- 8 – 1x2x8 (we used primed pine)
- 5 – 1x3x8 (we used poplar because our primed pine was out of stock)
- 1- 1x6x6 (we used primed pine)
- 2 – 1.75″ x 8 Pine Primed Crown Moulding
- 2- 3.25″ x 8 Primed MDF Baseboard
- Wood glue
- Sandpaper (180, and 220 grit)
- 5/8″ nails
- 1″ nails
- 1.25″ nails
- 1″ wood screws
- 1.25″ wood screws
- 1.25″ Kreg screws
- 1″ Kreg screws
- 3 drawer pulls
- 2 sets of 16″ drawer slides
- 6 sets of non-mortise hinges (the 3″ ones we got were actually slightly too big, but our store was out of stock of anything smaller)
- 3 double magnetic door catches
Measurements are always more accurate if you measure and cut as you go through your project. The following measurements serve as a guide and may differ slightly from your actual measurements.
This project is made up of two smaller cabinets and one large cabinet. You’ll know which cabinet box each piece belongs to because it will be denoted as “small” or “large”.
|FOR||BOARD SIZE||QUANTITY||LENGTH (IN)|
|Small Sides||3/4″ plywood||4||33 x 19.25|
|Large Sides||3/4″ plywood||2||33 x 23.25|
|Small Bottom||3/4″ plywood||2||27.5 x 19|
|Large Bottom||3/4″ plywood||1||36.5 x 23|
|Small Back Support||3/4″ plywood||2||3.25 x 27.5|
|Large Back Support||3/4″ plywood||1||3.25 x 36.5|
|Small Top Support||3/4″ plywood||4||3.25 x 27.5|
|Large Top Support||3/4″ plywood||2||3.25 x 36.5|
|Small Bottom Support||3/4″ plywood||1||3.25 x 18.25|
|Large Bottom Support||3/4″ plywood||2||3.25 x 22.25|
|Small Shelf||3/4″ plywood||2||27.25 x 18.75|
|Large Shelf||3/4″ plywood||1||36.25 x 22.75|
|Top||3/4″ plywood||1||96 x 24|
|Drawer Slide Supports||3/4″ plywood||4||3.25 x 17|
|Small Horizontal Face Frame (Top)||1×3||2||26|
|Large Horizontal Face Frame (Top)||1×3||1||35|
|Small Horizontal Face Frame||1×2||4||26|
|Large Horizontal Face Frame||1×2||2||35|
|Veritical Face Frame (Small + Large)||1×2||6||33|
|Small Shelf Frame||1×2||2||27.25|
|Large Shelf Frame||1×2||1||36.25|
|Top Frame (Back)||1×2||1||96|
|Top Frame (Sides)||1×2||2||21.5|
|Top Frame (Short Fronts)||1×2||2||29|
|Top Frame (Short Sides)||1×2||2||4|
|Top Frame (Front)||1×2||1||41|
|Drawer Box Front/Back||1/2″ plywood||4||4.5 x 24|
|Drawer Box Sides||1/2″ plywood||4||4.5 x 17|
|Drawer Box Bottom||1/2″ plywood||2||24 x 16|
|Small Door Rail||1×3||8||7 13/16|
|Large Door Rail||1×3||4||11 7/8|
|Small Door Panel||1/4″ plywood||4||14.5 x 8 9/16|
|Large Door Panel||1/4″ plywood||2||14.5 x 12 5/8|
|Small Back||1/4″ plywood||2||28.25|
|Large Back||1/4″ plywood||1||36.5|
*the top will be cut to match the varying depths of the cabinet boxes. At its widest, it should be 24″.
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STEP 1: CUT THE PIECES FOR THE MAIN STRUCTURE
We started by cutting down the following boards that we’ll need to assemble to main structure:
- small sides
- large sides
- small bottom
- large bottom
- small back support
- large back support
- small top support
- large top support
- small bottom support
- large bottom support
To cut everything down, we used the Kreg Accu-Cut and Rip Cut cutting guides. We love using these because they help us achieve table saw accuracies with a circular saw. And when we’re working with huge sheets of plywood, it’s so much easier to use the circular saw than to try to lug those heavy sheets through the table saw.
We love having both guides, but you can achieve all the cuts you need with just the Kreg Accu-Cut if you have the extension that allows it to cut through an entire 8ft sheet of plywood.While you have your miter saw out, go ahead and cut the 3 – 1x2s that will be used for the front face. You can also cut your 1×8 down for the top.
The added benefit of having the Rip Cut as well is that you can set your measurement and make multiple cuts to the exact same width without measuring multiple times.
STEP 2: DRILL POCKET HOLES
Time to grab your Kreg 720 and drill some pocket holes! Each pocket hole we make will be using the 3/4″ setting. When working with plywood, we actually like to set our drill bit collar slightly less than the 3/4″ setting since plywood isn’t exactly 3/4″ thick.
Drill two pocket holes on either short end of your back support and top support boards.
Then drill two pocket holes on one end of your bottom support boards. These will be used to attach to the back support. Then, drill two pocket holes on one of the long ends of your bottom supports. These pocket holes will screw up into the bottom of the cabinet.
Finally, drill 3-4 pocket holes on either short end of your bottom boards.
STEP 3: ASSEMBLE THE MAIN THREE BOXES
This tv console is comprised of three separate boxes that we will assemble using glue and 1.25″ Kreg screws. The right and left boxes will be identical and the middle box will be larger and have an additional support on the bottom.
Grab your bottom support board and line it up with the bottom of one of the sides. It’s not getting attached yet, but will be used as a spacer.
Butt the bottom up against the spacer, making sure it is front with the front of the side. The back will be intended 1/4″. Attach using glue and 1.25″ Kreg screws.
Next we’ll attach the top support boards to the first side. They should be flush with the top of the side. The one on the front should be flush with the front of the side. The one on the back should be indented 1/4″.
Now attach the second side to both the bottom and top supports.
Then, attach the back support board, making sure that is it indented 1/4″ from the back. Finally, add the bottom support board. You can eyeball it to be approximately in the middle of the bottom.
STEP 4: ADD ADJUSTABLE SHELF HOLES
We used the Kreg Shelf Pin Jig to quickly make the holes for the shelf pins. We placed an 8″ piece of wood along the bottom of each box and then placed the jig up against that. It’s really simple to use. Simply push it up against the edge of the side, and drill through the holes using the provided drill bit.
STEP 5: FRAME OUT THE BOXES
Now that we have the main structure assembled, we can frame them out using 1x2s and a 1×3. We’ll attach the majority of the frames using glue and 1.25″ nails.
The vertical face frame boards should be flush with the outside of the sides.
The top face frame should be flush with the top of the sides.
The bottom face frame should be placed 2.5″ up from the bottom of the side. That should be flush with the bottom of the cabinet, but if not, stick with the 2.5″.
Now it’s time to attach the 1×2 that will act as a divider between the drawer and the doors. To attach this, we’ll use (2) pocket holes on each end of the board. The top of the 1×2 should be placed 5 5/8″ under the bottom of the top face frame board. This will allow for a 1/8″ gap on both the top and bottom of the drawer front once installed.
As you’re framing out the large box, you can also go ahead and add your shelf using 1.25″ Kreg screws.
But before you add the shelf, grab a hole saw or jigsaw and cut out a circle in the back of the shelf. This will allow cords to pass through the shelf and drop down into the bottom cabinet. The back will have a hole that these cords can then be fed through to keep everything plugged in.
STEP 6: ATTACH THE BOXES
We’ll attach the boxes using 1.25″ screws. Line your boxes up and make sure that the backs are all flush with one another. Then screw the boxes together. We did 2 screws along the top and bottom of each small box into the large box. Then we placed 2 screws through either side of the large box into the smaller boxes.
STEP 7: MAKE THE TOP
Now that your cabinets are screwed together and are looking more like a media console, we can make the top. Place your piece of plywood on top of the cabinets and trace along the outside of the cabinets.
We cut the majority of the top using our Kreg Accu-Cut , but didn’t want to cut too far into the top using the circular saw. So we can as far as we felt comfortable and then used our jigsaw to finish cutting the corners where the middle bumps out.
As you’re cutting the top, it’s better to err on the side of cutting too large than too small. We added approximately 1/8″ beyond our sketched line to make sure we didn’t cut the top too small.
STEP 8: ADD TRIM TO THE TOP
Now that the top is cut, we’ll frame it out using 1x2s.
Drill pocket holes all around the top to use to attach the 1x2s. Our 1x2s were somewhat warped, so we added extra pocket holes around the top to attach them. We used glue and 1.25″ Kreg screws.
STEP 9: MAKE THE SHELVES
To make the shelves, line the 1×2 up with the top of the shelf and secure it in place using glue and 1.25″ nails.
STEP 10: MAKE THE DRAWERS
Check out our full tutorial on how to make drawers using pocket holes. For this project, we used 1/2″ plywood, so we used the 1/2″ settings on our Kreg 720 and then used 1″ Kreg screws to assemble.
STEP 11: MAKE THE DOORS
We made our shaker style doors using our table saw and this technique. You can also make the doors with a router or with handy dandy pocket holes. We have a tutorial on how to make shaker style doors using your Kreg Jig that you can find here.
STEP 12: DRILL FOR DRAWER AND DOOR PULLS
You can do this step before or after you paint your project, but I think it’s a great choice to do before painting so that you’re less likely to mess up your finish.
Since there are a handful of doors to add hardware too, I like to make a template so that I can quickly transfer the measurements to each door without measuring each time.
Start by cutting a 1×3 to the exact same height as your doors, then grab your multi-mark tool and mark the center of the board (1.25″).
Then center up your drawer pull on the middle line and mark where the drawer handle falls. Drill through the first hole and then line your drawer pull up again to make sure your second mark is in the correct place. If it is, drill through your second mark to make a second hole. Make sure to keep your drill very straight during this. You don’t want to drill through at an angle!
Before using the homemade jig, install a drawer pull on it to make sure the spacing was correct. If it works well, you can transfer the measurements to your doors and drawers.
For the doors, you’ll simply line the jig up with one side of your door, clamp in place so it doesn’t move, and drill all the way through the door.
Tip: place a spare piece of wood underneath your door to help reduce tearout on the other side.
For the drawers, you can use the same jig, just make sure to center it up both vertically and horizontally.
STEP 13: PREP FOR PAINT OR STAIN
As tempting as it is, do not skip this step! This is what’s going to take your project from looking okay to looking amazing. If staining, fill all nail holes and seams with wood filler.
If painting, fill all nail holes and seams with wood filler or spackle. We generally use spackle when painting. Then caulk anywhere the trim meets another board. You can also caulk inside the boxes where the bottom meets the sides. This will help you get a seamless look when you paint.
Sand all of your boards smooth using 220 grit sandpaper and wipe with tack cloth to remove any lingering dust.
STEP 14: PAINT OR STAIN
We painted our project using Sherwin Williams Urbane Bronze in a matte finish.
STEP 15: INSTALL DRAWERS
Before we can install the drawer slides, we need to add some additional 3/4″ boards to either side of the cabinet. The drawer slides will be attached to these boards to allow them to be far enough out that they will not hit the face frame of the cabinet.
Place your drawer slide support just above the middle face frame in the cabinet. The location doesn’t have to be precisely measured. Make sure that it’s level and attach using (2) 1.25″ screws.
To install the drawers, we used the Kreg Drawer Slide Jig. You’ll extend both the gray spacers and then clamp it to the middle face frame. Place your drawer slide on top of the jig and screw it into place. Repeat with the other side.
Our drawer slide required a 3/16″ setback from the front to we placed the drawer slide 15/16″ back from the front of the face frame to account for that setback and the thickness of the drawer front.
Now you’ll reverse the Kreg Drawer Slide Jig and clamp it so that the jig is extending out from the cabinet. Place your drawer box on top of the jig and pull out the drawer slides.
The front of the drawer box should be lined up with the “1” line on the jig and the drawer slide should be 3/16″ (or whatever is required for your particular drawer slides) from the front of the drawer box. Screw your drawer slides to the drawer box.
STEP 16: INSTALL THE DRAWER FRONTS
Now that the drawer box is installed, we can install the drawer front.
Grab a deck of playing cards to use a spacers and center up your drawer front in the opening. Once you’re happy with the placement, attach the drawer front to the drawer box using 1″ screws. You’ll carefully screw them through the holes you pre-drilled for the hardware.
Once the drawer front is secure, carefully open the drawer and secure the box to the drawer front from the inside. We used a 1″ screw on either end. After you’ve added these screws, you can remove the screws from the front of the drawer box.
Pre-drill through the hardware holes and all the way through the drawer box. Then you can screw in your hardware.
STEP 17: INSTALL DOORS
To install the doors, I made a jig for the hinge placement. I used the jig to transfer the measurements to the side of the doors and then to the doors.
Since the jig is the size of the doors and the opening is larger than the doors, I used playing cards to center it up on the cabinet.
STEP 18: INSTALL THE TOP
Installing the top is pretty straightforward. Start by lining it up so that you have your desired overhang on each side. Then use 1.25″ screws and screw through the top support boards and into the top. We used a total of 14 screws, but you can use more or less depending on how warped your plywood top is.
Note: you’ll have to remove the drawers to install the top.
Double note: the top makes this giant media console very difficult to get through standard sized doors. I’d recommend bringing your media console into the room it’s going to live in before attaching the top.
STEP 19: INSTALL BACK
Before installing the backs, decide if you want to cut out any holes to feed cords through. We added one 1.5″ hole to the bottom corner of each of the backs for maximum flexibility.
To install the backs, place the back in the appropriate spot of the media cabinet. It should be flush with the back of the sides since we indented everything 1/4″. Secure the top and bottom using 5/8″ nails.
After installing the back, you can caulk the inside of the boxes where the back meets the sides and than paint over the caulk. The reason we didn’t install the backs before painting was to make painting inside of the drawer boxes a little easier. You can install before painting if you want to!
STEP 20: INSTALL MAGNETIC DOOR CATCHES
If you want to, you can install magnetic door catches so that your doors stay closed exactly where you want them to be. We chose to install ours on the top of the cabinets, so we had to cut down a 1×2 to attach the door catch to.
After cutting the 1×2 down and painting, we attached the door catch to the middle of the side of the 1×2 and then glued the 1×2 to the face frame.
For the one in the middle, the 1×2 will be placed flat instead of on its side since there is a shelf in the way.
Then we attached the magnets to the top corners of the doors using the provided screws.
After the glue dries, you can test the placement of your door catch and adjust as needed.
There you have it! Now you have a beautiful (almost) 100″ DIY media console that looks like it just came off the Restoration Hardware showroom floor!