Ever since we built the table behind our sofa, my mom has been casually dropping hints about how nice it must be to have. So we decided to build her one, but instead of doing the same design, we figured we’d try something new. Enter: the DIY sideboard with hidden storage!
Because who doesn’t need more storage?? This DIY sideboard would look great in an entryway, behind a sofa, in a dining room, or office, or living room. It’s the perfect furniture piece for those looking for some additional hidden storage.
Alright, let’s dive in and build this DIY sideboard!
How to Build a DIY Sideboard
- Circular Saw (we highly recommend a cutting guide too)
- Kreg Jig (not sure which to get? Check out which Kreg Jig to get in 2023)
- Measuring Tape (new to DIY? Be sure to check out this post with measuring tips)
- Speed Square
- Concealed Door Hinge Jig
- Adjustable Shelf Pin Jig
- Safety Equipment
- (2) ¾x4x8 sheets of plywood (we used red oak from Lowe’s)
- Optional for shelf fronts: (1) 1x2x8 (we used red oak)
- (4) 7.5” furniture feet
- (4) door handles
- (8) inset concealed hinges (note: the linked hinges are cheap and what we used, but they do not come with the screws needed to install. You’ll have to purchase those separately)
- Wood glue (this is our favorite type)
- Wood filler (we use this one, but be sure to check out our wood filler experiment to decide which might be best for your project)
- Edge banding to match your plywood
- Sandpaper (120, 180, and 220 grit)
- 1.25″ softwood Kreg screws
The overall dimensions of this DIY sideboard are 72” W x 15” D x 31” H.
If you prefer printable plans, visual cut lists, and 3D renderings of the steps, be sure to grab the printable plans for this project.
STEP 1: MAKE YOUR CUTS
Now we’re rebels and decided to make all of our cuts for this DIY sideboard upfront. Doors included. That’s not something I would recommend.
It worked out fine for us, but chances are you may need to make adjustments to the door sizes (and potentially other pieces) to get things to fit together perfectly along the way.
STEP 2: ADD EDGE BANDING
Apply edge banding to the following boards:
- All sides of the top
- Both long sides of the bottom
- One long side of the middle divider
- Both long sides of sides
- Note: you will also need to apply edge banding around the doors later, but I highly recommend waiting to do that until after assembly in case there are adjustments that are needed.
STEP 3: DRILL POCKET HOLES
Using the ¾” settings, drill pocket holes into the following board:
- (3) along one short edge of the sides
- (3) along both short edges of the middle divider, plus (3-4) along one long edge
- (3) along both short edges of the bottom
- Along all edges of the back
Pocket holes are the foundation of most DIY furniture. Become a pocket hole pro in less than an hour in Pocket Holes: Explained.
STEP 4: ASSEMBLE THE MAIN STRUCTURE
To assemble the main structure, we’re going to use glue and 1.25” Kreg screws.
First, attach the sides to the top. The sides will be flush with the ends of the top and the pocket holes should be facing in towards the middle of the cabinet.
Next, secure the back to the top and sides. It should be flush with the back edges of each of these boards. We installed the pocket holes facing inward, but you can do either.
If you know the back of your sideboard will always be up against a piece of furniture or the wall, you may prefer to have the pocket holes facing outward instead–that way you won’t see them when you open the cabinet doors either!
Then, install the bottom by securing it to both of the sides. Secure the back of the sideboard to the bottom piece.
STEP 5: INSTALL MIDDLE SUPPORT
Positioning the middle support just right is going to be crucial on this piece to ensure that the doors can all be the same width. I like to break out my laser measurer when I need some extra precision.
First I marked the halfway point and then I placed the middle support where I thought it should go.
I then took my laser measurer to measure. I measured from the divider to the inside of the side in 6 places: from the top, middle, and bottom of both the front and back of the divider.
Once happy with the placement, I secured the divider into the bottom, back, and top of the main structure, making sure to check the placement as I went.
STEP 6: ADD FEET
For this project, we opted to use pre-made furniture feet for a more elevated look. An easy way to upgrade any DIY project is to use pre-made furniture feet!
We installed them using the provided screws and lined them up with the corners of our sideboard cabinet.
STEP 7: MAKE SHELVES
To make the shelves, we installed a 1×2 to the front edge of a piece of plywood. You can either attach the 1×2 with just glue or if you have a brad nailer, you can nail the plywood in place while the glue dries.
The 1×2 on the front is optional. If you aren’t planning to store anything heavy, you can just edge band the front of the plywood shelf instead. The 1×2 adds more support so that it can hold heavier items.
To install the shelves, we’ll use our adjustable shelf pin jig. We used a 2×3 as a spacer to determine the setback from the front and to raise the jig up for the first holes. You can add as many or as few holes as you’d like.
STEP 8: INSTALL DOORS
Now that the main structure is complete, it’s time to confirm your measurements and cut your doors.
The doors should be cut about ¼” shorter than the opening. For the width, subtract ⅜” from your total opening and then divide by 2. We’re working on a doors and drawers calculator that will do all of this math for you. Sign up for the waitlist.
Once the doors are cut to size, add edge banding to each side. I recommend applying edge banding to the top and bottom of each door and then cutting off the excess.
I like to use my Band-It edge trimmer to cut all of the edge banding flush, even the edge banding on the ends. Since we’re applying edge banding to all sides of the doors, you really need to get the ends flush.
Once you’ve cut the excess off the top and bottom of the doors, apply edge banding to the sides.
Pay extra attention to the edge banding on the doors to make sure it’s cut and applied properly. The last thing you want is edge banding coming undone and catching every time the door opens or closes!
Once the edge banding is applied, lay out your doors how you’ll want them to be once installed. For ours, we arranged them so that the grain pattern flows across all 4 of the doors.
We used a piece of painter’s tape to label which door was which and what side the hinges should be installed on.
Use the concealed hinge jig to drill the holes for the hinges. Check out this tutorial for more details on how to use the jig and how to install doors using concealed hinges.
Once the doors are installed, you may notice that some of your doors want to swing into the cabinet. We will prevent this by installing a door stop. We cut a scrap piece of wood and glued it to the top of the cabinet, set back ¾” to account for the thickness of the doors.
STEP 9: INSTALL PULLS
Finally, we installed the door pulls to the top of the doors. We used the screws that came with the hardware and installed them centered on the doors.
There you have it! Now you know how to build your very own DIY sideboard! It’s a big structure and it might look intimidating to build, but in reality, it’s a big box. If you prefer printable plans, be sure to grab them here and start your build this weekend!
We ended up finishing this sideboard with the 2024 Minwax Color of the Year: Bay Blue. When we did, this sideboard transformed from a simple sideboard to much more of a mid-century modern design. It really feels like a completely different piece of furniture, just because of the change in color!
Aside from being two-toned like ours (Bay Blue with Driftwood doors), I like this sideboard would look amazing in a natural wood tone or a dark color like black. Black would definitely give it a sleek and modern vibe!
In terms of when in the project to finish your piece, I would recommend applying your stain/sealer or paint before adding the feet or installing the hardware and doors.
I do recommend drilling the holes you need for the hinges. You shouldn’t get any tearout when using the jig, but you don’t want to risk damaging your finish when drilling!
Not quite ready to build? Pin the image below to save this project for later!