Puzzle End Table

Submitted by Ana White on Wed, 08/24/2011 - 21:44
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Build your own West Elm Bookshelf Side Table inspired side table with these free easy step by step DIY plans.  Multiple bookshelves can be place together to create storage and display shelving around the corners of sofas.

Thanks everyone for encouraging and supporting during this super busy time as we try to get a roof on the Momplex before winter arrives up here in Alaska. I'll be tackling your requests for the next bit, glad to post a reader request today!

Dimensions are shown above.


Shopping List

1/2 sheet of 3/4" plywood
1 - 25' long roll edge banding in matching veneer for stained finish

Common Materials
2 inch screws
120 grit sandpaper
wood conditioner
Cut List

See first step for cutting instructions.

Tape Measure
Speed Square
Safety Glasses
Hearing Protection
Kreg Jig
Circular Saw
Power Sander
Drill Bit Set
General Instructions

Please read through the entire plan and all comments before beginning this project. It is also advisable to review the Getting Started Section. Take all necessary precautions to build safely and smartly. Work on a clean level surface, free of imperfections or debris. Always use straight boards. Check for square after each step. Always predrill holes before attaching with screws. Use glue with finish nails for a stronger hold. Wipe excess glue off bare wood for stained projects, as dried glue will not take stain. Be safe, have fun, and ask for help if you need it. Good luck!


Step 1

From the 1/2 sheet of plywood, cut the plywood with the grain, as directed in the dimensions on the left edge of the diagram. You will need to make a cut, measure, cut, measure and so on because the saw blade takes up space. Once the strips are cut, cut out the pieces as shown above in diagram carefully. You will need to use a jigsaw or handsaw to finish some cuts if you are using a circular saw. Sand edges smooth.

Step 2

Once you've got the pieces cut, it's simple assembly time. You'd have assemble if you bought the bookshelf side table at West Elm too.  You can use any method to join, from pocket holes to countersunk screws.  You could even nail at this stage and then screw the back on if you want to hide holes.  Use glue.

Notice you will use the same width pieces here, so the fronts and backs are all flush.  

Step 3

Now put the back on very carefully, screwing on with glue. This will stiffen and hold everything together.

Step 4

And now the top and bottom - the wider width pieces. Nail or screw down.

If you are staining, iron on the edge banding to all exposed plywood edges.

Finishing Instructions
Preparation Instructions
Fill all holes with wood filler and let dry. Apply additional coats of wood filler as needed. When wood filler is completely dry, sand the project in the direction of the wood grain with 120 grit sandpaper. Vacuum sanded project to remove sanding residue. Remove all sanding residue on work surfaces as well. Wipe project clean with damp cloth.

It is always recommended to apply a test coat on a hidden area or scrap piece to ensure color evenness and adhesion. Use primer or wood conditioner as needed.
Help Improve This Plan

We apologize if there was an error in this plan. Please help us out and report any errors here.



Thu, 08/25/2011 - 06:12

Hey Ana, the link to the original West Elm unit is broken. You have an extra http// in there.

sweetness (not verified)

Sat, 08/27/2011 - 21:59

I am not new to woodworking in general- but I have never worked with veneer before- I'm assuming it's pretty easy to work with, but wondering if you have any advice before I tackle it head on?

In reply to by sweetness (not verified)

Ana White

Mon, 08/29/2011 - 11:58

Hi Sweetness, the edge banding veneer is very very simple to do and hard to mess up. It comes in rolls designed for 3/4" thick plywood and you simply iron on, trim edges with a utility knife for a perfect fit, and then I like to sand the edges smooth, and you are done. Definitely something most beginners can do.


Sun, 08/28/2011 - 17:50

This looks really spiffy. Thanks for sharing. :)

Hey Ana, where could users post requests? I was trying to think of ways to make a wooden swivel desk like the one in your picture for the bedford corner desk project. But it's something I've never done before and this guy seems pretty complex.

Akiko (not verified)

Tue, 06/26/2012 - 14:37


I have been drooling over the original of these on a contemporary furniture site for awhile now.. but what prevented me from buying them was the obnoxious price. I can't wait to make these! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! (^__^)