Dining Room Sidekick - Small Cabinet with Door

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This small cabinet with door is easy to build for about $50 in materials.  Free plans created by ANA-WHITE.com

Does your family use the dining room table for board games, arts and crafts, homework, and more?  What do you do with all the stuff when dinner time comes around?

We were spending a good twenty minutes clearing our dining table off every evening before dinner, and moving all the board games to a cabinet in the living room.  I'm a firm believer that efficient processes make for clean and clutter free homes, and hauling board games into another room Every. Single. Meal. is not efficient.  Not at all.

We were also spending a good amount of time hauling napkins and salt and pepper from the spice cabient to the table and back.  Why are we doing this.

My dining table doesn't need a sideboard.  It needs a sidekick.

Just for the board games.  Just for the salt and pepper.

But since I wanted this new piece to be beautiful in my space, I added a little detail to the door.

I love that the detail makes what is a very simple and modest cabinet into something interesting and scrulptural.  I love that the door looks like a giant "Play" button, because this cabinet is all about play.  

But most of all - I love that this cabinet was such a truly simple build.  So simple.  

You can watch me build it in the following video -

And then build it yourself with the free plans following.

Enjoy! Ana


PS - Don't need a side cabinet in your dining room?  You could also use this cabinet as a counter height desk-

Small bath vanity (may need to make deeper to accommodate the sink and plumbing -

Or go double width and use it as console, media or entertainment center, sideboard or bookshelf.

Let me know in the comments if you'd like to see any of the modifications made into plans.



Dimensions shown above. About the size of a small bath vanity.


Shopping List

1 - sheet of 3/4" plywood ripped into two strips, 15-3/4" wide x 8 feet long (you'll only need about half of this material) OR 12 feet of 1x12 boards (for a narrower depth cabinet)

3 - 1x3 @ 8 feet long

48" x 48" piece of 1/4" plywood

2 small hinges

1 knob

may also need a magnetic clasp or similar to keep door shut

Common Materials
3/4 inch finish nails
1 1/4 inch finish nails
Cut List


2 - 3/4" plywood @ 15-3/4" x 35-1/4" - sides

1 - 3/4" plywood @ 15-3/4" x 23-3/4" - top

1 - 3/4" plywood @ 15-3/4" x 22-1/4"  - bottom shelf

1 - 3/4" plywood @ 15-1/4" x 22-1/4" - middle shelf

1 - 1/4" plywood @ 23-3/4" x 32-3/4" - back


Face Frame

1 - 1x3 @ 23-3/4" - face frame top

2 - 1x3 @ 33-1/2" - face frame sides

1 - 1x3 @ 18-3/4" - face frame bottom



2 - 1x3 @ 27-1/2" - door stiles

3 - 1x3 @ 13-1/2" - door rails

2 - 1x3 @ 14-1/8" - long point to short point measurement, both ends cut at 45 degrees, ends ARE parallel 

4 - 1x3 @ 9-1/2" - long point to long point measurement, both ends cut at 45 degrees, ends are NOT parallel

1 - 1/4" plywood @ 27-1/2" x 18-1/2"


Tape Measure
Speed Square
Safety Glasses
Hearing Protection
Kreg Jig
Circular Saw
Miter Saw
Table Saw
Brad Nailer
Power Sander


Step 1

Cut out the bottom of the side panels with a jigsaw or circular saw.  The two side panels need to be made in mirror, with the front leg smaller than the back.  This will matter if your plywood has a finished side that you'd like to keep on the exterior of the project.

Drill three pocket holes along top edge on inside, with pocket hole jig set for 3/4" materials.

Step 2

Attach sides to top with 1-1/4" pocket hole screws.

Attach bottom to sides with pocket holes.

Step 3

Cut back on tablesaw or with circular saw.

Attach with glue and 3/4" brad nails.

Step 4

Build face frame first with 3/4" pocket holes and 1-1/4" pocket hole screws.

Attach to the front of project with 1-1/4" brad nails and glue.

Step 5

Step 6

Add inlay pieces.

Attach back with glue and 3/4" brad nails.

Step 7

Install door with hinges.

Add shelves.

Sand and finish as desired.



Thu, 01/24/2019 - 07:47

Ana, the PDF version link does not appear to be working on this plan.


Tue, 06/23/2020 - 18:26

I would love the double width plans! I have the perfect place planned for it!