Apothecary Coffee Table with Toybox Trundle

Submitted by Ana White on Wed, 06/20/2012 - 19:47
| Print this plan

DIY this coffee table with a hidden storage toy box trundle! Free easy step by step plans from Ana-White.com

For a few blissful months, something really strange has been going on in our living room.  Very odd indeed.

I, Ana White, mother of a busy five year old, hater of housework, great at stepping over toys, have had a clean living room for months now.

That's right.  My living room is clean.

The toys are not scattered all over the floor.  Not one in sight.

And yet they are still right there.

You see, a bit back, I made what I called the 20 Second Tidy Up Coffee Table.

You know, the one with a hidden toy box ...

Well, we've been so thrilled with this coffee table, I wanted to add another design to maybe fit your living room style better, but with all the great functionality.

After all, we ALL deserve a break on the toy picking up!

So I asked this beautiful lady - my friend Brooke from Killer B Designs and mother of Charlie - what she thought of an apothecary style coffee table.

This is what Brooke thinks of an apothecary style trundle toy box coffee table.

Now my question for you is, what do you think???

Could there be a more beautiful way to stuff toys under a table?

Brooke spent about $100 on the lumber, and she's been so kind to also share the finish tutorial with us!

AND Brooke is also sharing with us all of her tips and tricks!

- Use a kreg jig system to attach the top and side planks together. It will wear better over time and show less cracks. The humidity really warps wood where I live so it helps to have that reinforced. 

- Use the kreg jig on the 2×2 support frame below. This will hide all of your screws. You can also drill two holes in the ends of the long pieces and use that to attach the sides to the frame, so you don’t have any screws/holes showing on the outside either. 

- Reinforce the coffee table top with L brackets. This makes it solid as a rock. If you have kids, this table will take a beating. You’ll want all the extra help you can get to keep it sturdy! 

- Use a putty epoxy on the casters to make them fixed-wheel. I couldn’t find any 1 5/8″ casters that were fixed, they all spun around so the trundle can go in a thousand directions. That makes it tough to keep it straight when pushing it in and out of the table, causing extra dents and nicks in your finish. We use a putty epoxy to set them in place since it dries so quickly. 

- Brooke also recommends nixing the breadboard ends and just cutting the1x6s a little longer. She says this makes the table easier to build and stronger.

Please take a second to stop over and thank Brooke and see TONS more photos and tips!  

And of course the step by step tutorial follows!

Dimensions shown above.


Shopping List

4 - 1x6 @ 8 feet long
3 - 2x2 @ 8 feet long
1 - 1x3 @ 6 feet long
1 - 1x12 @ 12 feet long
1 - 1x2 @ 10 feet long
1/4 sheet of - 1/2" plywood
4 - 1 1/2" caster wheels with an overall clearance of 2"
1 1/4 inch finish nails
1 1/4 inch pocket hole screws
1” finish nails
14 knobs

Cut List

4 - 2x2 @ 21 3/4" (cut to length of your leg sides)
2 - 2x2 @ 43 3/4"
5 - 1x6 @ 45 1/4" (diagrams show 46 ¼” but this
will not overlap legs – so I’ll leave that up to you)
8 - 1x6 @ 14 1/4"
4 - 1x2 @ 22" (side trim - cut to fit)
2 - 2x2 @ 15 1/2" (for caster wheels with overall
clearance of 2" - most commonly 1 1/2" diameter
2 - 1x3 @ 27 1/2" (cut to width of tabletop)
2 - 1x12 @ 43 1/4"
2 - 1x12 @ 23 1/4" (1/4" less in length than the side
2 - 1x2 @ 43 1/4"
14 – 5 ½” wide x ¼” thick hobby stock or ¼”
plywood for false drawer fronts

Tape Measure
Speed Square
Safety Glasses
Hearing Protection
Kreg Jig
Circular Saw
Power Sander
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

First, build the top frame.

Step 2

Then add the tabletop boards. You can build the tabletop first, then attach too. NOTE: Brooke recommends adding 5" to the tabletop boards and omitting the breadboard ends.

Step 3

Now build two of the sides. Again, you can build the side panels first, then attach side trim.

Step 4

And then add the legs. Try PHs on the insides - 3/4" and 1 1/4" PH screws.

NOTE: You will want your legs to fit the length of your caster wheels. This plan assumes your caster wheels have an overall clearance of 2" and your 1x12s are 11 1/4" wide.

Step 5

Step 6

If you did the breadboards ....

Step 7

Ooops - don't notch out handles.

Build the bottom box. Attach plywood to bottom.

Step 8

And then the little drawer faces!

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.



Wed, 06/20/2012 - 20:10

Soooo pretty! I love the finish too. I'll have to copy it on my next build. Great job Brooke! And Ana of course!


Thu, 06/21/2012 - 05:01

Honest, what a beautiful, 'simple' thing to do!

I know what my sister's next present will be!

Ivan (not verified)

Thu, 06/21/2012 - 09:35

On Step 5 Brooke mentions metal brackets. Where exactly are they placed?? Looks beautiful!



Thu, 06/21/2012 - 10:32

That looks familiar. Almost exactly the same as the one I made in my mind. :) Thanks for putting my thoughts on paper. You know what I mean.

Lucianna (not verified)

Sat, 06/23/2012 - 20:54

The cut list says to cut the sides for the trundle at 23 1/4, but the plans show the boards at 21 1/4 - and the measurement 23 1/4 from outside the front and back board sides. Which one should I do? I had them cut at 23 1/4 for me at HD, but decided to come here and ask before I even started.
thanks a lot

Jill2 (not verified)

Mon, 06/25/2012 - 14:46

Hi Lucianna -

Fellow follower here, but I think the correct length might be 21 3/4" for the trundle sides. I think the cut list might have a typo. In the cut list, there is a note for the trundle sides that says to cut them 1/4" smaller than the side trim, which is listed above as 22" - this seems to jive with the diagram, which shows the boards as 21 3/4" - I hope that helps!


Katera (not verified)

Tue, 06/26/2012 - 08:04

Our kids' toys are tossed into colorful buckets behind our couch. I was just looking at moving the furniture around but was stuck with what to do with all of their toys. This is an amazing solution!!

Susan71 (not verified)

Thu, 06/28/2012 - 09:24

I love this table!! I have always been a huge apothecary chest fan and this is gorgeous and practical. I've been looking for an idea for a new coffee table and this is IT!! I just found your blog and there are several things I'm really interested in making in addition to this table. But, I am very new to construction and have a few questions regarding the measurements. I sincerely appreciate the effort and time you obviously put into this blog and am in no way am I trying to correct you. That being said, there are several differences in the directions and I just want to make sure I have my wood cut properly.
The finished length is shown at 27 1/2" in the initial diagram, but it says the apothecary style should be 1/4" larger. The first table, in the other post, you made is also 27 1/2" long. So should this table be 27 3/4" long? Does the body of the frame also need to be increased 1/4" or just the top? Also, in step 1 it states the width of the frame is 43 3/4" and the top in step 2 is shown at 45". But step 2 says to have 3/4" on each end, which can't work with those numbers, as there is only 1 1/4" to split between the sides. Is that enough to attach the end boards on to? I was assuming since the 45" shown isn't going to cover end to end that the boards would have to be added. The cutting list states to cut the boards 45 1/4" or 46 1/4", which neither match the diagram. The finished width is listed in the 1st diagram as 49 1/4".
I hate to ask so many questions. I'm just so new to this that I want to try and do it right the first time. Plus I can't afford to have a bunch of lumber cut at the wrong measurements lol. I would appreciate your response very much. I would also appreciate you overlooking the obvious fact that I have no idea what I'm doing! Thank you in advance and more importantly thank you for all the cool ideas!

Akim (not verified)

Sat, 06/30/2012 - 13:32

Hi. I am certainly going to give this project a go. But I can't figure out how to connect the box to the table. Is it that the two are separate units? Or is there a slide and a catch for the draw? I'm new at this so any pointers would really help.

Free Plans Made Possible By Our Sponsors