Flip Top Storage Bench / Coffee Table

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 02/02/2010 - 08:57
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A simple bench that holds a suprise in it's aprons. Flip the top up and find the perfect spot to store magazines, mittens, or anything else that can fit! The bench also features a roomy bottom shelf perfect for shoes and blankets. I had this bench under my wall mounted flat panel, and used the flip top for remotes and dvds, and the bottom shelf for controllers. This bench is really easy to build too!

18″ High, 48″ Wide, 15″ Deep


Shopping List

1 – 12′ 1×12 pine board
2 – 1×2 pine boards
1 – 1×3 pine board
2 – 1×4 pine boards
2 – sets of basic butteryfly hinges

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

2 – 1×12 @ 42 1/2″ (Shelves)
4 – 1×2 @ 17 1/4″ (Leg Pieces for the Sides)
4 – 1×3 @ 17 1/4″ (Leg Pieces for the Front and Back)
2 – 1×2 @ 39″ (Bottom Shelf Trim, Front and Back)
2 – 1×4 @ 39″ (Top Storage Compartement Sides, Front and Back)
2 – 1×2 @ 8 1/2″ (Bottom Shelf Trim, Sides)
2 – 1×4 @ 8 1/2″ (Top Storage Compartment Sides, Sides)
1 -1×4 @ 48″ (Top, Back)
1 – 1×12 @ 48″ (Hinged Top)

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


Step 1

Legs and Bottom Shelf. Begin by building all four legs. You will need to nail through the 1×2 part of the leg into the 1×3 leg piece, keeping outside edges flush. Notice how the 1×3 part of the legs is on the front and back, and the 1×2 parts are on the sides. Be aware of the leg placement as you assemble the bench.
Then fasten the legs to the bottom shelf, leaving a 3″ clearance under the bottom shelf on each of the legs. I suggest that you mark each of the legs 3″ from the bottom first, and then assemble the bench. Use glue and 2″ nails, fastening through all the leg pieces into the shelf edges.

Step 2

Top Shelf. Fasten the top shelf, leaving 2 3/4″ from the top of the shelf and the top of the bench. As you did in step 1, I recommend marking each of the legs 2 3/4″ down from the top, and lining this mark up with the top of your top shelf. Fasten through the legs into the shelf with the 2″ nails and glue.

Step 3

Bottom Shelf Trim. Measure and cut your bottom shelf trim from 1x2s. These are pieces noted as pieces D and should be approximately 39″ long. Trim both the front and back of the bench. Keep the bottom edges flush. The top will overextend by 3/4″ the bottom shelf. Use the 2″ nails and glue.

Step 4

Top Shelf Storage Compartment Sides, Front and Back. Measure and cut pieces E, a 1×4 approximately 39″ long. Keeping the bottom edge flush with the bottom of the top shelf, fasten E to the top shelf along the bottom edge. Use the 2″ nails and glue. Then toenail, or nail at an angle from the top ends of E into the sides of the leg pieces. This will keep the top edges of the storage compartment in place.

Step 5

Step 6

Bottom Shelf Trim, Sides. As you did in step 3, measure and cut boards F and trim out the sides of the bottom shelf. Boards F should be approximately 8 1/2″ long, cut from 1x2s, and are flush with the bottom of the bench (and not the top, as shown above).

Step 7

Top, Back Piece. Mark piece H 2″ from the outsides for the overhang on the ends. Then mark piece H 1″ along the back edge for the back overhang. Then position piece H on top of the bench and fasten in place using the 2″ nails and glue. Be sure to fasten to the leg pieces and the back of the storage compartment.

Step 8

Hinged Top. Use the hinges to attatch the 1×12 to the 1×4. It is a good idea to use magnetic clasps to keep the 1×12 in place and prevent warping when the top is closed. Look closely at the first picture and you will see the hinges slightly show on top of the bench. If you would like completely invisible hinges, you can invest in support hinges designed for lift top toy boxes and benches. The cheap butterfly hinges work great for me.


Ana White (not verified)

Wed, 10/28/2009 - 14:42

You will suprise yourself at how easy this is. Just be safe and make good square cuts and use good square straight stock. Good luck, post a pic when you are done! Love Ana

Jeanette (not verified)

Sun, 01/10/2010 - 18:55

Did you have the materials and cut list on this project yet?? Also some dimensions would be great!!

Heather Melzer (not verified)

Thu, 01/14/2010 - 07:53

I would love a material/cut list as well for this. I just found your blog and an in AWE!

Ana White (not verified)

Thu, 01/14/2010 - 08:02

Hi everyone, I am planning on reposting the bench due to the popularity. This was one of my very first posts, and I have learned much since. Expect updated plans to post very soon!

junesummer (not verified)

Tue, 01/19/2010 - 01:56

this may have been one of your first posts, and I would like it to be my first (of many) of your projects. I just love your site and you have given me the courage to jump in, but I would love a material and cut lists for the storage bench. Keep up the good work, your site is the first one I check every morning to see whats new. Love it!!!

mlshowalter (not verified)

Tue, 01/19/2010 - 09:37


I was wondering what kind of hinges you used for the lid of the table. My dad and I are building it together as a birthday present for my boyfriend, and we can't figure out how the table works without having the hinges show on top. I have to have it done by Saturday, so any help would be appreciated!

Thanks so much, and I love your site!

Ana White (not verified)

Tue, 01/19/2010 - 10:25

On my storage bench, I just used low profile basic hinges. The hinges do show a tiny bit on the top, but the overall product is fine. I positioned the hinges so that they rest in the crack between the hinged top and the back top piece, and not on top of the bench. Only the pin part of the hinge shows.

You could use european hinges that are completely invisible (like what is used on kitchen cabinets). You will need to buy a special bit and the hinges can be a little pricy. See this article -

The other option is to use "support hinges" designed for lift tops. You would then need to attach the hinges to the sides of the storage compartment.

Hope this helps!

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