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, 02/03/2010 - 08:33

I used walnut stain on the bench. I use poly after I have stained, but I'm not saying my technique is "right". What finish is "right" for you is what I would recommend. Do some experimenting on scraps.

Anonymous (not verified)

Wed, 02/03/2010 - 08:34

I'm such a clutter-phobe that even coffee tables are too much for me. That is, until I saw this plan! I love this storage table!!! I also love the side tables, did you make those as well? Are there plans for those?

Ana White (not verified)

Wed, 02/03/2010 - 08:35

The rectangular pillows are handmade. The fabric is fromm Joanns, I believe you can still buy it online, from the Better Homes and Gardens collection. I just bought pillow forms and coverend the pillows. Same with the zebra print.

Beth (not verified)

Thu, 02/04/2010 - 03:14

I love this table! I 'm picturing it taller to use as a sideboard in my dining room. Is there a way to make the "storage" part a little deeper? It would be great to be able to store dishes or even wine glasses in it. Or liquor bottles even. And how about some sort of wine rack built into the bottom? Just some more ideas. You are so awesome!

Anonymous (not verified)

Fri, 02/05/2010 - 08:42

Interesting blog. I used some of the plans from the restoration hardware table to build our own.

As for finishing, any tips for a less glossy finish, even less so than the satin poly? One person suggested natural oil (but i've heard it is not as stain resistant). Others say wax (but it will get damaged by heat and water). Im so confused now.


Erin (not verified)

Fri, 02/05/2010 - 09:17

I would like to make this into a piano bench to sit on and store our piano books in. Would the only thing I need to change be the 48" long boards? And what do you think would be a decent length if I don't do the 48" length for the bench?

Shelli (not verified)

Fri, 03/26/2010 - 11:01

Is this table load bearing? I was thinking of making it for the foot of the bed, but it would get sat on and I want to make sure it could handle that? Thanks!

Ana White (not verified)

Fri, 03/26/2010 - 11:06

My bench has a huge wide screen on it. I can't give you exact weight limits, but it's very sturdy and strong.

Misi (not verified)

Wed, 03/31/2010 - 15:22

Love your blog!! I'd also like to make this for the foot of my bed. Would 60/65 inches be too long or would I need to add extra support somehow? Thanks!