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.


Carrie S (not verified)

Mon, 04/05/2010 - 04:12

Ana I love this plan. My problem is I don't have a nailer so I thought glue and screwing would work. I just don't see where I would put the screws without them hitting each other. Please help.

Virginia (not verified)

Fri, 05/21/2010 - 03:01

Hi Ana, love this bench!! If I wanted to make it taller, do I just get longer leg pieces? Or would stability/center of gravity be compromised?

Nancy (not verified)

Thu, 06/03/2010 - 12:23

I built this table .. somehow the top warped while staining and I had to re-stain the top again. I had some issues with finding the perfect hings, but it may have just be a first timer error. I'll post pics soon.

PS: From the reader's picture (not Ana's), do we know where her baskets are from? I like the style.

vdub_gryl (not verified)

Tue, 06/15/2010 - 07:40

Ana! I am so glad I found this plan. This is EXACTLY what I have been looking for. So glad I found your blog. I'm a new fan ;) Will post pics when I've finished. Yay!

Judy (not verified)

Tue, 08/17/2010 - 07:48

Hello! Thank You! Love this Bench! Love this Blog! To elaborate: I love seeing how many other women love to work with wood. I have recently discovered my inner carpentress, (sounds like someone in a monestery!?) and I so appreciate your talent. I'm 63 years old. Now my daughter and I are working on things together. Particularly exciting since I was brought up to believe that girls just couldn't pick up a hammer. Best to you, wonderful lady!

Tomena (not verified)

Sun, 08/22/2010 - 18:00

Hi Ana~ I just have to say that I LOVE your site! I have a question about this "table". I am a homeschool mom and I want to make a coffee table that would double as a low activity table for my kids in our small family/homeschool room. When I'm done with it I want to put a world map on top (we're short on wall space and maps are essential to homeschoolers) and put glass or something over it so that they can color and do school work on top of it if they want to. I LOVE the design of this table (my style is farmhouse) but of course it needs to be bigger or more square, if you get what I mean.... do you have plans similar to what I'm describing OR can you give me a few pointers on how to accomplish that? I'm new to building things so be easy my ignorance... {{wink}} Thanks a ton! ~Tomena

Angie (not verified)

Mon, 08/23/2010 - 12:22

This looks like a great project to be scaled up for a kitchen table. Just think of all the odd pans and dishes you only use a few times a year. I just found your site and wish I had a garage! I love building things and with your simple instructions and plans I'm sure there will be some great projects in my future.