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DIY Multipurpose Side Table – $20 Build

Learn how to build a multipurpose side table. This table can be used as a side table and also as a work table. It’s also a great way to hide things like a handheld vacuum, telephone, etc..

How to build a $20 Multipurpose Side Table.

A few years ago I gave my living room a quick and easy makeover. I really loved the stack of suitcases I had in the corner. However, it wasn’t very convenient as a side table.

I replaced the suitcases by a small wooden chair my grandmother gave me. It made a great side table even though it was a little low. It did not hide my handheld vacuum though, which to me is an eye sore.

$20 DIY Decor

This month’s At Home DIY Challenge: $20 DIY Decor

I’m participating in a year long DIY challenge with a fabulous group of DIY bloggers. Every month we have a new challenge. Last month’s challenge was What Can I Build with 2x4s, my project was how to build a 2×4 outdoor bar table. At the bottom of this post you’ll find a collection of $20 DIY Decor projects.

I had no idea what I was going to do with this challenge. I kept thinking and nothing was coming to me. I even asked my fellow At Home DIY blogger friends what they were doing. They all had great projects they were working on.

I was sitting on the couch talking with my daughter when an idea hit me! As I was talking to her, she reached down to the little chair to grab her glass of water… and boom I knew what I was going to do! 

Build a side table!

I started brainstorming right away with my husband and he was completely on board!

How to build a $20 Multipurpose Side Table.

DIY Side Table

We have four goals with this DIY side table.

Goal 1: Build a side table. Pretty obvious, right?! Hehe

Goal 2: Big enough that we can use it as a work table.

Goal 3: That we can hide unwanted things from view.

Goal 4: Build it for $20.

Now let’s see if we can reach these goals!

How to Build a Multipurpose Side Table


  • 1x Hobbyboard 16″ x 48″ (11/16″ thick)
  • 2″x2″ 4 foot long
  • Screws
  • Stain, varnish or paint


  • Miter saw
  • Table saw
  • Kreg Jig
  • Drill
  • Tape measure
  • Square

Cut list:

Please note that these measurements are based on our needs. You’ll have to modify the measurements based on what you need for your space.

  • 2x 24″x14″
  • 2x 2″x2″ cut to 23¼″ long
  • 1x 12”x2” (scrap wood from the Hobbyboard)

In case you are wondering what a Hobbyboard is, it’s spruce panels that are edge-glued together. They come in various sizes and a perfect for DIY projects. We used it to make closet shelving and to make a nightstand. Of course you can also make your own wide board by using a biscuit joiner to join boards together.

This is a hobbyboard.


Step 1: We started off by making a line at 24″ on the Hobbyboard.

Measure hobbyboard before cutting.
Use a carpenter square to make a straight line.
Hobbyboard with pencil line.

Step 2: Using our miter saw we cut the Hobbyboard along the line.

Using a miter saw to cut hobbyboard.

Step 3: We cut the 2 pieces 2″x2″ at 23¼″ long with the miter saw.

Measuring a 2x2 to cut.
Cuting a 2x2 with a miter saw.

Step 4: We used our table saw to trim 2″ off the one side of each piece of Hobbyboard so that they would be 14″ instead of 16″.

Using a table saw to a hobbyboard.
How to use a table saw.

Here are the legs, the top, and the front pieces all cut and ready to go:

Multipurpose side table pieces.

Step 5: We took one the pieces of scrap wood from the Hobbyboard and cut it down to 12″ using our miter saw. The piece measured 12″x2″ when we were done.

Inside support of the side table.

Step 6: We used the Kreg Jig to make 3 pocket holes on the piece of 12″x2″.

How to make pocket holes in support piece.
Support piece with pocket holes.

Step 7: We placed the 12″x2″ centered on the back side of the small edge of one of the 24″x14″. 3/4″ from the front and 1″ from each edge. We fastened the two pieces together by pre-drilling holes and then adding 4x 1¼″ screws.

Placement of the support piece.
Pre-drill holes before adding screws.
Fastening support to side table with screws.
Support attached.

Step 8: Next we moved on to the 2″x2″s. We made two pocket holes on the bottom edge of each 2″x2″ with the Kreg Jig.

Making pocket holes to table legs with a Kreg Jig.

Step 9: We fastened the 2″x2″s on the corners of the small edge of the other piece of 24″x14″ with 1¼″ screws.

Placement of the table legs.
Attaching legs with screws.
Table legs attached to the bottom of the side table.

Step 10: Time to finish the side table. To do so, we placed the side of the 24″x14″ with the 12″x2″ on the opposite end of the of the legs. We attached them together by drilling 1¼″ screws into the 3 pocket holes. (We both held the pieces tight as we drilled. It’s probably a good idea to use a big f clamp instead. hehe)

Assembling the multipurpose side table.
Aligning the pieces together.
Fastening with screws.
Inside view of the side table.


DIY Multipurpose Side Table

DIY Multipurpose side table.

Here is the multipurpose side table all set up in our living room.

DIY $20 multipurpose side table.
Simple modern style side table.
DIY $20 side table.
DIY multipurpose side table.
DIY Laptop Table built for $20.

Does it look great?

It’s really the perfect side table for us!

And I love the surface space, there’s plenty of room for a laptop. It could even be used as a TV table.

We have not put a finish on it yet as we aren’t sure if we will varnish it, stain it or paint it. Right now I like the natural tone, so perhaps we will varnish it.

P.S. See that wood wall sconce next to my mirror? We made those and it cost less than $20 to make two!

Oh and it met all out 4 goals! It cost us $20! The Hobbyboard costs a little less than $20 (Canadian funds) and we had the 2x2s left over from the nightstand we made. Woot Woot!!

We may make a second too and maybe we will add a shelf underneath to store coasters, remotes, etc.. things that don’t need to be on the surface of the side table all the time.

Looking at the wall next to the multipurpose side table makes me realize I should probably hang something on wall. Maybe I’ll put my diamond shaped wood and mosaic wall art back up, or perhaps make cute photo clipboards.

How to build a multipurpose side table

How to build a multipurpose side table for your living room.
How to build a $20 Multipurpose Side Table.

Have you ever built a decor piece for $20 or less? We made my daughter a headboard for around $5 using things we had in the garage. It turned out awesome!

Have a great day!



Tuesday 7th of January 2020

This is a great versatile end table idea, although in our house it would always be in front of the couch for the laptop. Your step by step tutorial is really helpful. I would be able to make this little table on my own.

I have featured your end table at the Waste not Wednesday link party. Thank you for sharing it with us.

Miss Kitty

Monday 30th of December 2019 win! That is a great project!!! Congratulations for being featured over at Marty's "A Stroll Thru LIfe" blog party!

Cherryl Ehlenburg

Wednesday 16th of October 2019

I think I need one of these! I just need to find a place to put it!


Tuesday 17th of September 2019

Very cool! So versatile.

Teri Moore

Sunday 15th of September 2019

It's pretty genius that you built this with a full side to hide stuff behind. What a really good idea!

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