How to Build a DIY Entertainment Center

DIY Entertainment Center

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To tame tech clutter, your television and other media devices such as streaming boxes, DVRs, and DVD players need a solid, stylish home. You can build a DIY entertainment center that will act as a dependable base for the screen, with two sliding doors that cover up the peripheral devices. Half of the center remains open for displaying books and favorite curios.

With mid-century modern-inspired tapered, flared legs, this sleek entertainment center sits low to the ground at just around 19 inches high. Pre-laminated wood shelves are the chief building material and eliminate the need for painting. This entertainment center will complement any contemporary-styled living room or media room.

Project Metrics

  • Working Time: 4 hours
  • Total Time: 5 hours
  • Skill Level: Intermediate
  • Materials Cost: $125 to $200

Tools and Supplies You Will Need

  • 4 tapered, flared metal or wood cabinet/sofa legs, 7 1/2-inch each
  • 2 white laminated wood shelves with finished edges, 12-inch by 72-inch
  • 1 wood veneer project panel, 1/4-inch thick by 2 feet wide by 4 feet long
  • 1 white-primed or melamine project panel, 1/4-inch thick by 2 feet wide by 6 feet long
  • 2 satin nickel stainless steel 3-inch hole center Euro-style cabinet pulls
  • 2 aluminum channels, 3/8-inch by 3/8-inch by 72-inch
  • 10 #2-screw white plastic screw covers
  • 1/4-inch screws
  • 1-inch screws
  • Electric miter saw
  • Electric hand sander
  • Fine grit sandpaper
  • Tack cloth
  • Stain and coating for the doors
  • Circular saw
  • Cordless drill
  • Drill bits
  • Countersink drill bits
  • 2-inch hole saw
  • Hacksaw
  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
  • Eye protection
  • Hearing protection


Cut the Top, Bottom, and Side Boards

Measure the two laminated shelves to 56 inches each and cut at that mark. From the remainder, mark off two 12-inch long sections and cut. Make certain that the two 12-inch boards each have one finished (laminated) edge.

Set the Aluminum Channels

With the hacksaw, cut the two aluminum channels to 56 inches. Run the channels along the outer edge of the 56-inch boards; they will act as guides for the sliding doors. The outer edge of the channel should be flush with the outer edge of the board. Drill four holes per channel. Carefully bore out the top of each hole with either a countersink bit or a slightly larger drill bit so that the screw will sink flush with the channel. Follow with four 1/4-inch bugle-head screws per channel.

Attach the Legs

Attach two legs at 18 inches from the end of each 56-inch board. Repeat on the other end.

Cut and Finish the Sliding Doors

From the veneer project panel, cut two pieces, each at 10 1/2 inches by 16 inches. Lightly sand the veneer side with fine-grit sandpaper. Clean each with the tack cloth. Apply the stain and coating of your choice. Set them aside to dry.

Attach the Cabinet Handles

After the cabinet drawers have dried, drill two holes 3 inches apart on each of the cabinet doors. Attach the cabinet pulls using the included screws.

Attach the Side Boards

Set the two 56-inch boards on edge, 12 inches apart and parallel to each other. Locate the side boards so that their finished edge is facing forward (toward the front of the cabinet). The one cut edge of each board will be facing backward and will not be visible.

Place one of the 12-inch boards at the side. Screw this side board into place with three 1-inch screws driven into the top board and three screws into the bottom board. Be sure to first drill the pilot holes and countersink holes.

Slide the cabinet doors into the channels. Then attach the second side board on the other side of the cabinet. Cover up the screws with the white plastic screw covers.

Cut the Back Panel

Lay the white project panel on the ground with the white side facing up. Lay the entertainment center on its side, on top of the white project panel, as a template. Mark off the size of the back panel with the pencil. Remove the entertainment center and cut the white project panel on its marks with the circular saw.

Attach the Back Panel

From the rear, attach the back panel to the entertainment center using the 1/2-inch screws. Be sure that the center is perfectly in square before attaching the back panel, as the panel will lock its position in place. Use four screws on each long side and three screws on each short side. It is not necessary to countersink these screws as they will be hidden in the back.

Cut a Wire Access Hole

Cut a 2-inch hole in the center of the back panel with the hole saw. Depending on your wiring needs, you may need to cut more than one hole.

Tips for Building Your DIY Entertainment Center

  • Be careful when countersinking screws in the aluminum channel. The material is thin and may tear through if you drill too far.
  • Situate the wood veneer cabinet doors with the grain running vertically.
  • Remember to slide the cabinet doors into the channels before attaching the second side panel. You will have no access after attaching that second side.
  • Purchase tapered legs with welded bases that allow you to attach them from the bottom—considerably easier than attaching from the other side of the board.