Building Furniture

It's a lot easier than you think to make your furniture from scratch. Have the pieces cut by the supplier or measure up and do it yourself to assemble coffee and dining tables, sofas, storage boxes and more. You can make pieces to suit the size of your rooms and finish them to match the style of your home.

Send Kids' Clutter Into Outer Space With This Rocket Cupboard
We used an orbiter vehicle (OV) from a NASA space shuttle as the inspiration for this cabinet. The shape of the aerofoils and fuselage were simplified, but the overall proportions are faithful to the original orbiter. The cabinet was built as a carca...
Impress All With This Retro Cassette Coffee Table
This cool, retro coffee table is built from overlapping layers of plywood that are initially secured with screws. The central layer is made from two pieces joined edge-to-edge, making it easier to drill into the spools. Tip: To cut out the enclosed...
Be inspired by the world's most creative designers
French creative ideas hub Creapills recently posted this stunning video below featuring some of the most forward-thinking furniture design ideas in the world. What do you think? Are they the types of engineering or interior design concepts you could...
Make A Craft Station From Pegboard
Kids’ craft usually involves glue, glitter and paint so it often gets messy, but you can keep order by using pegboard. Cut it into the shape of your child’s first initial and use this letter as a wall-mounted craft station to put tools on show wh...
Make A DIY Coat Rack Using Pegboard
Every kid’s room needs a coat rack to hang hats, scarves, bags and jackets. But instead of plain wall hooks, make a faux pegboard and hang it on the wall, adding customised hooks painted in bright colours. It’s as easy as drilling holes in a shee...
Make a DIY Bedhead Using Pegboard
A pegboard is usually found mounted on the wall in a shed or garage, but you can bring this workshop staple inside and use it for something other than hanging tools. Here, we’ve taken the pegboard concept and used it make decorative storage for a...
DIY Leather Bench Seat
A bench at the end of a bed is a convenient piece of furniture in a bedroom.  Buying a long bench or ottoman can get expensive, but you can easily make your own.  To get designer style on a shoestring, simply take the top off a timber stool and...
DIY Leather Strap Magazine Rack
Poppular for sofas and chairs, leather isn’t used for many other home furnishings, even though it is very versatile.  This project uses leather straps and basic upholstery techniques. The straps are 1.2m belt lengths cut to size. They come in var...
How To Build A Concrete Table
Stone garden furniture is timeless, but it can be pricey. This table has a concrete top featuring fern leaf imprints, which is supported on a solid timber base and assembled using dowel joints. This top costs about $60 to DIY, which includes th...
DIY Steel Pipe Stool
This unique stool has galvanised steel pipes for the frame and features a timber seat that was reclaimed and recycled from an old broken stool. The legs on the frame have been splayed wider at the base to provide more stability, and they’re also...
DIY Steel Pipe Shelf
This eye-catching wall-mounted shelf is made out of a salvaged timber floorboard and recycledpipes and fittings. It gives the impression that the shelf has been installed around the plumbing. When mounting the shelf to a plasterboard wall, find t...
DIY Steel Pipe Table
Making furniture out of industrial materials and salvaged or repurposed items is a hot decorating trend, and these creations can command high prices. Our table cost a total of $207 to build, with the pipes and fittings costing between $3 and $12 ea...
DIY Suspension Shelves
Join pine boards with wire rope to make shelving that borrows a design feature from bridge construction.  These floating shelves look lightweight, but they are actually very strong and are able to support as much weight as a conventional bookcase...
Encouraging kids to put their books away will be a little easier with this doll’s house and bookshelf combo.   Using Forescolor coloured MDF from Porta, the frame of the doll’s house was built first, then the shelves, room dividers and roof were atta...
Set up a special zone where kids can draw and read by building a desk and matching bench seat with built-in storage for toys. We used Forescolor coloured MDF by Porta in blue to skip the hassle of painting. The bench seat slots perfectly inside the d...
In this DIY video from Bosch, big wave surfer Mark Visser shows how to build a deck chair from an old hardwood pallet. Click here to get the full step-by-step instructions for this project Click here to download the project PDF The first step to...
Build A Picture Frame That Turns Into A Table
Works of art are usually more decorative than functional, but this picture doubles as a practical piece of furniture. The top of the frame can be unclipped from the wall and drops down to provide a useful work surface, with the long stiles of the...
Build Leaning Shelves
Create simple but decorative vertical storage using lengths of plywood and pine.  At first glance, this lightweight ladder-like shelving looks like it might topple over, but it’s actually very stable and sturdy. The legs are cut at a 10º angle,...
Make A Magazine Rack
Use a combination square and measuring tape to precisely mark up furniture that slots together without fasteners, like this magazine rack. Cut from a 1800 x 450 x 18mm laminated pine panel, about $25, clamp the sides and cut with a jigsaw to ensu...
Build A Designer Day Bed
Build a luxury sofa to invest in some serious outdoor relaxation.  Garden dining settings and deck chairs have their place, but nothing tempts you outside like the prospect of a peaceful afternoon curled up on a supremely comfy, well-built day be...
Two-Drawer Coffee Table
This space-saving coffee table is also a neat storage unit. It has open shelving for cushions or decorative items and two drawers to keep magazines, or to use as a place to hide the remote controls.  Adding four castors to the base makes it easy...
Armrest Tray
This mini table can hold a cuppa and a snack, as well as the remote control, while taking up hardly any room.  Coffee tables are useful for drinks, books and remote controls but can take up a lot of floorspace, especially in a narrow room.  An...
Low-line Bookshelf
Make a unit designed to span an entire wall for storage and display.  Readymade bookcases are great for storage but sometimes a room needs a custom-made unit to fill an available space. This 3000mm long x 800mm high bookshelf is designed to sit...
DIY Fireplace Shelves
Whether you’re building an extension or doing a reno it pays to integrate display areas into the structure of rooms.  In this living area, four short stud walls were built to create two 2760 x 995 x 400mm alcoves either side of a central fireplac...
Doorway Bookcase
 In this home, one living room wall had a sliding door flanked by narrow columns of unused space.  Bookcases were built to surround the doorframe and fill the two awkward spaces, then painted to match the sliding doors.  The measurements are ea...
Concrete Cooler
For a rock-solid drinks rider that’s huge on thermal mass, you can’t beat this icebox on wheels.  The phrase ‘heavy drinking’ takes on a whole new meaning with this durable concrete cooler box. With castors for mobility and an industrial finish,...
DIY Custom Wardrobe
Stack simple plywood boxes to organise a closet and add storage compartments DIY.  Does your wardrobe resemble an untidy op shop, with insufficient space to store all your clothes? The easy answer is to install a larger one, but if space is tight...
Build Patio Planters
Make portable timber beds to grow potted plants for seasonal displays.  These planters take the hard work out of patio or deck gardening. Instead of filling them with soil and planting each shrub separately, set potted plants directly inside. ...
Mobile Coffee Table
Create a compact storage system for the living room in a few hours.  With a warm chestnut finish and castors for mobility, this sleek coffee table has a deceptively simple design. The table is built from four boxes, made using laminated pine pa...
Build A Courtyard Bench
Traditionally made of teak or cedar, a timber bench will last for years in the backyard.  This comfortable seat is made from LOSP H3 treated pine, making it more affordable. Before making the bench, select the boards carefully and avoid ones that...
Backyard Love Seat
Work together on a simple project to create long-lasting garden furniture that’s designed for two.  The busy pace of modern family life means that many couples struggle to set aside enough time to spend with each other.  Here’s a project that y...
Sponsored article An upholstered storage box could cost hundreds of dollars from a furniture store, but you can make one at home for a fraction of the price.   All you need to create this project is a 2400 x 1200mm x 9mm sheet of MDF, 12mm medium den...
Storage Trunk
Sponsored article An upholstered storage box could cost hundreds of dollars from a furniture store, but you can make one at home for a fraction of the price.   All you need to create this project is a 2400 x 1200mm x 9mm sheet of MDF, 12mm medium den...
Make A Round Bedside Table
With neutral colours and clean lines this geometrically styled table is designed for a modern bedroom.  The base frame is made from 42 x 19mm DAR (dressed all round) pine, costing from $1 a metre, and the tabletop cut from a 900 x 600 x 15mm MDF...
Based on the hit video game, this shelving system's bold colours and unusual shapes make it a real attention-grabber, and the pieces can be rearranged into literally millions of combinations. In the February 2016 issue of Handyman, we explain how to...
The proportions of this cassette table are almost identical to those of the original Philips cassette tape and it even has spools. It features a drawer for storage and a 6mm acrylic top. In the February 2016 issue of Handyman, we explain how to build...
In the February 2016 issue of Handyman, we showed you how to make three incredible 80s inspired pieces of furniture, including a shace shuttle orbiter cabinet, and a cassette tape table. We've included cutting templates for the orbiter cabinet to mak...
Pursuading kids to put away toys can be a battle, but giving them a rocket storage cabinet makes the job a lot more fun. In the February 2016 issue of Handyman, we explain how to build this fun cabinet using timber and Corflute. Click here to get thi...
Build a mosaic tile table,
Build a decorative but durable outdoor feature that’s tough enough to weather the elements.  Garden furniture has to be tough if it’s going to withstand a battering from the elements, but often this durability comes at the cost of the item’s deco...
Build Adirondack Chairs
Enjoy your favourite spot in the sun with a classic style of garden seating that has stood the test of time.  Settle into one of these timber chairs and you’ll appreciate why the iconic design, first seen in 1903, is still such a popular choice f...
Making a storage box for pool maintenance equipment that can also be used as a daybed can take up to a week of planning, cutting, building and finishing.  But you can do it in a day withan Easy Screen Storage Box/Daybed plan from Protector Alumin...
Children's DIY room divider in pink and white
Kids are great at taking the barest hint of an idea and constructing an elaborate imaginary world around it.   If your children love to build forts from sofa cushions, they will be blown away by this castle-inspired screen. It’s the perfect backdrop...
A teepee tent for a kid's bedroom with toys
With just a few lengths of pine, a piece of canvas and a sample pot of paint you can make the kids an indoor tent in a few hours for only $80. For the poles, you need four pieces of 1800 x 64 x 19mm DAR pine, about $5 each, and three 1800 x 42 x 19mm...
Kid's table with pencils cast into tabletop
This table looks designer but is quite easy to make. Built from MDF and pine, the resin top is cast and then attached separately. To cast the resin, choose a flexible straight-sided plastic storage tub with a base the size you want the tabletop to be...
a child's ottoman with storage space and seat
Building with reclaimed or recycled timber is a great way to save money and achieve a rustic feel, but sometimes shabby chic just doesn’t fit with the clean and fresh look of a kid’s bedroom. This ottoman is built from repurposed pine crates, but s...
How to Build A Poker Table
For an authentic gaming experience, whether you’re playing Texas Hold ‘Em for toothpicks or Snap with the kids, build this card table.   Made entirely from MDF this lightweight table is designed for a maximum of six players.   Compact and portable th...
Handyman magazine, DIY, Build a Timber Stool,
A sturdy stool is useful around the house for reaching high shelves or cupboards and can also do duty as a footrest or kid’s seat.   This walnut stool stands just over 300mm high with a 255 x 355mm top made from two 115 x 19mm boards.   The top is se...
Build an outdoor timber bench with a hinged lid that doubles as a place to stash recycling until pick-up day.    Keep the recycling tucked out of sight on a verandah or by the front door with a timber box designed to double as seating.   Th...
Recycle a bedroom door into a coffee table with storage. Decorate on a budget by turning a door into a coffee table. For an easy painted finish choose a primecote (pre-primed) door. For a natural-finish table, select a door in a timber you like. Door...
surfboard bench, DIY

Recycle an old surfboard by turning it into an eye-catching bench

DIYers love to give old items a new purpose. Handyman reader Geoff Pearce turned an old piece of sporting equipment into a handy and unique outdoor bench.   ‘We needed a seat by the swimming pool but I couldn’t find what I was looking for in th...
Built from pine and plywood and upholstered with foam, wadding and fabric, the sofa and chaise lounge are 800mm wide, with the cushions removed to provide a comfortable bed, while seating with the cushions is about 500mm high by 450mm wide.  DIY: $78...