Make this Adorable (and Space-Saving!) Fold-Down Table

Finding room for a dinner table in a crowded apartment can be a challenge. Luckily, we found the perfect solution. We'll show you how to make this cute drop-down table that folds up against the wall when not in use.

table and chairs

If your small kitchen lacks dining space, get creative and turn a wall display into functional furniture. This drop-down table is a smart, space-saving solution. When open, the table provides comfortable and stylish seating for two and display space for linens, cookbooks, extra dishes, and collectibles. When folded up, the table disappears to leave the floor clear for foot traffic. Clever use of chalkboard paint allows the underside of the unit to also serve as an area for grocery or other to-do lists.

To make the table, you'll need a handful of materials and basic carpentry skills. We'll walk you through the entire process, plus offer tips to customize the table and make it your own.

Editor's Tip: Don't have the tools needed to cut the wood for your table? Draw a plan with exact dimensions and ask the lumber store to make the cuts.

More Smart Solutions for an Itty-Bitty Kitchen

What You Need

  • Wall-mounted shelving unit (we used an old CD cabinet)
  • 3/4-inch plywood
  • 1x2 boards
  • Paintbrushes
  • Primer
  • Paint
  • Large piano hinge
  • Drill
  • Drill bit
  • Screws
  • Flat braces
  • Carpenter's square
  • Locking drop-leaf supports
  • Chalkboard paint
  • Hook
  • Latch
  • Support board flush
  • Stud finder

Before You Begin: Paint and Prime

Before assembling the table, prime and paint the cabinet and wood pieces. We used white and a light blue, but feel free to use any colors to match your decor. Let paint dry before proceeding.

Bonus: 11 Clever Ways to Paint Furniture

Step 1: Attach Boards and Cut Framing

DIY built-in, shelf, cabinet

Attach a board to the bottom front of the cabinet. Cut a tabletop the same size as the front of the cabinet and attach a large piano hinge along the back edge. Attach the other side of the hinge to the board installed on the bottom of the cabinet. Then, close the tabletop over the cabinet. Cut framing pieces and attach them around the bottom edges of the tabletop. Be sure your drill bit is set so you don't accidentally drill through the tabletop.

Step 2: Cut and Attach Legs

hinge, DIY, cabinet

Cut legs and crossbars, and attach the four pieces to each other using flat braces at the corners on the front and back of the boards. Use a carpenter's square to make sure the legs are square. Attach the leg assembly to the tabletop with a long piano hinge.

Step 3: Add Support

DIY cabinet, hinges, DIY

To ensure the legs stay in place when open, add locking drop-leaf supports on each side of the tabletop. When closed, the leg assembly becomes the chalkboard's frame. If desired, fill in the area with chalkboard paint and let dry.

Make Your Own Chalkboard Paint

Step 4: Hang on the Wall

DIY cabinet, chalkboard, kitchen

Attach a hook and latch to the top of the cabinet and the tabletop. Use a stud finder to locate wall studs. Attach the cabinet at the appropriate height on the wall, making sure to hit studs. The table should be level when open. Attach a support board flush under the cabinet and into wall studs.

Step 5: Add Personality

chalkboard, DIY, Kitchen

With a little extra effort, a bland background can become a piece of wall art. If you chose to fill in the table's bottom with chalkboard paint, write out a to-do list, inspirational quote, or short message. Add other embellishments, such as tassels, trim, or decorative hardware as desired.

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