DIY Network

How to Build a Large Entertainment Center

Use these step-by-step instructions to build an open-shelf entertainment center that is perfect for storing electronics.

More in Remodeling

building an open shelf entertainment center
  • Time

    Two Days

  • Price Range

    $100 - $250

  • Difficulty



Step 1: Build the Shelves

After making your measurements, mark and cut out all of the pieces.

Assemble the shelves by attaching the front and back lip to the shelf plank using wood glue and nails.

Lightly sand the shelves, then apply stain.

attach front and back lip to shelf plank

Step 2: Install the Shelves

Mark the wall where the studs are located.

Note: Install the shelves for the entertainment unit from the bottom, up.

Once the first bottom shelf has been installed and attached to the studs, set 14-inch spacers on each end to support the next shelf while it's being installed (Image 1). Repeat this step for each shelf.

Note: Check each shelf for level.

After the first row of shelving is installed, start on the second row (Image 2). The shelf will rest on cleats attached to the vertical supports.

Drill through the shelf into the cleat to attach each shelf with screws.

To install the top shelves (Image 3), tap 1/4" stop pens into pre-drilled holes in the vertical supports.

Step 3: Support and Secure the Shelves

Next, slide the vertical supports through pre-routed slots on the horizontal shelves.

Place the entire unit on top of the bottom shelves (Image 1), then secure it to the studs.

The top shelf lies across the entire entertainment unit and is about 17' long. Use two pieces of plywood and join them together using a 45 degree joint (Image 2). Glue, then nail the pieces together.

Attach a front and back lip using wood glue and nails.

Secure the shelf to the studs, and putty all of the nail holes.

Step 4: Add a Cabinet and Fridge Unit

Add a small kitchen cabinet to the room by placing it against the wall and nailing it to the studs.

Take a measurement of the surface area, then cut out a top for the cabinet allowing space for a mini-fridge to be placed under the shelf.

Note: You'll need to place the cabinet and mini-fridge unit near an electrical outlet for the fridge to plug into.

add cabinet and fridge unit