In this post, I’ll show you how to build a DIY Kids Nesting Table with one sheet of plywood, a few 1x3s and just four tools!
With school starting back and everything this year looking a little different than normal, I wanted to share some fun desk projects in the coming weeks to help inspire some unique workspace ideas for the home.
And I’m kicking things off by showing the smallest little desk idea, this kids nesting table.
This was such a fun little project that includes the table, four seats, plus cubby storage–all built from a single sheet of plywood and a few 1x3s–and just four tools!
I’ve got the plans detailed below and I’ll show you how it came together in this video.
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For this Kids Nesting Table, You Will Need:
- (1) sheet ¾″ plywood
- (3) 1x3x8 boards
- Circular Saw (saw guides optional, but a straight edge works fine, too)
- Miter Saw
- Dowel Jig OR Pocket Hole Jig (either works fine for this project)
- Wood Glue
- 1 ¼″ wood screws
- Dowels OR 1 ¼″ pocket hole screws (depending on whether you’re using pocket holes or dowel joinery)
Step 1: Cut Down Plywood Sheet
The first thing I did was start cutting down my plywood sheet. I’ve got a full tutorial on how I cut down my sheets here if you’re interested. NOTE: I use the Kreg Rip Cut and AccuCut saw guides to cut down my plywood, BUT they’re totally optional. A straight edge or straight board works fine, too.
I’ve laid out the plywood cut diagram below. First, I ripped the 14″ wide strip off the left edge. I cut those pieces to length in step 3, so for now, I just set the whole strip to the side.
Then, I cut a 30″ long piece from the remaining sheet and set it aside to be used later as the top.
I cut a 45″ piece from the remaining sheet, ripped the two 5 ½″ wide strips from the edge to be used as the seat cubby fronts later, then finally, cut two square pieces–one 22″ and one 23″. These will be the seat top and bottoms.
The remaining plywood left at that point (basically bottom right section) will be cut later for two more seat sides.
Step 2: Cut Nesting Table Seat Triangles
Now that my sheet was cut down, I grabbed both the 22″ and the 23″ square and used a speed square to mark 45 degree lines at each corner. Then I used my saw guide (or a straight edge) and circular saw to cut along these diagonal marks to make four equal size triangles.
The smaller triangles from the 22″ piece will be the bottoms and the larger triangles from the 23″ piece will be the tops.
Step 3: Cut and Assemble Pieces for Nesting Table Seats
Once the triangles were cut, I began cutting the sides and front pieces to complete the four seats.
I measured the sides of the bottom triangle and cut two pieces from that 14″ plywood strip I ripped at the beginning to fit around the triangle. Before assembling, I applied iron on edge banding to the front edges, then attached these together using wood glue and 1 ¼″ wood screws.
Then, I set my miter saw bevel to 45 degrees and cut a piece for the front from one of the small strips I ripped earlier. Both edges should be beveled 45 degrees.
Once I had these pieces cut and dryfit, I edge banded the exposed plywood edges. That’s optional, I just like the look of the clean edges.
Then I glued and screwed the front piece to the bottom triangle like shown above.
I attached the two subassemblies together with wood glue and 1 ¼″ wood screws along the bottom.
Once the bottom was attached to the sides, I flipped it back over and carefully drove a screw into each side of the front from the side pieces. I was super careful not to drill or drive all the way through.
And finally, I attached the top, sanded off any glue squeeze out, and set it off to the side. I did this for all four seats. NOTE: Check the plywood diagram for cut examples in step 1–notice that you can get six sides from the 14″ strip, but two more sides come from pieces cut from the rest of the sheet.
Step 4: Assemble Kids Nesting Table Base
Next it was time to move on to the table base. I built this from 1x3s and assembled the base pieces in the middle using wood glue and dowels, but you could also use pocket holes or more fancy joinery if you wish.
The top X on the table base is assembled with pieces laid flat like this. Once it was glued up, I clamped it and set it to the side.
The bottom X on the table base is assembled with pieces standing straight up like this. I also assembled this X using wood glue and dowels as well and clamped. But, again, pocket holes would work fine here as well.
Once the glue on the Xs were both dry, I attached the legs. In the video, I attached the bottom X first, but here I’m showing attaching the top X first. Either is fine. I screwed the top X into the top of the legs using wood screws.
I wanted to attach the bottom X about 4″ from the bottom of the leg, so I used a spacer block to help get the first one installed, then measured off for the rest of them. I attached everything using wood screws.
I was painting this base black so once it was complete, I just puttied over the screw holes. But you could definitely use another joinery method if you wanted to avoid seeing the screw heads.
I set this base aside, puttied and painted it, and while the paint dried, I prepared the top.
Step 5: Cut and Install Kids Nesting Table Top
I trimmed the top piece to be a perfect 30″ square, then applied edge banding around the plywood edges to make it look a little cleaner.
Then I installed the table base into the top using 1 ¼″ wood screws.
I gave the top and the seats a couple coats of clear poly then I had an idea…haha.
Step 6: Install Trim on Seat Corners (Optional)
Once assembled, the seats had this awkward little corner piece at the top (left side below). I wasn’t sure what to do with it, so I had planned on just leaving it. But then I found some cove molding in my scrap wood pile and cut a tiny little corner piece and thought it looked better (right side below).
I cut 8 tiny cove molding pieces with a 45 degree miter on my miter saw and glued them into these seat corners and then, once the glue dried, it was finished.
I thought this project was really neat with the seats that slide up under the table AND provide some extra storage for stuffed animals, notebooks, crayons, etc.
It’s definitely not the fanciest project I’ve ever built, but maybe one of the cutest? You can be the judge of that.
So, if you’re looking for a great weekend project to tackle this weekend, grab a sheet of plywood, a couple of tools, and be sure to pin this for later so you can easily come back for the plans 🙂
If you want to follow along to see more upcoming desk ideas, be sure to subscribe below or on my YouTube channel so you don’t miss out on what’s coming next.
Until next time, happy building 🙂