Apothecary Console

Submitted by Ana White on Thu, 04/29/2010 - 22:59
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This beautiful apothecary console features three open cubbies perfect for storing entertainment controllers, four drawers and two cabinets, all concealed by door fronts that look like an apothecary cabinet. Loved by so many, this console is easy to build and can add that touch of character to your family room.

Dimensions are shown above.


Shopping List

2 – Sheets of 3/4″ MDF or Plywood, cut into 15 1/2″ wide strips, 8′ Long 1 – 1/4″ Plywood or Lauan or MDF (for the back) 1 – 12′ 1×6 AND 1- 8′ 1×6 Boards 2 – 1×2 Boards 2″ Screws 1 1/4″ Screws Wood Glue Wood Filler and Finishing Supplies

Common Materials
120 grit sandpaper
wood conditioner
paint brush
Cut List

3 – 1×16 @ 61 1/2″ (Shelves) 2 – 1×16 @ 16 1/4″ (Bottom Dividers) 2 – 1×16 @ 14 3/4″ (Drawer Dividers) 2 – 1×16 @ 7″ (Top Dividers) 2- 1×16 @ 27″ (Sides) 1 – 1/4″ Plywood @ 63 x 27″ (Back) 3 – 1×6 @ 65″ (Top) 1 – 1×2 @ 61 1/2″ (Inset front footer) 2 – 1×2 @ 15 1/2″ (Side Footer) 1 – 1×2 @ 64 1/2″ (Front Footer)

Tape Measure
Speed Square
Safety Glasses
Hearing Protection
Kreg Jig
Circular Saw
Brad Nailer
Power Sander
General Instructions

Remember, you can click on images to see a larger view. Work on a clean level surface. Take a square of your project after each step. Use good straight boards. Mark out joints on both sides before fastening. If you are working with MDF, use drywall screws to avoid splitting the MDF and be sure to countersink and predrill the entire length of the screw. Avoid fastening within 1″ of the ends of a board if you are using MDF to prevent splitting. Use glue unless otherwise directed. Use necessary safety precautions and equipment. The box of this cabinet is built with 1x16s (read here on how to get a 1×16). You can also use 1 1×12 width or even a 1×10 width (for a console size, especially if you are using this as a flat panel media console and space is at a premium).


Step 1

Box Partitions Begin by marking out all the joints on both sides of the boards as shown above. Don’t forget that the boards are 3/4″ thick. Then beginning on the bottom partition (yellow) attach the green partition. Now attach the yellow boards to the purple. Finally, attach the blue boards to the purple. Use 2″ screws and glue. Remember, you can click on images to see a full size view.

Step 2

Finish the Box Begin by marking joints on both sides of the boards. Then attach with 2″ screws and glue the top to the top partitions. Then attach the sides to all of the shelves and the top, ash shown above.

Step 3

Back Cut your 1/4″ plywood as shown above. Then use 1 1/4″ nails and glue to attach the back to the box. Don’t forget to fasten to all of the partitions and shelves. Make sure your project is nice and square before attaching the back. The measurements shown here are slightly different from the cut list because I choose to make the cabinet slightly taller for drawer reasons, but either measurement would work just fine.

Step 4

Top Using 1 1/4″ screws and glue, fasten the top boards to the top. Notice that there is a 1″ overhang on the front and the sides, but the back rests flush with the back edge of the sides.

Step 5

Step 6

Footer, Front Using 1 1/4″ Screws or nails and glue, fasten the front footer to the pieces from step 5. Keep outside edges flush.

Step 7

Drawers and Doors: Click here for Part 2 

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nichole (not verified)

Fri, 04/01/2011 - 10:39

I adore this console, and am looking forward to forcing my husband to help me build it...but where is step 7? Is there a link somewhere that I am not seeing?

BellaB (not verified)

Thu, 06/14/2012 - 21:00

Thank you, dan-k! I was freaking out that I couldn't find the rest of the steps. Thanks so much for the link!!!

Guest (not verified)

Mon, 04/18/2011 - 05:39

Help!  There isn't an active link to Part 2 of the plans!

HarrySeaward (not verified)

Sun, 05/15/2011 - 12:21


I set out to make this at DW's request but we wanted the 8 drawers and a few inches taller. With my tendency to over-engineer everything, I decided I wanted a solid wood top. DW and I settled on African Mahogany as a good mix of price and appearance. We purchased the lumber locally and had them end-glue the pieces together and plane it flat for us. Out the door, it was $100 or so, but we have a 20"x30" piece left over for another project.


For the added height, I simply extended the end pieces to 30" and used 4-1/2" footers instead of the 2" called for in Ana's plans. I added an extra footer to the rear of the cabinet and a cross piece in the middle of the bottom to help prevent sagging.

I don't like the way the ends of plywood look in finished projects so I used veneer tape (available at home depot) for the exposed ends of the plywood. You just use a regular clothes iron to secure it to the plywood. You'll need a router or small hand plane to flush-trim the edges but the end result looks so much better than the 'sandwich' plywood effect.

The last thing I did was on the drawers. I didn't see a way to easily add slides or hardware but I was worried about the drawer bottoms dragging on the shelves. I solved this problem in two ways. I have a router table so I used a 1/4" round-over bit on the inside and outside of the bottom edge of the drawer sides (but not the back or front). When I assembled the drawer boxes I raised the bottoms and back up about 1/16" with spacers so that the end result was the sides were 1/16" lower than the bottom and back so that the drawers ride on the sides only. The sides have less surface area, thus less drag. The second thing I did was apply some 1/2" wide adhesive teflon tape (Amazon.com, search "ptfe mouse tape") to the bottom of the edge that rides on the shelves. I don't have anything to compare to, but the drawers slide in and out very smoothly.


If I were to make another one, I think I would use 5/8" plywood for the drawers. 3/4" just seems too bulky.

Because of the hardwood top, this project cost us quite a bit more than if we had stayed with Ana's plans, but wow, this thing looks awesome in our bedroom.

Thanks for the inspiration, Ana!

Emma (not verified)

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 09:49

Hello Anna. My computer won't let me click on step seven is there a way you can e mail it to me? Thank you!