The big black box – it’s the dreaded design dilemma heard over and over again. Here is how to build a wall mounted TV cabinet in just one day and hide that eyesore.
It’s not too often when you get things right – especially in the DIY world.
But this little box made me feel like a rockstar and got me some huge kudos from the husband – which always feels good.
When we moved to this new home, I was always battling the big black box, when I tried to take pictures of this room.
These days, the TV is a necessity in every home, but from a design standpoint – it’s not pretty to look at.
So I had to come up with a solution to hide it and my inspiration struck in one little email. I can’t wait to show it to you! Let’s start with the supplies you need.
How to Build a Wall Mounted TV Cabinet
- Picture frames that fit the size of your TV – I ordered these from Michael’s
- Wood to fit the depth of your TV – ours was 1 x 6 Pine Boards
- Stain – I used Weathered Gray and Antiquing Glaze
- Piano Hinges
It was an end of the year clearance sale email from Michaels for their picture frames at 70% off if you ordered in bulk that gave me the idea to build this cabinet.
Other cabinets run from $250 for a small TV to $1500 – way too expensive for our tight budget. So a DIY solution was needed.
STEP ONE: Take your measurements
First I measured our TV. You want to measure the height and width of your TV to determine the size of picture frames you’ll need.
Our TV was 38 x 22, so I ordered eight 11 x 14 frames to cover the entire TV.
Next you want to measure the depth of your wall mounted TV.
What I love is the Cord Hider. You cut out two holes in your drywall – one behind the TV and one directly below at the same height as your wall outlet. Just install these boxes and it hides your cords!
So we finally installed and mounted the TV and took the depth measurement to find the size of wood needed to build the box.
For our TV, we needed 1 x 6 boards.
STEP TWO: Build your doors.
To make these picture frames seem like accordion doors, you’ll need piano hinges. The long hinges stabilize both frames without the need to glue them together.
Lay the frames out face side down and begin installing your piano hinges to the center of each door as pictured above.
TIP: Predrill your holes with a small bit so that you don’t split your frames.
It’s a relatively quick process with two people. Trent and I built one door together and it was a breeze with one person drilling/screwing while the other held the doors in place.
When I built the second door on my own, it was a lot of back and forth to make sure the ends were aligned properly. It’s not impossible to do this solo, but it did take more time.
For the inside panel, where the doors meet, you need something to stabilized the picture frames.
With these brackets, you run the risk of the frames bending and knocking everything out of alignment.
We had these mounting brackets on hand, but you can get them for a few bucks at your hardware store.
Now that my doors were built, I added some easy DIY artwork.
I just love these vintage botanical pencil drawings! Head over the linked post to get your very own downloads for free!!
STEP THREE: Build and stain your box
This is super simple, but you need a miter saw or circular saw. Here are some of my favorite DIY must-have tools I recommend.
Cut your wood the width and height of your picture frames – not the width and height of your TV. This gives your DIY doors a frame to sit against.
Nail your box together. We used a pneumatic nail gun for a quick an easy build.
Add a support beam across the top and bottom of the box to be able to hang it into a stud. Attach the beam by nailing into the sides as well as the top or bottom piece.
You can see the support beam pictured below.
Next, I stained my wood.
STEP FOUR: Attach your doors to your box
This was the trickiest part.
Mostly because it was midnight when we were trying to figure this out, but Trent and I sat there for a few minutes thinking this through. Here’s what worked.
Lay the box flat on the ground.
Attach the second set of hinges to each side of the box first, then the doors. We went for a flush mount across the top with our doors, leaving a quarter inch hang across the bottom.
Using something to support the doors (we used pillows, but blocks of wood would work), attach the hinges to your DIY doors.
I wanted the hinges to be mostly hidden while the doors were closed, so I attached them to the inside edge of the box.
When it’s open, you see the full hinge, but it’s not that noticeable.
Now you have two accordion doors that work! Here’s a full view of the back of the door.
Next it’s time to hang your box. Get out your stud finder and level and make sure to attach your wall mounted tv cabinet to studs.
Ready for the reveal?
No more ugly black box!
What I love the most about this is that while the doors are open, it is still framed by the artwork.
Do you know what else is awesome?
I have the ability to swap out the pictures to match the season, or if I change out the decor.
Once it was hung, and I moved those DIY Accordion doors for the first time, Trent told me he didn’t think this DIY was going to work and was amazed with how it turned out.
That’s the best compliment of all!
The total cost of this DIY was right around $135 – just right for our tight budget.
I hope this How to Build a Wall Mounted TV Cabinet post inspires you.
So, think outside the box.
Don’t be afraid to try to create a solution for your design dilemma.
And listen to that spark of inspiration that may come from a passing ad or random email!