Hey, DIY darlings and tech-savvy wizards! Are you tired of getting kicked out of your favourite chair because it’s the only one near a wall outlet? Well, fear not! Today, we’re curing the “my iPad’s almost at zero” by learning how to build a skinny sofa table with built-in charging outlets – because, let’s face it, outlets are the unsung heroes of modern life, am I right?
Enter the ‘Charging Haven’ Table:
Imagine this: a simple, narrow table snuggled behind your sofa, not just for giving your cat a “king of the castle” perch, or holding those random knick-knacks (note: not both) but also acting as the superhero charging station for all your devices. We’re about to make that life-saving beauty, and it’s going to be epic.
The Gadget-Friendly Supplies:
- ¾” thick wood, or ¾” plywood
- Recessed power strip with USB ports or wireless charging pad
- wood glue
- 1 ¼”pocket screws
- paint, stain or finish
Steps to Gadget Glory:
1. Measure Twice, Craft Once
First things first, decide on how skinny you want your sofa table to be. I didn’t want it to make my room feel smaller so I went with 6″ wide. Purchase wood to that width, or rip down a board on your table saw/with a circular saw.
Measure the length of your sofa. You’ll likely want your narrow sofa table to run end-to-end so that you don’t have ugly gaps. Unfortunately for me, my sectional is 12′ long and I only had 8′ of ¾” plywood in the garage – so yes, I have ugly gaps.
Now you’ll want to measure the height of your couch; I didn’t want this skinny sofa table to be a showpiece – in this case it is entirely function over form. For my plans, I actually wanted the charging table to be lower than the height of my sofa itself so that charging laptops, iPhones and tablets would be out-of-site when not in use.
Cut two (or in my case 3) lengths of the ¾” wood to the height of your sofa minus ¾” (for the top).
2. Power up!
Your recessed outlets likely came with a template that you can trace onto your skinny sofa table top. (Worst case, trace the base of the outlet.) Drill holes in all four corners of your marking, large enough that a jigsaw blade will fit through, then cut out your rectangle.
I went with two outlets so that the girls don’t fight over the “prime” sofa spot for charging items.
3. She’s got legs
Drill two pocket holes at one end of your leg boards. Two because it is recommended that pocket holes be placed every 6″ for rigidity and structure. If your sofa table isn’t so skinny, then drill pocket holes as necessary to meet the “every 6″ ” guidelines.
Using your 1 ¼” pocket screws and a healthy dollop of wood glue, attach your legs to the underside of the table.
Three legs was a necessity for my sofa charging table because of the 8′ expanse, and because I have a 20lb cat that will inevitably sit on it to stare out the window.
I added additional strength to my table by milling up (ripping 2×4 wood to ¼” strips on my table saw) to add trim to both sides of the top. For more information on “shelf sag”, this is a great article. This might not be necessary for your project, but I wanted to hide the rough plywood edges from catching on my couch back.
You won’t see this at all.
Time to sand, sand and sand some more. Generally, plywood and ‘select’ wood is sanded to 150 grit. If you are using framing lumber, then I’d start with 120 grit and work my way up to 220 grit sandpaper.
Remove all of the sanding dust and stain or prime, then seal or paint as you like.
Thread the plug end of your recessed outlets through your sofa table top and attach with ½” wood screws (or the screws that came with the outlets). Plug them in to a nearby outlet and you are DONE!
I went with a recessed power strip that was (a) less expensive than many models (b) that had USB outlets in it as well and (c) I did like the idea of the plug section being elevated a bit, so it doesn’t automatically collect crumbs etc.
This version with the pop-up option is awesome – but the price tag is hefty. (*Amazon affiliate link. For full affiliate disclosure, please see bottom of the page)
There are options with wireless charging pads as well like this one, but if the phone isn’t actively plugged in, it is entirely possible my cat will bat it behind the table to no-man’s land.
This DIY was extra-super-functional for me because for the past several years, my sectional has actually been over top (and therefore blocking) 0ne of my heating vents. This skinny sofa table bought me the extra 6 ½” I needed to clear the vent for better circulation.
It took about 0.00000000003 seconds before my girls plugged in to their “new homework spots”. ♀️
Not at all where I was going, but hey! They aren’t after my chair and my charging cord anymore. I’ll take the victory.
You can’t see the laptop and cords unless you actually stand over the sofa! That’s almost clutter free right?
Sofa & Tech Harmony Achieved:
Where did I come up with this brilliant idea and almost perfect execution?
The Rehab Life did, and he made a fantastic video to walk you through:
Pin it for later!
Until next time, may your gadgets stay charged and your DIY adventures be electrifying! ✨
Have a great one!