Introduction: How to Build a DIY TV Lift Cabinet (from an Old Dresser)

About: We are a family of six who left the city to live and grow on 20 acres. We like to make things and reuse things and build from the land. Enjoy!

There is an entire range of TV lift mechanisms to choose from ( What is even more awesome is that you can actually have your own TV lift in a cabinet without having to spend much! In fact, you can turn your old dresser from being an eyesore to something extremely useful- the perfect place for your pop-up TV lift. Yes, it is one of the coolest DIY home improvement automation projects, one that you will admire each day, when you sit and press a button and watch your hidden TV emerge from your cabinet!


Here's what you'll need:

1. Pen/ pencil

2. Tape measure

3. Jigsaw cutter (with a fine blade)

4. Drill machine (optional)

5. 3/4 inch plywood

6. 12 mm plywood sheet for the backing (optional)

7. 3 inch hinges (2 pieces)

8. 1 inch wood screws

9. Two springs (optional)

10. A piece of cardboard (optional)

11. Double-sided tape

Step 1: Get the TV Measurements.

Measure all the dimensions of your TV- length, width and height with the help of a tape measure (Do not go by the company specified size of the TV. A 40" TV means that it measures 40 inches diagonally which is not what we are looking for).

Step 2: Pull Out the Drawers. Detach the Face of the Drawers.

Step 3: Remove the Backing of the Cabinet. If You Plan to Reuse the Same Backing, Go Slow and Careful.

Step 4: Make the Markings

Using a pencil or a pen, carefully mark cut lines on the top of the cabinet in accordance with the TV’s length and depth. You would need to do this to make an opening for the TV to pop out.

Step 5: Make the Cuts

Using a Jigsaw cutter (with a fine blade), make a cut using a straight edge guide so that your blade always remains aligned and on the cut lines you made in Step 4. Once the cut is made, you will have a neat cavity along with the piece that you just cut out.

Step 6: Attach the Cut Piece to the Cabinet With Hinges

With the help of 3 inch hinges, this piece will need to be attached back to the cabinet. We will use a 2 by 4 piece of lumber for this purpose (this will be cut to match the internal width of the cabinet and will be secured to the top back of the cabinet). One end of the hinge will get screwed into the 2 by 4 while the other gets screwed into the piece of cabinet top we just cut out.

Step 7: Cushion the Piece From the Inside (optional)

You may also consider adding two springs (one on each end of this piece so that the top auto-shuts once the TV goes into the cavity. It will also hold this piece from falling over once the TV pops up). Additionally, attach a piece of cardboard to the underside of this movable piece so that the top does not scratch the TV during regular movement.

Step 8: Trim the Mid Support

With the drawers, the back and part of the top of the cabinet gone, you will now be able to see the inner structure of the cabinet from the front, the back and the top. The mid support between the columns of drawers will need to be cut, to make room for the TV. In most cases, 10" inches would work fine, but do keep your TV measurements in mind. The objective is to be able to see a full cavity (in accordance with the measurements of your TV) from the top of the cabinet to the bottom.

Step 9: Fix a Simple Wooden Box in the Cavity

Let us say that the total height of your cabinet (minus the wheels or buffers at the bottom) is 35 inches and the height of your TV is 24 inches. The height of the base of the lift mechanism is 10 inches. This would mean that we will need to set the base 11 inches higher than the base of the cabinet. Make a simple wooden box using ¾ inch plywood (Height = 11 inches, Width = 10 inches, depth = 10 inches). Using 1 inch wood screws, secure this box in the cavity such that it is equidistant from both edges of the cabinet and the back of this box is in line with the back of the cabinet. This procedure will ensure that once the TV pops out, it will be flush with the cabinet top.

Step 10: Fix the Face of the Drawers

Using double sided tape, attach the face of the drawers exactly where they should be (this is just to hold the faces in place). The next step is to screw in wood screws from the inner side of the cabinet into these drawer faces so that they are secured and the screws don’t show up from the front. Select the size of the wood screws accordingly.

Step 11: Put the Backing on (optional)

If your TV cabinet is going to be placed against a wall, there is no need to put any backing at the back of the cabinet. However, if you decide to place the cabinet at the foot of the bed, you will need to cover up the back. Use a 12mm sheet of plywood right across the back. Do remember to drill in a 2 inch hole for the wires to go through.

Step 12: ​Sit Back and Admire Your Project!

To purchase a standard or full swivel lift mechanism visit