How to Make a TV Tray That Slides Under the Sofa


Television trays give you a flat surface for eating, reading or working while watching television or sitting on the couch. The trays feature folding legs and a folding top that makes the tray flat for storage. When you buy a set, the trays often come with a rack that holds four or more trays. Making your own piece gives you more control over the finished piece. By making the legs shorter, you create a lap tray that folds flat for storing under your sofa.

Things You'll Need

  • 4 wood boards, 2-by-10-by-2-inch
  • Fine-grit sandpaper
  • 16-by-20-inch plywood board, 2 inches thick
  • Damp cloth
  • Measuring tape
  • 4 folding leg brackets
  • Electric screwdriver
  • 1.5-inch wood screws
  • Place four 2-by-10-by-2-inch wood boards on a flat surface. Sand the sides of the wood with fine-grit sandpaper, removing any splinters. The wood pieces serve as the legs for your TV tray.

  • Sand the top and bottom of a 16-by-20-inch plywood board, which acts as the top for your TV tray. Wipe down the surface with a damp cloth. The cloth removes any shavings or wood dust kicked up by the sanding.

  • Turn the plywood board over and make a mark in one corner, 2 inches from both sides of the board. Make marks in the other corners, placing each mark 2 inches from the side and bottom or top of the board. This marks the location of the legs.

  • Lay one of your legs flat and place a folding leg bracket on top. The bracket folds flat, but when unfolded, resembles an uppercase “L.” Find the two holes sitting flat against the table leg. Drill a 1.5-inch wood screw through each hole. Repeat this step with the remaining three legs and brackets.

  • Unfold one of the leg brackets and place it flat against the tabletop. Arrange the bracket so that it sits on the marking you made in Step 3. Drill two holes through the screws in the brackets and into the tray's top. Repeat the process with each of the remaining brackets. When you fold the tray, it will sit around 3 inches tall with each leg lying flat against one side of the top.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you do not like the look of unfinished wood or want to protect the wood, cover the TV tray with wood stain or paint and a coat of clear sealant.
  • Check with a home improvement store or hardware store for the folding leg brackets.
  • Make the legs longer if you want a taller TV tray or one that does not sit on your lap.

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