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 ...and thanks for stopping by. I'm Claire Douglas,  DIY and home interiors writer specialising in money-saving and creative home interior projects. I've spent years developing my 'bespoke on a budget' approach to DIY and home interiors and I love sharing all my tips and tricks in tutorials and posts here on my blog, in articles I write for some of the leading titles, in the press, on Instagram, Tiktok and my online course

DIY display plinth for interior styling

Updated: Mar 8

Make a display plinth using this tutorial: save money and waste using wood offcuts

A display plinth is basically a display base to place ornaments and home accessories on around your home. A few years ago, you'd be much more likely to see a display plinth in a retail environment eg a shop floor or in an art gallery or art show, but these days that are a great finishing touch for a room 

Building a wooden display plinth is a great DIY project for showcasing art pieces, sculptures, or other decorative items. Below is my step-by-step tutorial for creating one with offcuts.

Materials and tools laid out to build a DIY display plinth

You will need

  1. Plywood or mdf sheets

  2. Wood baton

  3. Wood glue

  4. Screws

  5. Sandpaper

  6. Plaster

  7. Saw

  8. Measuring tape

  9. Pencil

  10. Screwdriver

  11. Clamps (optional)

Wood cuts of diy display plinth for interior styling

Plan and measure

  • Determine the size of your display plinth based on the dimensions of the items you plan to display. Consider the height, width, and depth.

  • Measure and mark the dimensions on the plywood sheets using a measuring tape and pencil.

  • I decided to cut pieces to form the four sides (and a top and bottom) and then a baton of wood of the same length as the long side of each piece. The plan was to attach a baton to the long edge of one side of each of the pieces as this would give me something to attach the adjacent piece to as deep enough to screw into as well as glue.

Make your cuts

Cutting wood sheets to make a DIY display plinth
  • Using a saw, carefully cut the plywood sheets according to the measurements you marked in Step 1. You'll need to cut four equal sides, two equal pieces for the top and bottom and batons to fix it all together with.

  • Double-check your measurements before cutting to ensure accuracy and clamp down to keep them still.

  • The pieces can all be offcuts and even made up of different types of wood (I used a mixture of plywood and mdf as that's what I had left from previous projects like the DIY wardrobe doors, DIY footstool and DIY fridge surround).

Drilling pilot holes into a DIY display plinth

Assemble the plinth

Assembling a DIY display plinth
  • Lay the base piece of plywood on a flat surface and locate one piece of wood baton for each side.

  • Place the baton in position under the plinth side and drill pilot holes for screws. Countersink the pilot holes so that your screw heads are not protruding from the surface of the display plinth

  • Apply wood glue along the edges of the baton where the sides will attach and press the side firmly on (the holes should match up).

wood countersink drill bit for diy display plinth
  • Screw the pieces together as this should hold the pieces together while the glue dries. You can add clamps as well if helpful.

  • Once each side piece has a baton attached (always attached to the same side, e.g. always the left or always the right or the sides won't fit together at the end) and the glue has dried, you can start joining them to their adjacent sides.

DIY display plinth being assembled

  • Be sure to drill pilot holes for each side before you glue any of the sides together, as you'll have trouble drilling the holes into a half-assembled plinth. Countersink the pilot holes so that your screw heads are not protruding from the sides of the display plinth

  • Once all the pilot holes are drilled, place the pieces in position and glue and screw the sides together to form the main structure of the display plinth.

Add the top section

Assembled wood base for DIY display plinth
  • If you are using thick sheets of ply or mdf (eg 12mm or 18mm) then you'll easily be able to stick the top piece onto the side edges and screw down into them for security. However, if you are using thin (6-9mm) sheets, glue some baton to the inside top edge of the plinth base as this will give you something to attach the top piece to.

  • Apply wood glue along the top edges of the side panels or the baton that you added.

  • Place the top piece of plywood on top of the side panels, aligning it carefully.

  • Secure the top piece by driving screws through the side panels into the top piece.

  • Countersink the pilot holes so that your screw heads are not protruding from the top of the display plinth as this will make it harder to plaster a smooth finish.

Attach the bottom piece

  • To complete the display plinth base, repeat the process that you did to attach the top piece for the bottom as well.

  • Countersink any screw holes to ensure they don't stick out.

Surface prep

  • Use sandpaper to smooth out any rough edges and surfaces of the plinth. 

  • Sanding will also help blend the seams between the plywood pieces for a seamless finish.


Plastering a DIY plywood display plinth
  • If desired, you can paint or stain the display plinth to match your decor or enhance its appearance. Apply paint or stain evenly using a paintbrush or foam roller.

  • Allow the paint or stain to dry completely before handling the plinth.

  • I chose to plaster as it gives all the appearance of a concrete or solid plaster plinth, even though it's only a 2mm thick coating over offcuts of leftover wood!

  • You can prime with diluted pva and then apply multiple thin coats allowing to dry in between. Sand any imperfections in the plaster to create a super smooth finish.

Styling a display plinth

  • Once the paint or stain has dried, your wooden display plinth is ready to use! Place your items on top of the plinth to showcase them effectively.

DIY display plinth styled in neutral living room with scandi infuences

DIY display plinth tips:

  • If you plan to plaster the display base, you can use any old offcuts of wood sheeting for sustainability and cost-savings. 

  • Experiment with different finishes such as paint or resin for a bespoke look. 

  • Customize the plinth size to suit your interior space.

Ways to adapt a display plinth for interior styling

  • add a glass top

  • instead of wood, create an acrylic plinth

  • make a variety of sizes to style items at varying heights

  • paint for a premium white finish for minimalist vibes

  • create a modern gallery aesthetic in your living room by showcasing sculptures on your plinth stand (s) 

No longer reserved for fancy-pants retail stores or art galleries, jump on this interior design trend and make yourself some display plinths/display cases to showcase your prized possessions. Below, you can see where I used mine to house the bargain £20 urn I picked up from Facebook Marketplace (winning!).

Where next?

Here are some plastering-related posts you might enjoy if this project has given you the urge to plaster everything (or perhaps that's just me!)

and here are some DIY furniture projects you might enjoy if this DIY plinth has given you all the joy!

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