How to build a center console for a car

Updated April 17, 2017

Building a complete centre console for a car involves several steps and some skill working with wood and fabric materials. Examine and try out as many different console designs as you can to help you determine the type of console you want to build. Once you have an idea of the kind you want, you can construct your custom console from wood, which you can cut and assemble into the size and shape you desire. Building a centre console takes at least four hours, depending on the complexity of your design.

Measure the space in the car where the centre console will be. Use cardboard to assemble a mock-up of the console size and shape you want. Use scissors to cut the cardboard to the exact shape and use tape to construct the cardboard console. Once it is exactly right, take the pieces apart and use them as templates.

Place the cardboard templates flat against the MDF sheet and use a pencil to trace the shapes. Cut the shapes out carefully using a jigsaw. Cut out any spaces for cup holders or stereo equipment using the jigsaw.

Assemble all of the MDF pieces and join them together using a hammer and finishing nails. Be sure to hammer the nails in completely so no heads are above the surface of the wood. Apply adhesive caulk along the seams to fill the small gaps. Let the caulk dry for an hour.

Spray the console surface and the inside surface of the foam with spray adhesive. Let the adhesive dry for five minutes, or until it is tacky. Place the foam on the console and press it to the sides. Cut it to fit each section properly. You can reposition it if necessary until the adhesive has dried.

Cover the foam surface and the inside surface of the fabric material with spray adhesive. Keep the fabric in one piece and place it over the console, cutting out holes for cup holders or other openings. Allow extra fabric so you can tuck at least an inch or two of the edge under the bottom of the console. Smooth the fabric with your hands. You can install the console immediately.

Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape
  • Cardboard
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • Pencil
  • Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF)
  • Jigsaw
  • Finishing nails
  • Hammer
  • Adhesive caulk
  • Spray adhesive
  • Foam
  • Fabric
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About the Author

Since 1997 Jenny Carver has served as editor and freelance writer for many offline and online publications including,, "Hoof Beat News," "Import Tuner" and others. Carver owns a custom automotive shop where she has been doing paint and body work, custom interior work and engine building for over 11 years.