Making Your Own Kitchen Cabinets

If you want to achieve a custom look to your cabinets without spending a lot of money, there are a number of steps to the process of making them yourself. In so doing, a little planning and preparation will allow you to save money, yet create cabinets that are just what you want.

Luxurious kitchen with white cabinets and a bright red saucepan

Get Ready

So, step one, assemble the tools and materials you need. You’ll need a table saw, a jigsaw router, a drill, a sander and sandpaper, some medium and small-sized clamps, wood glue, several sheets of 1⁄2-inch plywood, some 1”x6” lumber, some wood dowels, hinges and knobs, a

box of flathead screws, a box of finish nails, some wood putty, some drawer slides, and a measuring tape.

Measure Twice, Cut Once

Next, measure the opening(s) for the cabinet(s). Use the table saw to cut the 1⁄2-inch plywood for the pieces to the back, side, top and bottom pieces of each cabinet. If you’re unsure about a template, you can buy one at a hardware store of download it from a woodworking website. Once you have template, frame the cabinet pieces according to the design specifications. Use the finish nails to connect the pieces and some glue to give it extra strength. The clamps can be used at this point to hold the frame together until the glue dries.

Attaching the Face Frame

The next step is to attach a face frame. So, drill holes into the sides of the frame. You then need to make the face frame with some 1”x6” lumber. The face frame is what you use to attach the doors to the cabinets. You’ll need to cut four pieces of 1”x6” lumber for each cabinet that you’re making. Attach the 1”x6” pieces to each other with some wood screws. After that, drill holes into the face frame so you can attach it to the cabinet frame with nails. By pre-drilling the holes, this will allow for the finish nails to be driven in without any chance of splitting the plywood. Once all the nails are in place, use the wood putty to cover the nail holes.

Cutting the Wood

Now you’re ready to cut the wood for the doors. You want them to have a 1⁄4” to 3/8” of overhang so that they can be easily opened. Once again, use the table saw to cut the plywood, and then sand the doors to make them smooth.

Applying a Finish

Here’s an important tip: apply wood stain and a polyurethane finish to the cabinet and the doors before you attach them. Apply the wood stain, set everything aside, allow them to dry, and then apply a second coat. As soon as everything is dry, put on a coat of polyurethane finish to all of the components. After that, let it all dry overnight. Another point to remember: always apply the stain and polyurethane in a well-aired room, or outside.

Hanging the Cabinets

Once the cabinets have completely dried, you can attach them to the wall. Another hint to consider: be sure to find walls studs to screw the cabinet into. This is where you’ll need help, because you don’t want to screw the cabinet in all the way at first. Get them started, and then use shims and a level to set the cabinet into place, before screwing them all the way into the studs. After that, attach the doors, and your done.