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Each year for Christmas we build furniture for our family. Last year my sister-in-law requested a bar hutch cabinet that turned out to be one of our most popular project plans. This year, we’re building her a DIY corner cabinet to transform an empty corner into a little coffee station!
Alright, let’s start DIYing!
- Circular saw
- Kreg pocket hole jig
- Optional: table saw to cut the long angles
New to DIY? Check out our post on beginner woodworking tools to determine which tools to get!
What You’ll Need:
- (1) sheet of ¾” 4×8 plywood (we used pre-primed whitewood)
- 1.25” Kreg screws
- 1.25” wood screws
- Wood glue
- Magnetic double-door catch
- 3” hinges (we got ours from Hobby Lobby)
- Handles or knobs
- 4” furniture feet (if you have tall baseboards, I’d recommend 6″ ones instead)
- (2) 1.5” right corner braces
- Edge banding (we used ¾” and 1.5” birch edge banding)
The following cut list serves as a guide. Your actual dimensions may differ from what we have listed. Measuring and cutting throughout a project is often more accurate than making all the cuts upfront.
|For What?||Board Type||Quantity||Size (inches)|
|Back||¾” plywood||1||2 x 30.5 (both long sides cut at 45-degree bevel)|
|Sides||¾” plywood||2||18 x 30.5|
|Front Angles||¾” plywood||2||5 x 30.5 (one long side cut at 45-degree bevel)|
|Doors||¾” plywood||2||10 9/16 X 30 5/16|
|Angle Supports||¾” plywood||2||3.5 x 7 (both sides cut at a 45-degree miter)|
The top, bottom, and shelves and not included in this cut list. You’ll cut those to a custom size after assembling the main structure.
How to Make a Corner Cabinet
STEP 1: APPLY EDGE BANDING
Apply edge banding to both long ends of the front angles. You’ll need a wider edge banding for the angled side.
When applying it to the angled side, line the edge banding up with the inside edge (aka the less pointy side). You won’t be able to get your edge trimmer in there to cut off the excess. You’ll need to have all the excess on the more pointy edge.
STEP 2: ADD POCKET HOLES
Using the ¾” settings, drill pocket holes in the following boards:
- (5) pocket holes along one long edge of both side pieces
- (2) pocket holes on both angled edges of the angle supports
Pocket holes are the foundation of most DIY furniture. Become a pocket hole pro in less than an hour in Pocket Holes: Explained.
STEP 3: ATTACH FRONT ANGLES
Using glue and 1.25” Kreg screws, attach a front angle piece to the side.
The non-angled edge of the front angle piece should be flush with the edge of the side. The longer side should be facing outward.
Repeat with the other side and front angle piece.
STEP 4: CONNECT SIDES
Add a handful of pieces of tape to the back of one of the sides. Apply a generous amount of wood glue to both the side pieces and the back piece.
Line the back piece up with the sides the best you can and use the tape to “clamp” the back in place.
Now we’ll add the angle supports to the top and bottom of the structure to make things more sturdy. Use glue and 1.25” Kreg screws to secure the supports. They should be a little over 1″ in from the inside of the back, but don’t worry about measuring. Position the angle pieces where they fit snug between the two sides.
Let the glue dry for at least 30 minutes before releasing the tape or moving on to the next step.
STEP 5: CUT TOP, BOTTOM, AND SHELVES
To get the measurements for the top and bottom, we’ll trace the outside of the structure and then use a straight board to connect the front.
We used our Kreg Accu-Cut to help guide our cuts.
For the shelves, we traced the inside of the box. We didn’t want the shelves to come all the way out to the front of the cabinet, so we lined a 1×2 up with the corner to mark how deep we wanted the shelf to be.
STEP 6: ADD EDGE BANDING TO TOP, BOTTOM, AND SHELVES
Apply edge banding all the way around the top and bottom. Apply edge banding to the front edge of the shelves.
STEP 7: INSTALL SHELVES
We’ll use pocket holes to install the shelves. Using the ¾” settings, add (3) pocket holes to the two sides that will secure into the sides of the cabinet.
Then install using 1.25” screws. We used scrap pieces of wood as spacers. The top shelf is 7.75” from the top of the cabinet. The next shelf is placed 7” below the top shelf. We knew this cabinet was going to primarily be used for coffee mugs which are around usually 5-6” tall. You can always adjust the height of the shelves to match what you want to store.
STEP 8: INSTALL BOTTOM
To install the bottom, place the bottom on the structure and line it up with the outside edges. Secure by screwing 1.25” screws through the bottom and into the back and sides.
STEP 9: INSTALL TOP
Place the top on the ground and then flip the structure on top of it. Line the top up with the sides and the front and then secure using 1.5” right corner braces. Add a 1.25” screw through the angle support in the back and into the top.
STEP 10: CUT AND INSTALL DOORS
Now that you have the main structure completed, you can measure for the doors and cut them to size. Cut the doors to be about 1/16” smaller than you want the final dimensions to be in order to account for the edge banding.
Our cut list reflects cutting the doors smaller for the edge banding.
Once cut, apply edge banding to all the sides of the door. Be sure to pay extra attention to the corners so that the edge banding doesn’t peel off over time.
After the edge banding is applied and sanded, install the hinges. We installed them 3” from the top and bottom of the doors.
Once installed on the doors, install the hinges on the door frame. Having two people is really helpful here to keep the door in place.
If you need to adjust the placement of the doors, you can use toothpicks to fill the holes left by the screws.
Once you’re happy with the placement, drill for the hardware. We centered it up and placed them 1.25” from the inside. We used our Kreg installation jig to make installation easier. Tip: clamp a scrap piece of wood to the backside of the door to reduce tearout.
STEP 11: PAINT
Before painting, we sanded the plywood with 220-grit sandpaper and applied caulk to the seams.
We painted this project with Sherwin William’s Evergreen Fog in their Emerald Trim Enamel line in a satin sheen. It’s the same paint we used on our ever-popular DIY bar cabinet hutch.
We removed the door handles before painting and then reinstalled after painting. For the hinges, we scraped the paint off of them using a baby wipe.
STEP 12: INSTALL THE FEET
We installed the front feet 1.25” from the front and from the sides. In hindsight, I would have lined the feet up with the front corners. Because our floors are dark, the inset feet make it look like it’s floating from many angles. Cool, but it’s a different look.
We installed the back foot 2” from the back.
If using the same feet as ours, be careful with the screws. They are pretty much the exact size of the plywood underneath, so screw them in about one turn away from all the way in to prevent them from poking through the bottom.
STEP 13: INSTALL THE MAGNETIC CATCH
We installed our magnetic catch at the top of the cabinet. To determine the placement, I closed one door and placed the catch behind it. Then I marked with a pencil where the back of the catch fell.
Open the doors and install the catch. Luckily the catches can be adjusted back and forth if needed. Then install the magnets to the top inside corner of each of the doors.
There you have it! Now you know how to build your very own corner cabinet! It’s a great way to dress up a blank corner in your home and add a little extra storage along the way!