How to Make Shaker Cabinet Doors with Kreg Jig


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February 10, 2020
Zoe Hunt




<4 Hours



how to make shaker cabinets with Kreg Jig

Shaker cabinets are the go-to style for drawers and cabinets these days, so of course when we started planning our vanity, we wanted to DIY shaker cabinet doors. Well, we wanted two shaker drawer fronts, but the process to make a cabinet door is just the same.

To make a true shaker style cabinet, you need a router, but we don’t have a router. So today we’re going to walk you through how to make shaker cabinet doors without a router. We’ll use a Kreg Jig instead.

Alright, let’s start DIYing!

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This post contains affiliate links for your convenience (which means if you make a purchase after clicking a link, I earn a small commission, but it won’t cost you a penny more)!


What You’ll Need

Quick note about the shopping list: since we were making narrow shaker drawers, we opted for 2″ boards, which are actually 1.5″ wide. Generally, the stiles and rails of shaker cabinets are between 2-2.5″. If you would like to go with a more standard look, you can use 1×3 boards or cut boards down to 2″ wide.

  • 1×2 board
  • 1/2″ plywood or project panel
  • Something that is .25″ thick to place under the plywood while screwing (we used a piece of wood)
  • 1.25″ Kreg screws
  • Wood glue

How to make shaker cabinet doors without a router

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DIY shaker cabinets without a router

Step 1: make your cuts

If you are using 1x2s, your plywood center will be the desired size of the cabinet minus 3″ from top to bottom and side to side.

Typically, the vertical boards, also called stiles, run the full height of the cabinet. We chose to make the horizontal boards (aka rails) run the full width of the cabinet instead so that the end grain would be on the side instead of the top and bottom of the drawer fronts.

Step 2: drill pocket holes

Using your Kreg Jig, drill pocket holes into each end of your stiles so that you will have one screw going into the top rail and one screw going into the bottom rail.

Note: If you made the cabinets the traditional way where the stiles are the full height of the cabinet, drill your pocket holes on your rails instead.

Drill pocket holes into your plywood, alternating directions so that you have screws going into both the bottom and top boards.

STEP 3: assemble

Place your .25″ item on your workspace and place your plywood on top of it. This will raise the plywood up so that it is flush with the back of your 1x2s.

DIY shaker cabinet doors in progress using clamps and pocket holes

Place your rails and stiles around the plywood into the position you would like them to be. Add wood glue to the rails and stiles for extra hold.

Assemble your shaker style cabinet by screwing in all of the pocket holes.

When you flip your cabinet over, it should look like just a shaker style cabinet. Now let’s clean up the back.

Step 4: fill your pocket holes

To fill your pocket holes, you have a few options. If you are staining, you might want to use the Kreg Pocket Hole Cutter to create hole plugs that are out of the same wood they you used to make your cabinet. This will help make sure that the plugs stain the same way as the rest of your cabinet.

If you are painting your cabinets, you can utilize these pre-cut pocket hole plugs, or you can use spackling to fill the pocket holes and any visible seams.

filling pocket holes on back of shaker cabinet door

There you have it! Now you know how to create shaker cabinet doors with a Kreg Jig! No router needed!

We would LOVE to see your photos. Send us (or tag us in) a picture of your shaker cabinets on Instagram and feel free to reach out with any questions!

DIY shaker cabinets without a router
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  1. tommasina coles says:

    Hello – great website! If i was to use this to build new kitchen doors would i need to consider anything else when building it for this purpose? Would the wood contract at all becuase it is near the cooker for example?

  2. Keyta says:

    How did you get the center piece of wood to fit so well ?

    • Zoe Hunt says:

      Hi Keyta! Whenever we make cuts, we spend a lot of time double-checking our measurements before actually making the cut. If you are having trouble, I would recommend cutting the middle piece first since it can be the more difficult piece to cut accurately. Then use it as a guide for your other pieces. Instead of measuring the board that is supposed to be the same size as one of the plywood sides, line the edge of the plywood up with the board you’re cutting and use that to mark where you’re going to cut.

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