Home & Garden

Home project: Custom cabinets for extra storage

Home project: Custom cabinets for extra storage

Author: Canadian Living

Home & Garden

Home project: Custom cabinets for extra storage

Do you love crafts? Sign up for CanadianLiving.com's craft newsletter!

Michael Simardone designed and built our shutter cabinet to suit a 16-1/2" by 72" shutter but you can use any size shutter or door panel to make a similar cabinet by modifying these dimensions to suit the size of your cabinet. The basic instructions remain the same.

Take a look at larger image of the finished cabinets.

You need:
Salvaged shutter
• 2 sheets 4' x 8’ by 3/4" pine or maple plywood for sides, top, bottom and shelves

Cut list:

Sides: 2 pieces 14" x 76" x 3/4" for sides
Top, bottom: 13-1/2" x 19-1/2” x 3/4"
Shelves: 13” x 19-1/2” x ¾”
Back: 76" x 18" x 1/2"

• 1" x 1" x 12-1/2” pine for cleats (amount depends on the number of shelves)
• 2 pieces 76” x 2” x 1” solid wood for face frame sides
• 2 pieces 17” x 2” x 1” solid wood for face frame top and bottom
• 2 pulls/knobs
• 2- 3 pairs of hinges depending on height of shutter
• 1-1/2" and 1-1/4" screws
• 1-1/2" finishing nails


• Measuring tape
• Straight edge ruler
• Handsaw
• Jigsaw
• Drill, driver bits
• Framing square
• Hammer
• Wood glue
• Wood filler
• Nail punch
• Primer
• Paint in desired colour (we used Farrow and Ball Pavillion Gray)

To make:
Measure the dimensions of the shutter length and width.

2. Cut pieces as per cut list above.

3. Lay two side pieces flat on work surface with the back edges together and top and bottom edges even. Determine the number of shelves and spacing intervals. Starting from top edge, extend tape measure down from top to bottom edge along seam.

Measure and mark shelf intervals on either side of the tape measure Note that the first cleat which supports the top piece is positioned 3/4” down from top edge (see diagram). Repeat the process on both outside (front) edges of each side piece. Connect the two marks on each piece with a pencil and straight edge ruler. This line will be the bottom of the shelf and the top of the cleat.

Page 1 of 2 – Find Michael's instructions to finish your custom cabinetry on page 2.
4. Be sure to cut cleats 1-1/2" to 2" shorter than the width of the side pieces so they don't obstruct the shutter from closing. Glue then screw cleats onto both side pieces with 1-1/4" screws.

5. Lay top piece on top cleat; screw down into the cleat with 1-1/2" screws. Glue then nail the bottom piece flush with the bottom edge of the sides. Screw remaining shelves to cleats.

6. When shelves are installed lay assembled cabinet face down on work surface. Cut the piece for the back the same length and width as the assembled cabinet. Glue then nail to back.

Note: Check to make sure the piece for the back is square by measuring the diagonal dimension. Measure from opposite corners ie. top left to bottom right and top right to bottom left. These measurements should be equal. If back measures square it will square up the cabinet when nailed to the back. Make sure the edges of the back piece are flush with the sides, top and bottom pieces.

7. Lay cabinet on work surface front side up. Clue then nail solid wood face frame to sides. Measure then cut top and bottom pieces to fit tightly between side face frame pieces. Glue then nail to top and bottom pieces. Use nail punch to counter sink nails. To take the cabinet to the next level, add crown moulding or a capping piece as shown in our cabinets.

8. Fill all nail holes with wood filler, let dry then sand.

9. If using salvaged wood legs make sure they are all the same height and flat on the bottom. Glue legs to bottom of cabinet in corners then screw down into legs from inside cabinet.

10. Prime then paint cabinet.

11. Trim shutter to fit the cabinet opening allowing for a 1/8" clearance around the shutter. Paint shutter if necessary before installing. Fasten hinges to shutter then fasten shutter to cabinet.

Michael Simardone, furniture designer and owner of Simardone Custom Furniture in Toronto, builds custom furniture from recycled architectural salvaged material.

Page 2 of 2


Share X
Home & Garden

Home project: Custom cabinets for extra storage