DIY Cabinets 101

DIY Cabinets 101: How to Make Your Own

Been wanting to reorganize your home? There’s no need to splurge, because you can easily put up your own custom cabinets at home! Read on to find out how.


Purchasing a brand-new cabinet could cost you $100 to $500 per square foot. Choosing to build your own cabinet will cut your expenses in half, and will even give you the liberty to decide on the overall design.

On top of that, a DIY cabinet project will also pave the way for creative freedom — you get to choose what style to go for!

What You Need

Building a cabinet doesn’t require professional skills. Prepare the following to jumpstart your DIY cabinet project:

  • ¼” to ½” hardwood plywood. This typically depends on the capacity that you intend the cabinet to hold.
  • Packs of brads
  • Packs of screws
  • Lumber for bases, preferably 2 X 4
  • ¾” hardwood to be used for face frames
  • Construction adhesive
  • Finishing

How to Put Up Your Own Cabinet

On average, the standard counter depth is 25”, where 24” cabinets can have a countertop lip of 1”. For the height, the most acceptable counter height is 36”, with cabinets typically standing 34.5”. The space left in between the two distances is the allowance for your upper cabinet.

For the width, the cabinet can measure anywhere from 12” to 60”, but could be done in 3” increments. On the average, standard cabinets range from 15”, 18”, 21”, to 24”. However, keep in mind that you should consider the height and width of the doors when planning your cabinets.

Tricks and Tips

To put up your cabinet efficiently, first you have to ensure that your measurements are precise. Try to put up the parts separately before attaching them to the wall. Moreover, if you plan to paint the wooden cabinets, make an allowance for the space that the paint will eat up. The material in the coating will thicken the width so you have to make adjustments to ensure that it will still fit.

With the right measurement and proper techniques, you can build your own cabinet. Don’t be afraid to experiment. If you don’t get it right the first time, you can still try again.

Mike Walker

Repair and Construction Expert. Owner