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DIY corner cabinet

how to make a corner cupboard

I started this project in June, but it’s been sitting in the garage waiting for me, while I have been waiting for cooler weather. It was somewhat cooler last week, so I pulled it out to work on it.

I started with a piece of cull bin 1/2 plywood.  (.51)
making a corner cabinet 2

I ripped it to size and ran one side of each piece through the table saw with the blade set at a 45 degree angle.  (the angled part is laying on the driveway)

making a corner cabinet

I did this the same way I do corner benches.  One side is 1/2 inch shorter than the other side to allow for them to end up the same width.  I have it glued and clamped on each end using a 4×4 to keep it “square”.

diy corner cabinet
This is how I marked the pieces for the top and bottom. Can you see that the sides are cut on an angle?
repurposed window corner cabinet 3
After the glue dried, I cut a triangle piece for the top and the bottom.  Here I see that I somehow measured a little wrong on the “height” of the cabinet. It’s pretty complicated but it had something to do with crown molding, thinking I had to add some height.  This is the point where I put it in the garage for almost 8 weeks.
repurposed window corner cabinet 4
 I took this picture to show you how I kept the cabinet upright to work on it. I used scrap 4×4’s as a “chocks” to hold it in place.
trim a window or a table saw
 Windows are not even on all sides.  Laying this way, one side is wider than the other. I put it on the table saw and VERY carefully trimmed it down.
corner cabinet facing
This is the front facing made by ripping 1x’s, and attaching them with my Kreg Jig® R3.
using a rasp 2
I attached the front facing with wood glue and my nail gun. Because the plywood was out of the cull bin, it was slightly bowed. I drew it up the best I could before I shot the nails in.
using a rasp 3a
However, it would not set flush. I used the handy rasp to “shave” off the edges to make it perfectly smooth.
how to corner cabinet 4
Here is the shelf with the front facing on, and the shelves in place.
Testing to see if the window is going to fit. After setting it on the driveway I decided to make it a floor cabinet. Originally I had planned for it to hang on the wall.
how to add legs to a corner cabinet
I dug in my stash and found 3 chair leg pieces that I’ve had for a long time. I’m not sure why I cut the ends of the legs off. I quit digging when I found 3 of them. I’m assuming that there probably were 4 in my stash. I have found out that the best way to find the middle of a circle is with a washer. I first traced around the leg (the largest circle) then I laid a washer on there and and traced it’s center.  In the smallest circle, I drilled a pilot hole.
I then screwed the screw from the inside to the outside. Here, you see that it’s only part of the way through, but actually it was best to screw it all the way as far as it would go.
adding legs to a corner cabinet 5
I used the washer to find the center of the leg. I clamped it and drilled a pilot hole. This was some kind of really hard wood!
adding legs to a corner cabinet 9
I glued it and carefully screwed the leg into the extended screw. Even though I had drilled a pilot hole, I did this very slowly. I did NOT want this screw to break off  “in” the leg. I had to eventually use a screwdriver in the head of the screw to keep it from turning.
adding legs to a corner cabinet
Voila!  My cabinet now has legs!
how to corner cabinet 5 But, the top needs something. It is very plain.
routered top 1
I found a piece of cull bin MDF and cut it to extend over all edges slightly. I used the router to trim out the edge all the way around. I would like to tell you which bit I used, but I have no idea. I spent way too much time on practice pieces to try to get the look I wanted. THIS is not what I was going for, but I got very frustrated, and just went with it.
diy corner cabinet (4)
Here she is!  Ready to be sanded and painted with some primer.
diy corner cabinet (6)
The back.
DIY Corner cabinet (11)
Of course it turned really hot again, so I  brought it in the house to paint.
DIY Corner cabinet
This is where I’m at right now. I can’t decide what color to paint it. The window is white on one side and stained on the other side.  I’m thinking it doesn’t even have to have a door, but that was my intention all along, so I guess I’ll go with that. I can always make another one later.
This piece will be up for sale, so it’s not a personal preference. It’s a matter of what will sell the fastest.  Honestly, I wouldn’t mind keeping it, but I have NO empty corner to place it!  Any thoughts? I am definitely color challenged!  :)
Edited to add updated pictures:
 how to make a corner cupboard

total cost: $1.02
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A teacher at heart, Gail relishes the chance not to show off her projects, but to help others find their inner handywoman, step-by-step. Her blog, MyRepurposedLife.com, chronicles her scrap-saving adventures and has been featured on countless DIY magazines and websites, including Women’s Day, Design*Sponge and Apartment Therapy. She is a longtime influencer for both Krylon spray paint and Gorrilla Glue. With a tribe of more than 400,000 followers, Gail is inspiring a new generation of DIYers to pick up some tools and get to work.
About gail@myrepurposedlife.com


    Speak Your Mind


  1. I love this DIY corner cabinet. Thank you for the great tips.
    I shared it on DIY best posts.

  2. claudiathomas says:

    Thank you for posting these lovely finds. I am older than some of your followers. I do wish I had started long ago
    finding and repurposing things. This project is absolutely beautiful. I do not have a website of my own. I just like to try things
    for my personal use. Keep up the good work. P.S. I’m going to get a Miter Saw for beginners. Thank you again.

  3. Central VA guy says:

    Thanks for taking the time to post the pics and the step-by-step for this.

    I am installing a corner bathroom vanity and was on the search for a corner medicine cabinet when I came upon your post.

    I am going to make my own cabinet because of the cost of buying a completed unit, and because the vanity is stained wood, so I will likely not get a good stain match with an off-the-shelf product.

    I was struggling with how to install an offset to mount the cabinet door so that it would not bind against the wall, and was actually on websites trying to calculate the length of two sides of an irregular polygon to figure out my missing dimensions!

    Your pics gave me the exact solution I was looking for.

    One thing I will have to be careful of is using that block of wood to keep the frame square during gluing. I’ve used Gorilla glue, and can see that block becoming part of the finished product if I’m not careful with the glue!!

  4. I love it! You did such a nice job with this cabinet!

  5. Great job, it looks so beautiful and pretty:))

  6. What a job and what skills you have!! Is that beadboard wallpaper? I’ve used embossed wallpaper in a lot of my projects, but I’ve never seen this before.
    Thanks for sharing and for hosting.

  7. As much as I am fond of blue/greens I think a soft black would look wonderful!
    Great job on your shelf and all for $1.02….wow!

  8. Wow, you did a great job. The cabinet looks so nice!

    I wanted to let you know about Atticmag’s new linky party – Giveaway Friday! It’s a convenient place for bloggers to link their giveaways each week. We’ve kicked it off with a fantastic giveaway of our own. Five lucky winners will win material to do a backsplash in their homes. Hope to see you there!


  9. Hi Gail,
    I’ve so enjoyed reading your wonderful and inspiring blog all summer. I am a teacher, so summer is my time to relax and recharge the batteries. When I retire, I want to become a “repurposer” like you! I live in the Nashville area, home of the Goodwill outlet, so I’ll find lots of treasures to work with.
    I vote for Robin’s Egg Blue paint on the cabinet!!

  10. Hi Gail!
    That cabinet is amazing. You have MAD SKILLS, woman! I cannot even begin to imagine the carpentry skills you possess, but this cabinet shows them well!! My first instinct is black, but I’m liking the ocean-blue idea also…will be waiting to see what you do…

    Thanks for featuring me!!!!!!!!!

    :) :) :) :)

  11. I just love it! Trish

  12. it turned out fabulously! i have a few projects like that…. i started them a while ago, and now they sit there… usually i end up giving them away when i get sick of looking at them! glad you persevered!

  13. it turned out fabulously! i have a few projects like that…. i started them a while ago, and now they sit there… usually i end up giving them away when i get sick of looking at them! glad you persevered!

  14. You did such a nice job with this cabinet Gail! it looks great!

  15. It seems that a pale ocean blue color is pretty popular right now. I would paint it that but leave the inside white, then distress it a bit. I love it with the door on it. I would buy it today if I lived close enough. Come to think of it, if I lived close to you, I would want to come watch you work just to learn how to do all the amazing things you do!

  16. Gail…I have the perfect spot for this! lol…great job. I love it.

  17. Dang, this looks good!
    If you don’t get your own HGTV show, something is wrong with the world! :-)

  18. Very nice job on that little custom piece! I’d want the cabinet to be a washed aqua with the window left all chippy and natural.

  19. AWESOME!!!!!! I am SUPER IMPRESSED!!! So many WONDERFUL ideas, so little time to accomplish even half of the projects. I really admire your handiwork!!!!!!

  20. I vote for a turquoise-ish shade and a door. I LOVE the doors you make with old windows. You are so clever – as usual. Now me thinks I need to invest in a router!

  21. I’d have to see more of the room you are putting it in to help with color, but definitely you should keep the door – it really knocks the whole thing out of the park!

    Thanks for your comments on my quiltaway – I love what you said about not knowing if you are crafting for the sake of the blog or not. :) It’s like the chicken and the egg.

  22. wonderfully done,, i love it. If it were mine i’d paint it black, but I’m kinda challenged also when choosing what color to paint something,, Cant wait to see it finished.

  23. Gail, it is fabulous and what a very thorough tutorial! I have made one from a door. I used a 2×2 as the corner piece, not sure if that makes sense.

  24. LOVE how it’s turning out, Gail! I personally LOVE it how it is — but it would be cute with a door too. :) You are such an inspiration! Great job!

  25. You aced that Gail… I agree the MDF just gave it that professional look… great job as usual. Well I don’t think it is going to be hard for you to guess what colour I would do. I really think the black would really make that piece come to life. If you are selling it is easy to place it anywhere.

    Hope your weather holds our for you… is going to be cooler here for the next couple of days too.

    Hugs, Deb

  26. Great job, it looks so beautiful and pretty:))
    Greetings from Europe, Biljana

  27. You amaze me with what you do :) That corner cupboard looks fabulous :) Wished I lived closer to you ehehehe hugs Vicki

  28. Hey Gail! I’m thinking I would do the white and distress it. Or maybe a pale ocean-y blue also distressed. Whatever you paint it, I’m sure it’s gonna be great! :)
    Have a great day and enjoy these wonderful temps! woo hoo!

  29. WoW!!! You continue to amaze me…
    You say “ripped” & I think of fabric… I don’t even know the terms for woodworking.. I am going to try & learn this fall… you inspire! Great job!!
    And I would go black if it were going in my house, but a great light blue with stain over,& then distressed a little could be really cool…

  30. Wow! Big project, but it looks really professional! I agree, it really doesn’t even need the window now. The mdf topper really sets off the piece, and whatever bit you used, it was the right one. Perfect!
    I vote black for the paint. But I know you’re more partial to white, so let’s see what everyone else votes for. (Remember, since you’re not keeping it you won’t have to worry about dusting at all!)

Thanks for sharing your thoughts with me! I read and appreciate every word!