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DIY Kitchen Island (top)


I’ve had this jig for a few months now. I love the things I can do with it. You saw that I used it yesterday to attach the desk to the base to make my kitchen island.


The first thing I do is set the drill bit to the proper depth. That little collar makes sure that you don’t drill too deep.



Then you set the Kreg Jig® R3  to the proper thickness of the wood you are drilling.




There are a few things to notice in this picture. First if you look at the longer board you will see the infamous green paint. .51 cents at Home Depot!  I measured approximately every 8 inches and clamped and drilled my pocket holes.  I then used my bar clamps to hold the two boards together while I screwed in some 2.5 inch Kreg screws.   What you won’t see is glue. This makes such a tight fit there is no need for glue.



Now this part is off the top of my head. Hindsight 20/20 this may not be the way to go. I didn’t stop to read up on this,  but looking back it seems like maybe I should have staggered the holes in between the set on the first board.



Here are my four boards attached.



Another view.



I have showed you this technique before. Clamping a piece of lumber to keep the shoe straight as you cut.



I don’t have a circular saw that works. I have a battery operated one but it will not run long enough to cut.  I used my jigsaw.



Things don’t always go as planned!  You thought I was perfect?  Than I never make mistakes?  nah!  I make plenty of mistakes!  I just don’t get all of them captured with the camera.   I know WHAT happened (the blade leaned)  I’m just not sure HOW it happened. The first board cut perfectly!



This clearly would not work. When I left the boards varying lengths, my intent was to put the entire piece on the table saw and make them all exactly the same. Bad idea. The piece was too heavy and cumbersome for me to handle alone.  That’s why I used the jigsaw.

Long story short, I ended up having to draw a line and cut on the table saw freehand (without the fence).  Which by the way I’m really good at.  It just makes me nervous when cutting a large (heavy) piece.



Testing to see if it’s too big or if I need to rip some off of it. Works for me!  Look! There are the all too pretty pocket holes that helped me attach the desk to the base.

EDITED TO ADD:  turn your boards one up, one down, one up, one down (end wood grain) to make it lay flatter than this one.  Live and learn!   :)

You can pick up a Kreg Jig on Amazon.  I will earn a little commission,  but you won’t pay any extra money.




I used my orbital sander to smooth it all pretty!  The sanding also removed some black printing on the boards and some green paint.



I was ready to stain the top. This picture is from a couple of years ago when my sister gave me all these cans of spray paint and stain.  As you can see, I have several choices of stain!  It was hard to narrow it down. I wanted something dark, but not a shade of red.



I settled on this stain by Minwax.



I actually used just one coat of stain.  After the stain dried I applied 3 coats of Polycrylic, sanding in between coats.

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Edited to add:  When I removed the original top I saved all the screws and reused them to screw the new top on right in the original holes.




And here is the top on my kitchen island/bar.



Not bad for $2.04, huh?

The total cost of the island is as follows:


beadboard $1.01 (cull bin)

osb .51 cents (cull bin)

Luan .51 cents (cull bin)

casters a couple of bucks each

legs/feet $2.00  (they cost $4.00, but I still have half left)

island top $2.04

baseboard $15.00  OUCH!  that was tough!

less than $30.00.  Most of the material I already had on hand. (previously purchased)  I only bought the casters and the baseboard for this project.


The Kreg company did not compensate me in any way, nor did they furnish me with any product. I simply LOVE their jig, and I’m sure you would too if you put it on your “wish list”.



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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. Barbara garza says:

    If I wanted to make the top wider on the back side to fit a stool could I just add another board or would I have to include another support underneath.?

  2. Awesome JOB! I want to do something similar for our kitchen, because $400 for an IKEA island is way overpriced, for what it is.

  3. Hi Gail,

    I love all the step by step details you posted. Your kitchen island looks FANTASTIC!


    P.S. I now know what to get my husband for Father’s Day! :)

  4. Pat-
    I don’t believe you have to use Kreg screws, but I do believe you have to use “pocket hole screws”. The screw bit has a squared off indention–I guess I should know the terminology for that, but I don’t. I have never had any screw fail me. They never strip. I recommend the lower end, cost efficient Kreg Jig jr. (around $40) and worth EVERY penny of it. I get nothing for saying this, nothing for recommending it. They are missing out on a great spokesperson! hahaha

  5. Hey there Gail~ was scrolling through some old post …well, clicking away from your recent post about your greatest accomplishment…fireplace surround… anyway~
    I have a question about this Kreg Jig. I looked at them at Lowe’s and I’m wondering with this jig are you pigeoned holed into using the Kreg brand screws and the longer screw tips to get into the holes? Or can you use your own tips in your drill and any ol’ screw with the longer neck and less threads?

    I may copy this comment and email you. Because inquiring minds wants to know~

    thanks a bunch~ Pat

  6. I am more and more impressed with your mad skills every time. This is gorgeous and the inspiration I need to do this. I need an island badly! I am tickled pink!

  7. Beautiful Gail–thanks so much for linking up, and I am thrilled if projects are way under $100–I rarely spend more than $10 on mine :).

  8. It looks so great! I can’t get over the small amount you paid, nor can I get over all that paint and stain! 😉 Well done!

  9. Seeing how you actually made this makes me more in awe of your talent. I can’t even put up a curtain rod without making LARGE holes too big to hold a screw. I can’t even imagine using a jig saw. A-mazing Gail.

  10. Here’s a thought for Angela Darling. Have you considered getting a piece of decorative molding to apply to the space? You could even use several pieces and build it up to look like back splash (not sure if that’s the words I’m looking for). Or you could build a small shelf and use the space to anchor it. If you’re not sure what I mean, you can email me and I’ll send some pics.

  11. No way! This is amazing! …and look at that paint/stain stash. What a huge J.O.B. and you made it look easy 😉 I’d love for you to add this to my ”Sweets This Week” Link Party.

  12. This is completely AMAZING! It looks gorg!

  13. Simply gorgeous!!! I love it! I have been looking around for new countertop ideas (on the cheap- I have a small budget.) And I just love this idea! THanks so much for sharing it, I think that jig WILL be on my christmas list!

  14. That’s so pretty! IKEA sells a similar version, but I honestly like yours better.

    Also, what the heck was your sister doing with all that spray paint?!

  15. I absolutely LOVE your island, Gail! You definitely chose right on the stain — I love the tone! And the beadboard is just perfect too!

  16. Completely random question that has NO relation to this post – I recently inherited a waterfall vanity (I saw you had a post about one before)… the top of the vanity near the back has about an inch gap with no wood – I’m assuming this was where a mirror was probably attached… any ideas on how to cover those gaps? As of now you can look down and into the very back of the drawers (I don’t know if that makes any sense or not)… any thoughts?

  17. I so want a Kreg jig. I think I’m going to ask for it for Christmas!!

  18. Looks great!!

    haha……I thought I had a lot of spray paint in different flavors….but you def have me beat!! :)

  19. What a great result, I love this!

  20. I can’t believe you made this whole thing for about $30! Amazing!

    I am in need of a new jig saw and have never heard of this one…would love to know all the reasons you LOVE it!

  21. Thanks for the tut with Mr. Kreg… I love that little tool, I just have to find something to use mine for. It took me awhile to figure out that you put the drill back in the case for the measurement, I thought I was losing it for a bit there. I hate reading instructions…lol

    You did an another amazing job on the top, it looks fabulous.

    I can’t wait to see this piece in place in the kitchen… but I bet you can’t wait either…lol

    Hope you have a great day.

    Hugs, Deb

  22. And again you prove you are amazing! I cant believe that photo of all the paints and stains. Heaven to have so many choices:)

  23. it really is the icing on the cake!

  24. it really is the icing on the cake!

  25. Hey Gail! When TJ and I worked on our arbor, we ruined the first piece of 2 x 12 because we tried to cut it with a jigsaw. (we thought the jigsaw would work better for the curse of the arbor) That wood was $20 bucks a piece..that mistake hurt! lol We ended up using our circular saw and it cut it like it was no big deal. I think the jigsaw blades must be to flimsy to cut through thicker pieces of wood. Lesson learned for both of us. :)
    Still lovin’ your island! (and love the price too! lol)
    Missy :0)

  26. The top is fabulous….I don’t think you could have went to the store and got a prettier Island.God Bless Trish

  27. Morning, Gail,, I was so curious to see how you put those boards together for the top,,and it looks fabulous. I really want one of those tools now. Uhm,but how is the top attached to the island?? Did I miss that? Anyway, I know you’re so proud of it and will enjoy it for many years to come.. Thanks for sharing with us all you do, even the mistakes… I tried your cutting method using the board for a guide and that same thing happened to me, but I think my blade is old.
    I’m off to work,, have a good day!

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