Cabinet Build Tutorial

​Alright guys, this was a fun project and I’m so excited to share all about it with you. In my last blog post I shared re-styling my mom’s guest bathroom so that it could be used as an everyday bathroom for my little brother and also as a guest bathroom for when she has company over. You can go check out that project [here]. In the blog post I shared a little sneak peak of the DIY cabinet I custom built for above the toilet. My mom had told me she needed a little extra storage for my brother’s stuff, and thought a cabinet above the toilet would be best. I showed her a few ideas and happened to pick this one as her favorite…

I kind of just thought a second and blurted it out that I could make her one just like that from scratch. She said ok let’s go buy the supplies you need. I had brought over the tools and other stuff I already had to use for the build to her house, and then we got the rest of the supplies. The funny part is that I came up with all the dimensions and design idea myself. It was like I was looking at a picture of something while trying to paint the exact same thing. Is there a word for that? Another thing is that with just randomly thinking of the build, my mom and I probably did about 10 Home Depot runs to get the perfect finished project.  Here’s a list of the supplies I used for the build:

  • Air Compressor
  • Nail Gun
  • 1 ¼” nails
  • 2” nails
  • Palm Sander
  • 120 Grit Sand Sheet
  • Stain (I used Minwax wood finish in “Dark Walnut”)
  • Stain Clothes
  • Flat Black Spray Paint
  • Chicken Wire
  • Staple Gun
  • ¼” Staples
  • Cutting Pliers
  • A Knob
  • (2) 1 ½” Utility Hinges
  • (2) 1 ½” Magnet Door Catch
  • (4) 4 Holed Straight Bracket

Wood Cut List:

  • (1) 3/8” 20×27 Sheet of Plywood
  • (4) 1x6x18½”
  • (2) 1x6x27”
  • (2) 1x2x18½”
  • (2) 1x2x27”
  • (4) 1x2x 5½”

We started with getting the first few items that we needed for the build, but most importantly the wood. I could have purchased all the wood and cut it myself but I actually wanted to see how it went to get the wood cut at Home Depot since they will do it for free for you. It was actually really good and I will definitely do it again if I’m in a hurry to get another project like this done again. Then, we took all the stuff home and got started. First thing I did was cut a 30×25” piece of chicken wire so that it would stick out on all sides and gave it a little spray paint with the flat black spray paint. I sanded all the pieces of wood down for a smoother surface. I made sure to get it sanded down all around the piece, even the edges. It doesn’t have to be a perfect rectangular shape, especially if you are going for a rustic look. I think it’s better to have it misshaped. You can even make some dents in it by hitting it with a hammer all around. Don’t forget to even sand the piece of plywood, we just did one side.

After sanding it all, it was time to stain. This is when mom came in to help a little bit. To stain I just purchased a set of 3 white washcloths at the dollar store. They work just as good if not better than the $2.99 stain clothes at a hardware store. Sometimes I even save mine and CJ’s old socks to stain; those are my favorite to use. Another tip is to where some elastic gloves. We forgot so the stain was all over our hands. But in a couple days it’ll come off. Once you have the entire board stained we leaned them on an old piece of plywood that we didn’t care about and let them dry for a few hours. Also, don’t forget to stain the piece of plywood, we also just did the one side we had sanded down and left the back bare. Here’s what one of the boards looked like after it was stained and dry:

Then it was time for my favorite part, building the cabinet. Get your air compressor ready with the nail gun attached and have the gun loaded with the 1¼” nails. You may need another set of hands to help you get started on the first couple boards. Here is a picture of the different nail sizes I used:

1.  I started with both the 1x6x27” boards and nailed each corner to the piece of plywood then nailed down the side of the board to make sure it was very secure to the plywood.

2. After you have both 1x6x27” boards nailed, get 2 of the 1x6x18½” boards and nail them to the plywood and attached and nail to the edges of the 1x6x27 boards. It should now look like a big box shape when you lay it flat on the ground/ table.

3. Now to add the 2 shelves, get your 4 pieces of 1x2x5½”. I didn’t make the shelves an equal length in between them all, but I measured an 8.5” gap between the shelves. I figured it was ok to have one shelf a smidge larger than one or two. Add the 1x2x5½” blocks to the 1x6x27” boards. Just make sure the blocked add up to the same length of each other, otherwise your shelf board won’t be level.

4. Once you have the 4 1x2x5½” nailed and attached to the 1x6x27” boards, get your last 2 1x6x18½” boards ready to add to them. You simply just slide them down and have them resting on the 1x2x5½” blocks. You can leave them like that if you want, but I nailed them down through the 1x6x27” boards since my nail gun didn’t fit in between the shelves.

5. Now that you have you cabinet base with shelves built, it’s time to make the door. Now is when you change out your nail size in your nail gun from the 1¼” to 2” nails. Nail together one side of the 1x2x18½” to one of the 1x2x27” boards. I did about 3 nails one each side of the boards to make it sturdier.

6. You now have your rectangular door frame built. It’s time to add the spray painted chicken wire. Try and flatten the chicken wire out as much as you can but it will straight out a little more once you start stapling it to the door frame.

7. Lay the chicken wire completely across what you want the back part of the door to be. Make sure the holes in the wire line up starting at the top of the door frame and start stapling down each whole to the door frame. I recommend starting at the top then moving down the side, then the other side and finish stapling at the bottom. Here is the staple gun and staples I used to staple the wire down:

8. Use your cutting pliers to cut the extra wire off the edges so that it isn’t sticking out. Now your door is complete and it’s time to install the small hinges. Here is a picture of the cutting pliers I used and what the back of the door frame looked like after I went around the edge and cut the extra wiring off . This is actually one of my favorite tools:

9. I wanted to make sure the door opened in a way that was easy. Where we were going to hang the cabinet was above the toilet. Next the toilet is the vanity and on the other side is the shower. I wouldn’t want to open a cabinet from the shower so I made sure we installed the hinges so it was a right swinging door.

10. Follow the directions on the package the hinges come in to install them. I placed the hinges about 3 inches from the top and bottom of the cabinet.

11. Then install the 2 magnet door catches to the cabinet base and door frame. Once again just follow the directions from the package. I placed the magnets right below the top shelf and right below the bottom shelf.

12. To finish, add your knob in your desired place and use your desire way of hanging the cabinet. I believe the (4) 4 Holed Straight Brackets help make sure it is entirely sturdy on the wall.


If you are considering building this cabinet, please don’t over think it because it really is an easy project. Also, nothing has to be perfect on this build. You can make it your own way. Do whatever works for you the best. You can also change up the measurements if you have a bigger area for a cabinet like this one.

I really hope this tutorial wasn’t too confusing… I tried to take as many pictures as I could while doing the build. If you guys I have any recommendations, comments, or questions please let me know. I’d be happy to do another build for this cabinet and take more pictures or even make a video. I want to thank you for stopping by my blog today or every day. I’m so grateful for all of you. You can also check out my Facebook Instagram and Pinterest for more!

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