This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Frigidaire and Lowe’s. All opinions are 100% mine.
When we decided to have our Frigidaire Professional Appliances installed, we had a few things we wanted to change in our kitchen. I already shared with you how I altered our kitchen cabinet next to the stove and opened things up. I also took out some of our cabinets that were attached to the wall and built a walk around DIY kitchen island.
In the winter we use the back door in the kitchen to enter our house, but there is never a place to take off our shoes since the door would open straight into the cabinets. Now we can fully open the door and make room for everyone. The kitchen is also the room where everyone seems to congregate, so it’s nice to have a place were people can gather around and eat snacks or serve meals!
Building an Island might sound a little scary, but it’s not as hard as you might think! I’m going to walk you through the whole process. You just have to take it one step at a time!
How to build a DIY Kitchen Island
Kreg Rip Cut
Pocket Hole Screws
Drill and/or Impact Driver
Lumber Shopping List:
(2) 4’x8’sheet 3/4″ Plywood (ripped down)
(1) 4’x8′ sheet 1/4″ Plywood (ripped down)
(1) 4×4 (make sure it’s untreated)
(1) 2’x4′ sheet of 1/2″ plywood (ripped down)
Cut List: (I recommend cutting as you go to ensure a square project)
– Cabinet Base (3/4″ plywood)
– Shelves and Drawer Boxes (3/4″ Plywood):
– (2) 1×4’s @ 15 3/4″
– (1) 1×4 @ 13 1/2″
– (4) 1×2’s @ 22 1/2″
– (2) 1×2’s @ 48 1/2″
– (4) 1×2’s @ 27 3/4″
– (3) 1×2’s @ 13 1/2″
– (1) 1/4″ sheet of plywood @ 46 1/2″ x 30″
– (4) 1/4″ strips @ 2 1/2″ x 22 3/4″
– (6) 1/4″ strips @ 2 1/2″ x 25 3/4″
– (2) 1/4″ strips @ 2 1/2″ x 48 1/2″
– (2) 1/2″ plywood @ 15″ x 28 1/4″ (doors)
– (4) 1/4″ strips @ 2 1/2″ x 23 1/4″
– (4) 1/4″ strips @ 2 1/2″ x 15″
– (4) 4×4’s @ 3 1/2″
– (2) 2×3’s @ 40″
– (2) 2×3’s @ 14 1/4″
– (4) 1/2″ plywood @ cut to size for drawer faces with minimum 1/4″ extra around perimeter of opening.
The majority of this island is put together with pocket holes to which I will refer to as “PH” in the plans below. I used my Kreg Jig to create these pocket holes along with the appropriate size Kreg pocket hole screws.
Before we get started I want to mention that I think it’s best to make cuts as you go. Sometimes you might get off a 1/16″, and it will throw off the rest of your cuts. That’s just a tip of mine. If you cut with awesome precision then you might be able to make all your cuts first, but I’m not that good!
First make the cuts for the box of the island.
Then I moved on to the dividers which will hold the drawers. For this step I made sure my pocket holes were facing towards each other on the inside. That way I don’t see them since the drawers fill that space. Also the dividers are 1/4″ shorter from from to back that the sides of the island. This leaves a recessed space where I placed the back panel. See image below. It doesn’t matter what side the recess is on, but once it’s in place, that needs to remain the back side.
Once I had my dividers in place I attached the braces in the back to insure that the dividers didn’t bow or break off.
Next up I added the shelf brackets with my nail gun and wood glue. I didn’t permanently attach the shelves just in case I ever wanted to remove them.
Because I wanted to have the bottom of the cabinet flush with the face framing, I added another shelf in the bottom of each cabinet space. Just a little note, before I completed this step it would have been easier to install the leg frame here, but I actually changed up some of my ideas mid way so it didn’t work out for me, but it could for you! That way the screws could be hidden by the extra shelf rather than countersinking and using wood filler.
I added my back panel in. I decided to recess this to avoid all the extra unfinished edges on the sides of the island. I nailed into the braces on the back, around the sides and bottom, then on the vertical drawer dividers and the shelf brackets.
I attached the side trim first using wood glue and brad nails. This is definitely important to cut to size because I wanted it to be flush with all sides. I repeated the same process on the opposite side.
Then I added the trim to the back. I made sure to fill all spaces and gaps with wood filler and sand flush.
I built my face frame separately to make sure it was sturdy when attaching it to the cabinet. I attached all pieces with PH’s and wood glue. Since these are 1×2’s I had a little bit of a hard time not splitting the wood. With pocket holes it needs to have two on the ends so that it doesn’t just twist, but that was the cause of splitting the wood. So what I did was put the pocket holes on opposite sides so one on the top part of the 1×2, and on the other side it went on the bottom part so that it wasn’t able to pivot. I also used wood glue to help it set. When building this facing I was constantly checking the measurements to keep it all flush. It’s always better to measure 3 times and cut once!
Once I had my face frame built, I attached it to the front of the cabinet base with wood glue and brad nails.
Next I build the leg frame. I built this separately so again, I made sure I had all my measurements correct before making the cuts. I built the frame with pocket holes on the back side of the 2×3’s. When attaching I countersunk screws from the bottom shelf of the cabinet base straight in to the 4×4’s. But it is an option to complete this step before installing those extra shelves in the bottom.
I used the doors from our previous cabinet, but they are easy to build if necessary. I actually had to build the one on my new cabinet by the stove. It’s just made with 1/2″ plywood and then using the 1/4″ trim pieces to obtain the shaker style.
Attach your doors with hinges.
Next I built the drawer boxes. I basically followed this tutorial from Ana White, except I did not leave a space for the drawer face. I wanted my drawer face to be in front of the facing of the cabinet to match the rest of my kitchen. The I attached my drawer faces to the drawer boxes, once they were installed in the island to make sure nothing was crooked. Drawers are probably the hardest part because the measurements do need to be pretty exact. I especially recommend cutting as you go here. No matter how much I squared the island along the way, nothing about the drawers turned out perfect. It’s an art that gets better with practice. By the time I installed my 4th drawer I had it down! Practice makes perfect!
Now all that’s left is to install the countertop. We used the butcher block we had on our previous cabinets.
We love everything about this island! It’s great storage and we love having a place to stand around.
Be sure and check out my other kitchen renovation posts: