Introduction: How to Make a Kitchen Island From a Set of Lower Kitchen Cabinets

About: I'm an independent lady who enjoys designing and completing new projects inside and outside my home. Quite satisfying to re use/ recycle and re purpose 'on the cheap' and realize a finished project that starte…

Here's what my dining room looked like before I started my reno. i was ripping this whole wall of cabinets out anyway for my reno but I'm all about re-use/re-cycle
Since I wanted a kitchen island and I was lucky enough to have an extra set of 2 double doored cabinets in my dining room originally.  I decided to use both of the bottom cabinets to make my kitchen island.  These match my cupboards in the kitchen so it should be a good starting point

Step 1: Find a Set of 2 Lower Cabinets (if You're Not Lucky to Have Them Already)

I was lucky enough to have taken 2 lower cabinets (with double doors) from my diningroom renovation that I can use for my kitchen island..and they match the kitchen cupboards

If you dont have any lower cabinets have a look at Restore/online etc or buy new I guess? But i like to reuse/recyle

I set the one cabinet in the kitchen just to get an idea of what it might look like when I'm finished

you should also have at least 3 feet of walking space around your whole island and it looks like I'm right on the measurement here so that's awesome!
As you can see there's more reno's going on than just the dining room. I'm actually moving in to  a modular home and it needs work, let me tell you! That's all part of the fun though, eh
The plan is to stain the cupboards ebony but still show the woodgrain...but that's a whole other reno...
back to my island idea..

Step 2:

place the 2 bottom double doored cabinets back to back and fasten them together so they're sturdy.
I used L brackets and screws (that way if you ever need to dismantle them it's very easy)

I had the L brackets and screws laying around so no cost there but even if you bought these items the cost is minimal

Step 3:

decide how big you want the countertop area to be. I'm adding on an additional 12 inches or so to allow room for overhang.  I got a deal on some shinto bar stools and people need room for their knees so this should work well.
Each cabinet is 24" x 48" so I am looking to make my countertop...48" x 48" and then add the extra 12" - 13" to the one side
so the total top will be 48" x 60"..
I'm off to Home Depot to get a piece of MDF - 3/4" x 49" x 97" (a bit long but I have a plan for using the extra wood...more on that project later) cost $41.67 plus tx

Step 4:

measure the top of the 2 cabinets...combined and decide how much overhang you want and if you want the overhang on only one side or two
then add an extra 12 - 13 Inches on one/two sides to put bar stools underneath

Step 5: Adding the Top Countertop

so ive cut the MDF down to the size i need
remember to add on the extra overhang amount you've decided on

I ended up adding on and extra 13" on 2 sides so I'll have 2 stools on one side and and extra 2 stools on the end

First I layed the MDF on the floor 'right side down' and next I cut off some 1" x 2" strips of wood the length of measurement of MDF length and width

I built the frame on the backside of the MDF board so basically I had a framed square the size of my 2 base cabinets..the plan is to have the frame hold the top in place so it doesnt shift, once I set it on top the base cabinets

Next I used more of the 1" x 2" strips of wood cut to length and screwed them onto the overhang sides to make the thickness appear to be the same as the other flush edges

once I had screwed the strips of wood to the back of the MDF it was just a matter of flipping the board over and placing it on top the 2 lower cabinets

Step 6: Finishing Off My Island

with the MDF top placed in position on top of the lower cabinets I screwed (from underside) the base cabinets to the top...since I had 2 doors on each side it wasnt too difficult to get my cordless drill in there and fasten the top MDF countertop to my lower cabinets
you can also see the 'frame' I added to the edges to make it appear to be the thickness of a counter

I placed the stools around the counter overhang sides just to be sure they fit...they do! so that's a good thing

well, that's it for my 'island' from 2 base cabinets...I think it looks amazing, plus it'll give me so much more counterspace...and the total cost was ...wait for it..less than $50...I'd say that's definitely...'on the cheap'!

**dont forget to check out my 'faux granite' countertop finish in mynewestproject...yet another 'on the cheap' project for the future

here's a sneak peak at my newest project...'faux granite' countertop finish...for now Im just going to use a foam roller and roll on my base coat..

Workshop Contest

Participated in the
Workshop Contest