Kitchen Island




About: Love to spend time in my workshop, transform ideas into the real world !

My idea was to create an original kitchen island at a reasonable cost ... I did not necessarily want to make all the cabinet doors, so I came with this project.

I thought to myself, why not buy a cheap pre-made kitchen cabinet and build up my projet around !!

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Step 1: Shelf Frame

The idea or design in my head consisted of a cabinet, with 3 shelves on the side.

I started by building the shelf frame. It was usefull to have the cabinet allready assemble to defined the width and the height for my shelf frame ...

Wood needed :

(2x) 2 3/4'' x 2 3/4'' x 30 1/4'' lg. for both corner. (Maple)

(3x) 1'' x 4'' x 24 1/2'' lg. (Pine)

I used a biscuit joiner and glued everything together in clamp.

Step 2: Caping the Back of the Cabinet

Seeing that the cabinet had only a cardboard sheet behind and it would appear as a central kitchen island, I had to cap it with something stronger. To have a clean surface finish that look as the other parts of the cabinet wall, I used a laminated pine board. After the work was done, I could use MDF instead since it was planned to paint it ... it could have been even cheaper. Always room for improvement :-)

Again, I used the biscuit joiner and glue to fix the back board ...

Material needed :

Laminated pine board 3/4'' x 30 x 28.5

Step 3: Joining the Cabinet and Shelf Frame

It was time to join everything together. Again, the biscuit joiner was helpfull ... I wasn't sure if the biscuit would work good on melamine board but finally, the joining went good !

Material needed :


-Shelf frame

- (6x) 1'' x 4'' x 10'' lg (acting as cross bar and shelf support)

Step 4: Making More Room for Handling Stuff on Shelf

After the assembly was done, I noticed that there was not enough room to handle the stuff on the shelves properly. I had to thin the top support to give more space. I made this operation using the jigsaw ... it would have been much better to do this operation before installation.

Step 5: Painting

I painted all the wood white to match the cabinet.

I used pearl finish to make the cleaning easier since it will be a furniture in the kitchen

Step 6: Cutting Bamboo Board

It's easy to find bamboo board at cheap price today ... I found one perfect size for my situation ... 25'' x 72'' lg.

I needed a piece 48'' long for the counter top, and 2x 12'' long for the shelfs. MAGIC ! :-D

The shelfs needed to have a little cut-out at each corner to be able to insert them in place.

I used my circular saw to cut the bamboo ... it worked great.

and glue + clamping to fix each board

Step 7: Final Touch

I used a special oil to treat the bamboo board ... reassemble the cabinet door et VOILÀ !

A nice kitchen island for about 350$/can buck ...

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    13 Discussions


    6 months ago on Introduction

    I have always wanted to build an island counter for my kitchen but thought they are just too bulky and take up too much unnecessary space. However, this cute yet practical size really changes my mind about it!

    1 reply

    Reply 6 months ago

    Happy to hear that this project inspired you ! Thanks for the comment !


    11 months ago on Introduction

    Kitchen islands should always be customized. They serve many other purposes apart from just providing storage space alone. Thus, if you have the opportunity DIY one yourself, then go ahead and do so! You can custom-made your seating area, storage size, and more!


    1 year ago

    Tempted to make it from scratch. Looks beautiful, thanks for sharing.

    1 reply

    Reply 1 year ago

    Thank you for your comment ! and I agree and encourage you ... it could be even better from scratch !

    Tura Street

    1 year ago

    This looks great. I love it. I love working with wood, and I actually have a woodshop. Thank you so much for the great idea. I need a small challenge to work on right now, and this is perfect. Good luck in the contest.

    1 reply
    Simon_CloutierTura Street

    Reply 1 year ago

    Thank you for your comment, I appreciate ! :-D ... and I encourage you to start your ''small'' challenge ...


    1 year ago

    Very very nice but stuff in US must be expensive. For this price, allowing for currency exchange rates, I purchased 3 similar units for my kitchen. I do like this though and would seriously consider making something similar for my workroom. Cut outs on shelves make this individual, and home made is better when possible.

    Kink Jarfold

    1 year ago on Step 7

    Nicely done Instructable. Such a great idea buying a cabinet and building around it. KJ

    HIGH 10.jpgKnox my socks off.png

    Question 1 year ago on Step 7

    Nice cabinet, more expensive than I would have figured. Do I understand you used NO screws or other fasteners, just glue?

    1 answer

    Reply 1 year ago

    Thank you for your comment ! In fact, I used small iron angle screwed to support the shelf rack (you can see it in some pictures) ... but it wasn't useful ... It was a biginer mistake :-| ... So yes, this can be done only with glued and I would recommended this way !