How to build storage cabinets for a bedroom

Written by erin ringwald
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How to build storage cabinets for a bedroom
It is easy to make your own storage cabinets. (Yellow and green shelves image by Charlie Rosenberg from

Whether you want a small bedroom storage cabinet to store a few odds and ends or a large unit that will take up an entire wall, storage units can be expensive when you purchase them. You may not be able to find the right size and shape for your allotted space. Luckily, you can make your own storage cabinet at home with a little effort and design it to meet your specific needs.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Storage containers
  • Graph paper
  • Saw
  • Birch plywood
  • Framing square
  • Drill
  • Peg board
  • Wood glue
  • Nail gun
  • Stain
  • Level
  • Adjustable shelf pins

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  1. 1

    Determine the size and dimension you want your finished piece to be. The location where you will place the cabinets will determine this, as well as what you want to store in it. Also choose the number of shelves and the size of the shelve you want to build. If you are planning on using storage containers in your cabinet, measure these to help determine your shelf sizes.

  2. 2

    Use graph paper to draw a scale drawing of your desired cabinet plan. Include all shelves and measurements. This will make it easier to determine your measurements as you build the cabinet.

  3. 3

    Use a saw to cut half inch birch plywood pieces to the dimensions you determined in step 1. Make sure your lines are straight by using a framing square.

  4. 4

    Use a drill to add holes into the pieces that will be your cabinet sides and shelve sides. You will use these holes to insert pins to hold your shelves. The easiest way to ensure that the holes are evenly spaced and the appropriate size is to place a piece of peg board on top of the plywood and drill through the pegboard and into the plywood. Do not drill all the way through the plywood.

  5. 5

    Assemble the outside structure of the cabinet, ensuring the edges are flush and you have 90 degree angles. Use wood glue on all joints. Also use a nail gun to attach the pieces together. This will create a box shape.

  6. 6

    Stain or paint your outer structure and all shelves. If you choose to paint the cabinet, prime it first and allow the primer to dry. Then paint your cabinet and allow it to dry.

  7. 7

    Insert the shelves into your cabinet. Use a level to ensure everything is level before using screws to fasten them in place. Use the shelve pins to adjust the shelves as needed.

Tips and warnings

  • You can add face trim to your cabinet to cover the plywood edges if you desire.

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