Simplest Armoire

Submitted by Ana White on Wed, 03/24/2010 - 21:43
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Sometimes you need a cluttered bookshelf. Hide the contents with beautiful doors. This armoire is simply a bookshelf with doors. A great spot to put linens, clothes, books, or even dishes. Special thanks to our readers for sharing their photos.

Overall Dimensions and Compostion Are shown above


Shopping List

2 – 1×12, 10′ Length
1 – 1×10, 12′ Length
1 – 1×4, 8′ Length
2 – 1×2, 8′ Length
1 – Sheet of 1/4″ Plywood or MDF (for the backs)
1 – Sheet of 1/2″ Plywood or MDF (for the doors)
5/8″ Brad Nails
Edge Banding if you are staining
3 Sets of Hinges for inset doors, frameless cabinets
2 Knobs

Common Materials
1 1/4 inch finish nails
2 inch finish nails
120 grit sandpaper
wood conditioner
paint brush
Cut List

Cut List for the Bookcase
2 – 1×12 @ 71 1/4″ (Sides)
1 – 1×12 @ 34 1/2″ (Bottom Shelf)
1 – 1×12 @ 36″ (Top Shelf)
4 – 1×10 @ 34 1/2″ (Shelves)
2 – 1×4 @ 34 1/2″ (Header and Footer)
4 – 1×2 @ 11 1/2″ (Side Crown)
1 – 1×2 @ 37 1/2″ (Bottom Front Crown)
1 – 1×2 @ 39″ (Top Front Crown)
1 – 1/4″ Plywood or MDF @ 36″ x 72″ (Back)
Cut List for TWO Doors
2 – 1/2″ Plywood or MDF @ 63 1/4″ x 17″ (Back of Doors)
4 – 1/4″ Plywood cut into 2 1/2″ wide strips @ 17″ (Top and Bottom Trim for Doors)
4 – 1/4″ Plywood cut into 2 1/2″ wide strips @ 58 1/4″ (Side Trim for Doors)
2 – 1/4″ Plywood cut into 2 1/2″ wide strips @ 12″ (Center Trim for Doors)

Tape Measure
Speed Square
Safety Glasses
Hearing Protection
Kreg Jig
Circular Saw
Brad Nailer
Power Sander
Staple Gun
General Instructions

Cut larger boards first. Work on a clean level surface. Adhere to proper safety guidelines. Take a square of your project after each step. Keep outside edges flush. Use 2″ nails and glue unless otherwise directed.


Step 1

Build the Box. As shown above, build the box using 2″ nails and glue. Keep back edges flush. You can place the shelves anywhere you like, the shelf placement above is for 12″ clearance on each of the lower shelves. Remember to leave a 3 1/2″ gap under the bottom shelf, and that the top sit on top of the sides.

Step 2

Back. Use 1 1/4″ nails and glue to fasten the back to the bookcase. Fasten all joining edges.

Step 3

Header and Footer. Fasten the header and footer to the bookshelf, as shown above. Use 2″ nails and glue.

Step 4

Footer Cutout. Measure and mark out the footer as shown above. Use a jigsaw to cut out the shape above on both ends.

Step 5

Step 6

Front Crown. Add the front crown as you did the side crown. If you would like to “dress” up the crown more, you can purchase and use cove moulding 3/4″ x 3/4″ in between the top and bottom crowns, or under the bottom edge. You will need to miter the outside corners.

Step 7

Door Construction. Cut your 1/2″ plywood for the backs. From leftovers from the back of the cabinet, cut 2 1/2″ strips with your tablesaw or circular saw. Then cut your trim boards from these 2 1/2″ strips to the measurements given above and in the cut list. Begin creating the doors by fastening the green trim above with 5/8″ nails and glue. Clamp and let dry. Do not clamp so hard that you loose all of your glue. Then add the blue trim, clamp and let dry. Finally, add the red trim. Dry on a flat level surface, the doors stacked, with a heavy object on top.

Step 8

Optional: If you have a scrap 1×2 and want a little extra support for the tops of the doors, I often will add a 1×2 to the header as shown above. This also makes a nice finished look when the bookcase is opened.

Step 9

Door Construction. Use 3 Hinges per door and attach the doors to the bookcase. I like to add magnetic clasps to keep the doors from opening. Add knobs or pulls.


Dianne (not verified)

Fri, 03/26/2010 - 08:35

I'd love a version of this that had deeper shelves. Maybe somewhere in the 16-18 inch range. How would that work?

Kathleen (not verified)

Fri, 03/26/2010 - 10:59

Would LOVE it if you could post the plans for the Primitive Yellow cupboard from Ikea (Hemnes Linen Cupboard) - as soon as i saw it I hoped you would show us how to make it! It could be so many things - linen cupboard, sewing storage, pie cupboard for baking supplies, etc, etc, etc!

The Bottjer Family (not verified)

Thu, 06/10/2010 - 12:08

I have been following your site for quite some time and am hoping you could answer a question about this cabinet w/doors. I am looking to build a few of these to put side by side in a popout in my home to use as additional pantry space (hence why I need the doors- because I want to hide all of the cans, boxes, etc). However, I was wondering what the load capacity is on the shelves- I don't want to have them snap under the pressure of my pantry items.

Thanks sooo much!!!

jen5273 (not verified)

Sat, 06/26/2010 - 18:14

I agree with the previous posters - would LOVE to see plans for that yellow armoire. Would be perfect in my bathroom. Thanks!

A (not verified)

Mon, 07/19/2010 - 19:24

As mentioned by the previous posters, I would love to see the plans for the primitive yellow armoire. Thanks!!

Patty (not verified)

Fri, 07/23/2010 - 12:46

I love this project. Its on my list of projects to do. But I'm wondering if it's possible to make it taller. Make the sides 81 1/4 instead of 71 1/4?

Keri Miller (not verified)

Mon, 08/30/2010 - 19:09


Have been following your plans for a while, but just as an observer. (I guess I have been building up the motivation? Confidence? I really like the yellow cabinent in this post, that you list as unknown. At this point in my "amateurism" I am not brave enough to go out on a limb and try something with direction. Yep, chicken! Any way possible you could draw up some plans for a cabinent like that??? You really are an inspiration, thank you for your dedication and hard work!


alyssa_panas (not verified)

Mon, 09/06/2010 - 12:54

There are way too many comments to see if this has been asked, but how is that armoir in the very first picture finished? As in, how do you do a finish like that??

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