Corner Cupboard

Submitted by Ana White on Mon, 12/27/2010 - 19:44
| Print this plan

This corner cupboard can turn an empty corner into a storage and display spot. Cleverly designed to minimize board waste and to be easy to build.

Special thanks to Tamara for sharing her photos with us.

Thank you Mamma_joy for not only requesting this plan, but actually believing that I might have the ability to come up with a simple way to build it.  So many of you have requested corner cabinets, and I've been listening.  But like Erin says in her project suggestion, how would we build this one without beveling the sides, requiring a table saw?  Definitely required some deep thinking, and I'm so proud to publish this plan AND also say, it's pretty simple, totally buildable, and you don't have to have a table saw at your disposal.

I tried to keep the dimensions close to Erin's suggestion for the plan

But it's a no brainer to modify the corner cupboard to be a little wider

Just use a 1x12 for the back instead of a 1x8 as the plan calls for.  For both plans, the shelves are made of 1x12s, so the shelves will only be approximately 11 1/2" deep.

So go measure your corner.  Do you have 21 1/2" of space?  Then the question is, do you have some beadboard?

72" tall. Width and Depth can vary as built.


Shopping List

2 – 1x12s, 6 feet long
1 – 1×8, 6 feet long
1 – 1×4, 6 feet long
1 sheet of beadboard, preferably 1/4″ to 3/8″ thick
3 – 1x3s, 8 feet long
1 – 1×2, 3 feet long
1 – 36″ long crown moulding or other moulding

Cut List

1 – 1×8 @ 72″ (Back)
6 – 1×12 @ 30 1/2″, both ends cut at 45 degrees off square (see step 1)
2 – 1×3 @ 72″ (Front Side Trim)
2 – Beadboard @ 16 1/4″ x 72″ (Measure for exact fit)
2 – 1×4 @ 26 1/2″ (Top and Bottom Trim, measure for exact fit)
1 – 1×2 @ 26 1/2″ (Tabletop trim, measure for exact fit)
top moulding – measure to fit
Doors – see step 6.


Step 1

Cut Shelves

This step would be really straight forward if widths of boards didn’t vary so much depending on where you live. So take your 1×8 pine boards and measure how wide they are. Can be anywhere from 7″ to 7 1/2″. Note this then start cutting your shelves by cutting one end of the 1×12 at 45 degrees. Then measure the width of the 1×8 (in the example above that is 7 1/2″) and a 45 degree cut PERPENDICULAR to the first cut. Then continue making cuts to make all your shelves. In this manner you can easily adjust the width of your back to the width of a 1×12 or 1×10. You will need to cut six shelves totally.

Step 2


Now mark the back as shown in the diagram above. All shelves need to be fixed. Predrill your holes or pocket holes and apply glue. Attach back to shelves with 2″ screws and glue.

Step 3

Front Side Trim

Mark the front side trim 1/2″ in all the way down the length of the back side of the side trim. Then mark all shelf locations as indicated in the above diagram. Predrill holes. Consider the depth of your screws and the angled shelf cuts as you place your screws – 2″ screws on the inside and 1 1/4″ screws on the outer edge, 2 screws per shelf. Use glue. Don’t stress this one too much, the sides are going to get beadboard (super strong) over them. The main thing is to get these lined up just right.

Step 4


Measure the width of the open spaces on the back sides, and cut your beadboard to fit. Shown above is the perfect dimensions for 1x12s that measure 11 1/2″ wide. Try to get a nice tight fit. Apply glue to the shelf edges that are exposed and use 1 1/4″ screws to attach the beadboard to the shelves. Keep the beadboard first and foremost flush to the back 1×8, as this is the seam that will be most visible. The front seams are hidden behind the front side trim.

Step 5

Step 6

Top Moulding

Measure the top and tack the crown o

Step 7


The doors are the most difficult part because most of us don’t have routers or tablesaws. If you do have a router or table saw, you can build your doors inset as shown above. because of the shelf behind the doors, the doors must be no more than 3/4″ thick, so you will have to inset the panel in the frame of the door. There are other options.

Step 8

You can build an overlay door. Simply build a frame out of 1x3s, either using a Kreg Jig™ or 3″ fine screws to build the frame. Then tack beadboard to the back, but make sure the beadboard would fit in the opening in the shelf.

Step 9

And you would want to add the center post to remove any gaps between the doors.


Alyssa (not verified)

Wed, 01/05/2011 - 12:51

With a small house that wasn't designed with storage of any kind in mind, I'm always looking for storage ideas. I *love* this. Can't wait for spring so we can set up our wood working tools in the garage!

clarissa kisic (not verified)

Fri, 01/07/2011 - 17:46

I love this cabinet and I will probably make it in the near future......I was wondering if there is any way to make a corner TV stand out of the bottom of this unit? if anyone has any suggestions I would love to hear them. I am going to study the plans a bit more and see if I can figure out what kind of cuts I would need for just the bottom portion of this unit.

Ana White (not verified)

Mon, 01/10/2011 - 09:31

Sue, the easiest method is to use a wider width board for the back "spine". But if you want to have no dead space behind the cupboard, you will need to cut your shelves from 3/4" plywood or MDF into pentagon or triangle shaped pieces and build in that method. Me personally? I'm okay with more dead space behind the cupboard than dealing with a jigsaw and large plywood pieces :)

christina miller (not verified)

Tue, 01/18/2011 - 05:44

That is exactly what I was thinking- about 38"-40" across the front would be perfect. I have been wanting to build a corner entertainments center for quite some time.

Jen (not verified)

Tue, 03/08/2011 - 09:57

I want to make 2 of these but I want to make them taller to look like built-ins. Like 8 feet tall. How would I do this and still make them structurally sound? Also, can plywood or mdf replace the beadboard backing? Or would adjustments need to be made to the measurements since beadboard is thin?

In reply to by Jen (not verified)


Wed, 03/30/2011 - 20:21

It should be no problem to increase the height to 8 feet.  Just have to add 1-2 more shelves or space them out further.

If you use thicker material in place of the beadboard it may stick out past the sides of the 1x3's.  It's hard to say from the plans.  The simple answer is to offset the 1x3's more than the 1/2" listed in the directions to hide the edges.   This would change the lengths of the shelf trim pieces and the width of the center post between the doors. 

Another option is to use 1x4's which will provide even more coverage and might look better on a larger cupboard.  Using 1/2" plywood or mdf (heavy) would really stiffen things up. 

I would recommend finding the wall studs in the corners where you will be installing the cupboards and drive a few trim head screws through the back panels into the  wall for added stability.  You could drive them in just under a shelf and they would be hidden.


Wed, 03/30/2011 - 19:16

Can anyone recommend a different material for the back?  I'm anxiously awaiting the fundage to tackle this project and have been mulling over what to use.  I'm thinking a good grade of plywood.  I want to stain the piece in the end, so something stainable is a must.