Corner Cupboard

Submitted by Ana White on Mon, 12/27/2010 - 19:44
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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.


Guest (not verified)

Mon, 04/25/2011 - 12:11

Did anyone happen to take this plan and turn it into a media stand for a 42" tv or bigger? Basically I just need the bottom half of this unit but idea where to start! lol

Joe Makes Things (not verified)

Tue, 06/07/2011 - 12:12

My house is a hundred plus years old and came with two corner cabinets built into the dining room. The shelves have a feature that I feel adds to the funtionality of the shelves for displaying the "good" dishes. Each of the exposed shelves has a groove routed into the top of the shelf 1.25" from the back. This groove allows you to lean you "good" dishes upright at a slight angle.

One consideration when building these shelves is to decide if you are going to permenantly mount them to you corner. If you would like them to be movable, don't forget to incorporate noches around the bottom trim and install an offset support for the back of the unit so the entire shelf will sit over your baseboards.

You cabinet design is wonderful.


Tue, 06/07/2011 - 12:53

A low raised rail works as well. My china cabinet has one, and I love it for displaying all of the dishes I inherited from my grandmother. I've seen this carried to its logical extreme around the outside of a room as well.

Guest (not verified)

Wed, 11/30/2011 - 12:27

I'm having trouble visualizing screw placement in attaching the shelves to the front side trim. Anyone who has built this that could give advice on what worked for you?

Guest (not verified)

Fri, 02/03/2012 - 11:25

What hinges do you suggest for the doors?

LenClark (not verified)

Sat, 02/11/2012 - 07:57

I love this and starting the project this weekend. I'm planning on building 2 corner units in my dining room and have a small snag. Both corners have basebord heat and I'm trying to figure out a way to cut away the bottom so the unit will fit snug in the corners. Any ideas?


Sat, 02/11/2012 - 08:27

I have a similar problem with some bookshelves I'm building. I'm putting legs on to the level of the top of the heater, building a top that extends all the way to the wall, and will be fastened to the wall with a cleat.