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.


Deb W (not verified)

Thu, 03/25/2010 - 05:53

Hi Ana,
Whether you're looking for finishing stuff like steel wool, tung oil, or milk paint; hardware like latches, knobs or hinges; tools like drivers, chisels or router bits; in fact anything for all kinds of woodworking; I have a great source...
Lee Valley Tools has all of these and more! Top quality tools (some are their own "Veritas" line with some of these made from customer's design suggestions).
They give incredible customer service, if you ever need it, not to mention their gardening toys/tools, bird feeders, books...
If I sound totally "over the top" - well, I have been dealing with this company for over 25 years and have no complaints.
I still look forward to receiving their catalogues in the mail, even though they have an excellent website. They are online at
Enjoy, Deb

Roxanna (not verified)

Thu, 03/25/2010 - 07:10

Ana I would also love to do it with glass :) I have been wanting a cabinet to show off a collection of Depression Glass this might be perfect!

Melissa (not verified)

Thu, 03/25/2010 - 08:03

added to my to build list... that makes about 10ish things so far. I really need to get started but it is going to be another week. First thing is to build our daughter a bed but after that this might be next. It would work perfect in our master bedroom or even in the office. We have an antique armorie that belongs to my inlaws but I want something painted and i'm not about to paint their antique cabinet. haha! So many things to build so... I can't wait to see it all come together and to know that we built it, how exciting.

KRISTINA CIPOL… (not verified)

Thu, 03/25/2010 - 09:41

I REALLY like this project! it would be perfect in our bedroom. Thank you so much for all the great ideas and taking the time out to post! Very inspiring! :)

Lin W. (not verified)

Thu, 03/25/2010 - 16:49

Thank you so much for posting this plan. I've been trying to learn Sketchup. It's taken me 4 days to modify one of your plans to fit into my mudroom. I don't know how you do it all. You deserve a "Superwoman" award.

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