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.


Amanda (not verified)

Thu, 01/13/2011 - 10:52

We have a blank wall in the finished part of our basement and I'd love to add two or three of these, side-by-side, and add base moulding to the bottom as if they're built-ins, to create a wall of storage. If I get to it I'll post pictures!

aSprinkling (not verified)

Sun, 01/30/2011 - 10:01

How do you come up with your prices? When I price the boards for this (using plywood), I come up with just over $100 without taxes. And that doesn't include any of the additional hardware, nails, etc.

Melissa (not verified)

Wed, 02/16/2011 - 16:25

Dan, you may have just saved me from having to hire someone to put in a closet in an office. We plan on turning it in a bedroom and this will be much cheaper!


Fri, 04/01/2011 - 16:59

I want to make one of these, but does anyone have a clue on how to make it into one of these?  I really like the cabinet, but I would like to use it as a DVD cabiniet?  I am not very plan savvy, so I was wondering if someone could help me out (or send me in the direction of a plan that is already made).



Guest (not verified)

Sat, 05/28/2011 - 12:12

I love this plan and want to make a pantry for our kitchen. I'm working on my husband to make this. Is there an approximate cost to this project? We have all the tools, just wondering for the supplies. Sorry if I missed this in the plans.

Guest (not verified)

Mon, 06/06/2011 - 10:21

There were several jigs to choose from. Is the mini kreg jig enough to handle these project and easy to use?

Guest (not verified)

Fri, 06/17/2011 - 12:27

We're about to move into a house in a couple of months with no pantry so I've been hoping that this can be my first build. I saw one builder modified these plans to make the red one and I was wondering (Ana or Dan?) if you could help me with modified pantry plans? I need something a little deeper (like the plans Dan shared) but also wider. I am SO new to all of this so I'm looking for a buy and cut list. Otherwise I may try this one and hope it works! I hope to start next week! THANK YOU so much for this website! I have a list I can't wait to get started on soon!!

Nicole S (not verified)

Wed, 06/29/2011 - 11:04

I too am moving into a home with no pantry and was wondering the same as others...about how much does it cost to build?

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