Tiny House Kitchen Cabinet Base Plan

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Diy your own kitchen cabinets for a tiny house to save money and get exactly what you need.  Free plans by ANA-WHITE.com

Hi guys!  Sorry it's taken me a few days to get these plans out to you.  Had a few commitments that put me a little behind schedule, please do forgive.

For those of you who have no idea what the heck I'm talking about, last week I shared a video on building your own kitchen cabinets for our Tiny House.  

It really isn't hard to do, or take a ton of time.  One thing I would say is having a good tablesaw does help a ton, so you can cut the plywood pieces quickly and accurately.  And a Kreg Jig.  But you already knew that.

Today I'm going to share with you the plans on how I built this kitchen cabinet set.  

I'll do the drawer today (modified to an 18" standard width) and then will share the other base plans with you over the next little bit.  Of course, if building for a tiny house, you can and should modify these plans to fit your exact needs.  

If you do modify, here are a few general guidelines for base kitchen cabinet design -

- Base Cabinet Heights should be 34-1/2"

- Countertops are normally 1-1/2" thick, so your overall base cabinet height is 36" (which is standard countertop height)

-  Base Cabinet Depth is usually 24", including the back and doors and face frames (if using) but sometimes appliances can be deeper, so you can go up to 24-3/4", but I wouldn't go beyond that, since standard countertop depth is 25", and you will want a little bit of an overhang on the countertop.

- Standard toekicks are 4" high and 3" deep, but in this plan I raised the toekick to a 2x6 board (5-1/2") to work over the wheel well and to give a little more space should you want toekick drawers (will add a plan).

- The sides of your base cabinets should always be the same to match.  You will adjust the horizontal board lengths to adjust the width of your kitchen cabinets.

For our Tiny House, we decided to do something really crazy and skip the face frame.  Now I'm a huge fan of face frames because they add structure to the front of the cabinets, finish the front plywood edges out with wood to match your doors, and give you lots of adjustment when it comes to installing drawers and lining up cabinets, should your cabinets not be perfectly square.  Skipping the face frame was a very scary thing for me to do, but in the interest of saving space (frameless cabinets are more efficient on space) money, time and weight, I closed my eyes and took the plunge into step skipping land ....

And guess what?

The cabinets are fine.  They are sturdy.  They are beautiful.  There is nothing wrong with them.  And they have more storage, are easier to build, cost less money and weigh less.  Frameless cabinets (also called Euro Style) were the right choice for our Tiny House.

Here's a few tips for building with frameless cabinets -

- It's especially important to work with good plywood that is square, since the cabinets just get butted together.  Any issues with your plywood will cause your cabinets to not fit right together.

- The same goes for any drawers since they will be installed directly on the plywood, if you don't have good plywood, and you don't build square, your drawers will have lots of issues.  It is very important to cut your plywood square, and build square.  

- You will use full overlay drawers and doors on the cabinets.  This covers most of the exposed plywood edges.  We just filled the edges where needed with wood filler, sanded and painted.  But for a stained finish, you will need to apply edge banding to the front plywood edges in a wood veneer.  You can mix, but most commonly the wood veneer would match the doors, or at least be similar in tone and hue.

- Avoid going overly wide with a cabinet without some sort of center support.  In the video, I added a center support to support the sink and countertop weight, as there is no face frame to help pick up the load.  


So you ready to build a kitchen cabinet?  A drawer base, 18" standard width follows, but you can modify (although I wouldn't go more than 24" wide without any support for the countertop.  The plans follow (if this is the homepage you'll need to click READ MORE below).

Will be back soon with more kitchen cabinet plans.

XO Ana


PS - For those of you asking, the countertop is Rustoleum Ultimate Wood Stain with Triple Thick Poly on top to protect.


PSS - Appreciate the free plans on this site?  Help out by pinning!

This kitchen cabinet has a higher toekick to work over wheel wells, and also to allow for toekick drawers (if desired).


Shopping List

3/4" cabinet grade or hardwood plywood, ripped into strips 23" wide by 8 feet long (very important rip width is EXACTLY the same), prefinished PureBond is the best option

1x4 boards or scrap wood plywood for supports

1x2s in matching wood species as doors if staining or paint grade 1x2s for paint

2x6s for toekick build up

1/2" or 3/4" plywood scraps for drawer bottoms

3 - Drawer Slides with integrated sides (we used these)

1/4" plywood for backs of cabinets

1x12 and 1x6 boards for drawer faces

Cut List

Cut list is for 18" Drawer Base - Adjust width to customize

2 - 3/4" plywood @ 23" x 29-1/4" (sides)

1 - 3/4" plywood @ 23" x 16-1/2" (bottom)

3 - 1x4 or similar @ 16-1/2" (top and back supports)

2 - 1x2 @ 16-1/2" (trim between drawers)

1 - 1/4" plywood @ 29-1/4" x 18" (back)

1 - 1x6 ripped down to 5-1/4" x 17-1/2" (drawer face)

2 - 1x12 @ 17-1/2" (drawer faces)

- Build toekick to fit all cabinets in a row

Tape Measure
Speed Square
Safety Glasses
Hearing Protection
Kreg Jig
Miter Saw
Table Saw
Brad Nailer
Power Sander
Iron for Edge Banding


Step 1

Apply edge banding if using to front edges of bottom and sides.  Drill 3/4" pocket holes along bottom side edges of bottom and attach to sides, with pocket holes on underside using 1-1/4" pocket hole screws and glue.

Step 2

Attach top support pieces as you did the bottom.

Step 3

Attach back support piece to sides and top support piece.

Step 4

Drill 3/4" pocket holes on back side of 1x2s and attach inside cabinet, flush to the front, positioned in the middle of drawer faces.  If using different drawer face sizes, place drawer faces on top of cabinet with 1/2" gaps in between, mark positions, and then attach the 1x2s centered on these gaps.

Step 5

Step 6

Build a toekick out of 2x6s the entire length of a run of cabinets, positioning supports so cabinet sides rest on top.  You can use pocket holes (1-1/2" setting and 2-1/2" pocket hole screws) or self tapping wood screws, 2-1/2" or longer. We also drilled pocket holes facing downward for attaching the cabinets to the subfloor on installation.

The cabinets are attached to the toekick on the inside, on installation in the room, by screwing through bottom of cabinet into toekick front and back.  

Step 7

For the drawers we used these drawer slides (as shown in video, please watch for more drawer detail).  Follow instructions with the slides for cutting the drawer bottoms.

For the taller 1x12 drawers, we used a taller back (1x8) and then tied a 1x2 board in from the back to the drawer face for additional support.  This also acts as a rail, keeping things in the drawers.



Tue, 01/28/2020 - 10:15

This post mentions that plans for toe kick drawers are going to be added, but I can’t find them. Did they ever go up?

Thanks for any help you can give me!