How to Make Shutter Shelf Cabinets

Using shutter doors, shelving board, and a little creativity, you can easily DIY these clever storage units. Storage cabinets, crafted from louvre doors, add an architectural element to a doorway. Use our how-to guide to add elegant organization to your home.

Few Hours
Less Than $500

What You Need for This Project

Assembling a Cabinet

  1. 1

    Prep Louvre Doors

    Remove all hardware from two sets of bifold louvre doors, leaving four panels to make your cabinet. Purchase the primed and painted white doors to save work time.

  2. Steps:

  1. 2

    Pre-Drill the First Panel

    Select one panel for the back of the unit. Pre-drill six holes approximately 12 in. apart down the left side of a panel. Place this panel at a 90-degree angle to the back panel, and secure with 2 1/2 in. coarse drywall screws.

  2. Steps:

  1. 3

    Pre-Drill the Other Side of the Panel

    Repeat Step 2 on other side of back panel.

    Tip: For a clean look, make sure all louvres are facing down.

  2. Steps:

  1. 4

    Make the Top & Bottom

    Create a top and bottom for the shelving unit out of pine board measuring approximately 10 in. deep x 12 in. wide.

    Pre-drill holes along the sides of panel at top and bottom, and secure the boards with 2 1/2 in. coarse drywall screws.

  2. Steps:

  1. 5

    Cut the Shelves

    Select the number of shelves needed for the unit, and cut boards 9 1/2 in. deep x 12 in. wide for each shelf, again pre-drilling holes on the panels where the shelves will be installed.

    Secure boards with 2 1/2 in. coarse drywall screws.

  2. Steps:

  1. 6

    Secure the Base

    Create a base for the structure using a 2 x 4, cutting two pieces down to approximately 14 in. and two pieces down to 11 in.

    Secure to the shelving unit by nailing through the bottom board at an angle and attaching the 2 x 4 underneath.

  2. Steps:

  1. 7

    Mitre the Moulding

    Mitre three pieces of any 3 1/2 in. moulding to create a base for the structure and attach to the 2 x 4 base using finishing nails.

    Tip: Leave off the back so the unit will sit closer to the wall.

  2. Steps:

  1. 8

    Put the Last Panel On

    Attach the last panel to the front of the unit using three flat hinges at the top, middle, and bottom. You may need to shave off some of the panel to ensure that it closes smoothly and clears the base moulding.

  2. Steps:

  1. 9

    Fit a Cap on Top

    Create a cap (piece of wood measuring 12 in. by 10 1/2 in.) to add height using pine board and quarter round moulding. The cap, secured with wood glue and finishing nails, fits on top of the unit almost like a hat. Leave it open for a future option of installing a light fixture.

  2. Steps:

  1. 10

    Conceal the Screws

    Once assembled, patch and paint over any screws with primer. Shelving, moulding, and the cap need to be primed and painted white.

  2. Steps:

  1. 11

    Paint & Glaze

    Colourwash the cabinet for a finishing touch. Mix one part flat interior latex paint in the desired colour with three parts clear glaze. Paint the glaze over the shutters, wait a minute or so, then wipe away some of the colour with clean rags. Let the paint dry completely.

  2. Steps:

  1. 12

    Make the Second Cabinet

    Repeat steps to make a second cabinet.

  2. Steps:

How to Terms

Tools, products, materials, techniques, building codes, and local regulations change; therefore, Lowe's assumes no liability for omissions, errors, or the outcome of any project. The reader must always exercise reasonable caution, follow current codes and regulations that may apply, and is urged to consult with a licensed professional if in doubt about any procedures.

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