How to Build a Cabinet with Drawers and Doors

Knowing the basics of woodworking can save you a lot of money as constructing your cabinet can cut the price in half. It can also be a great pastime if you have a lot of time in your hand.

One of the basic jobs of wood works is building a cabinet with drawers and doors. A cabinet consists of the carcass or cases with two sides, bottom and top, a back and a front. Depending on your preferences, the front can contain doors or drawers or both.

Here I will discuss the simple and basic steps of building a cabinet with drawers and doors. So let’s get started!

Gather Your Supplies:

The materials I have mentioned below are for building a standard cabinet which is 24”. The list for your supplies may vary according to what you like.


  • Plywood for the sides, bottom, and back
  • Solid wood panel for the door panels
  • Solid wood for a door frame or drawer front
  • Drawer slides for the number of drawers your installing
  • Hinges for cabinet doors
  • Door or drawer pulls
  • 1-1/4” pocket hole screws

Tools needed:

  • A table saw, or circular saw for cutting
  • A drilling machine
  • Pocket hole jig


Plan the Type of Cabinet You Want

To start any task, the first thing you should do is to start planning it, and the step you would take first is to measure the site where you want to place your cabinet.

If you are new to this, then you can build a standard 21” or 24” cabinet. The standard width for your cabinet can be from 12” to 60” and keep in mind about the size of the doors and drawers when planning the width.

Then the next task would be to buy all the supplies you need to make your cabinet with doors and drawers.

Cut the Sides and The Bottoms

For the sides and bottoms, it is wise to choose the material for durability. You won’t see the sides, and so the appearance doesn’t matter. People commonly choose plywood or particle board for building a cabinet.

Plywood is preferable for this box construction method. Take out the 3/4” plywood and cut out the side pieces with the help of a table saw or circular saw. The size of this panel will be 33.5” and 24” wide. For the toe kick, a 3” x 3” notch is cut out at the bottom front corner from each piece of side panels.

You have to cut the bottom pieces at 24” deep but cut the width depending on the location of your cabinet. You have to make sure that the width of the bottom piece matches the width of the side piece.

Cut the Top, Front and Back Panels

You can use 1×6 lumber to cut the top, front and back panels. You have to keep in mind that you should cut according to the width of your bottom piece. Otherwise, it won’t fit and fall apart which you don’t want.

It is imperative that you choose good quality lumber for the panels. As a result, your cabinet will be withstanding, and it will also provide strength to the whole structure.

Cut the Facing Panels

The facing panels are the most important part of your cabinet. It is because you need to determine the size of the facing panels according to the number of drawers and doors you want to install. As mentioned above, you can use 1×6 lumber boards.

Joining All the Parts

After cutting all the pieces for your cabinet, now it is time to assemble all the parts and join them. You can choose several methods to join all the parts. For instance, you can use resin glue, or you can make pocket holes or both.

Pocket holes are a good option to maintain structural integrity. So, I would prefer using this method. You can use a pocket holes jig for completing this task.

After making all of the pocket holes on the panels, you have to secure the side pieces with the back, top, and bottom parts. Then the frame panels are attached to the remaining structure.

Strengthening the Joints

For the cabinet to last long, the corners of the cabinet should be reinforced by adding a few strips of plywood or use corner brackets and screws. It will also add a little more strength to the perimeter of it.

Install the Drawers

At first, you have to cut all the parts for installation of the drawer. Then, you need to build the bodies of the drawer by attaching 3/4” plywood with 3/8” plywood by the help of glue and pocket holes together which makes the job very quick and easy.

Then comes the drawer fronts which is cut out from 1×6 lumber. You can cut all the drawer fronts out of the same board and finish it by adding the drawer pull.

The most important part of installing a drawer is the drawer slides. You need to measure the slides for your drawer first and then screw it to the cabinet on each side. After that, mount your drawer into the cabinet and check if it fits perfectly.

Install the Doors

Generally, people use frame-panel doors for cabinets due to its simplicity. Firstly, cut out the dadoes of the frame pieces. Then glue together the pieces of the frame as well as insert the panel for the door after cutting it to the right size.

After completing this, you need to drill holes for installing the door hinges. Then screw together the door to the cabinet. Finally, you have to attach the door handles to the door.

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