How to Build a Narrow Cabinet

A narrow cabinet has no additional construction challenges in comparison to a standard cabinet, but when installed it must be supported by its environment or be attached to the wall to prevent toppling. The narrow cabinet may be customized to fit any size of opening or storage object, and can easily be adapted regarding the number of doors or shelves.

Things You'll Need

  • 2 plywood boards, 1/2 by 12 by 48 inches
  • 2 plywood boards, 1/2 by 6 by 12 inches
  • Drill
  • Drill bits
  • Wood screws, 2 inch
  • Plywood board, 1/2 by 6 by 49 inches
  • 3 side-mount cabinet hinges
  • Wood screw, 1/2 inch
  • Plywood board, 1/2 by 6 by 48 1/2 inches
  • Shelf boards, ½ by 5 by 12 inches
  • Pegs


    • 1

      Lay down two 1/2-by-12-by-48-inch boards with their long, thin sides against the working surface. Position these boards, which will be the sideboards of the cabinet, so they are parallel to each other, about 6 inches apart.

    • 2

      Push a 1/2-by-6-by-12-inch board up against one end of the sideboards and adjust it so the outside edges are even. Drill two holes through this board, which will be the top board of the cabinet, and into each sideboard, for a total of four holes. Attach the three boards together with 2-inch wood screws through the holes. Repeat on the other end with another 1/2-by-6-by-12-inch board, which will be the bottom board.

    • 3

      Set a 1/2-by-6-by-49-inch board on top of the frame so the outsides of the board are even with the outsides of the frame. Drill holes every 6 inches through this board, which will be the rear board, and into the frame boards. Attach the rear board to the frame boards with 2-inch wood screws placed in the holes.

    • 4

      Flip the cabinet frame and position a 1/2-by-6-by-48 1/2-inch board on top of the frame, parallel to the rear board. Center this board, which will be the door, so that it is evenly spaced on the frame. Position three evenly spaced side-mount cabinet hinges between the door and the frame. Mark the screw locations and drill holes for each screw at a marking. Attach the hinges to the door and the frame with 1/2-inch wood screws.

    • 5

      Hold a 1/2-by-5-by-12-inch shelf board within the cabinet at the desired position. Mark the sideboards with the location and drill two holes at that level in each sideboard. Place pegs within the holes and set the shelf board on top of the pegs, after righting the cabinet. Repeat as desired for additional shelves.

Tips & Warnings

  • Attach the top of the cabinet to the wall studs if not otherwise supported by drilling through the rear board and into the wall.
  • Do not stand or lean on the cabinet for any support.
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  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/ Images

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