How to Build Home Office Cabinets


If you are a do-it-yourselfer, building cabinets for your home office will be a demanding but budget-friendly project. Not only will you be able to eliminate home office clutter, you will also be able to design and build your own furniture for a fraction of the price of new store-bought cabinetry. Affordable home office cabinets are attainable if you follow a few basic steps.

Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure
  • Level
  • Masking tape
  • Table or circular saw
  • 4-by-8-foot sheets of furniture-grade plywood
  • 3/4-by-3/4-inch dado joints
  • 1/2-by-3/4-inch rabbet joints
  • Glue
  • Clamps
  • Nail set
  • Hardwood
  • Pine
  • Nail filler or wood putty
  • 100-grit sandpaper
  • 120-grit sandpaper
  • Stain or paint

Design the Cabinets

  • Pencil in on grid paper the location, type and size of cabinets you want in your home office. Roughly sketch and outline cabinet plans on walls with a tape measure and a level. Mark the layout on carpet with masking tape.

  • Calculate the size of the cabinets, and choose the material for your top (countertop material or furniture-grade birch hardwood).

  • List on paper the name of each part of the cabinet, its dimensions, the number you will need to cut and the material needed to create each piece.

  • Cut plywood panels with a table or circular saw for the sides, top, bottom, back and any interior shelves.

  • Add 3/4-by-3/4-inch dado joints for shelving. Add 1/2-by-3/4-inch rabbet joints to each piece.

Assemble Cabinets

  • Dry fit the box to make sure everything fits. Add a thin layer of glue to the dado joints. Slip in shelving, and tap it into place with a mallet.

  • Attach the back. Add mounting strips to the upper back edge of boxes. Glue and nail the back to the box. Clamp and let set overnight.

  • Build the face frame for the box. Build a solid hardwood face frame to cover the edge of the plywood box, and glue and nail it onto the box.

  • Assemble doors with solid hardwood and drawers with pine.

  • Apply the finish. Nail set all nail heads, and fill with nail filler or wood putty. Cover nail holes with filler. Sand before finishing with 100-grit, then with 120-grit paper. Stain or paint cabinetry.

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  • Photo Credit at home office image by Pix by Marti from
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