DIY Built-in Linen Cabinet

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Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape

  • Stud finder

  • Pencil

  • Circular saw

  • 1/2-inch hardwood

  • 1½-inch wood screws

  • 1/2-inch plywood

  • Nail gun

  • 2 metal hinges

  • Paint or wood stain

  • Clear varnish or polyurethane

  • 2-inch wood screws

A built-in linen cabinet is a convenient place to store guest towels.
Image Credit: Jupiterimages/Creatas/Getty Images

Adding a linen closet to your bathroom or hallway can be as simple as constructing a built-in cabinet. A built-in cabinet is attached directly to the wall, making it sturdier and potentially a more efficient use of space than a stand-alone cabinet. Built-in cabinets are a great custom solution for matters such as linen storage. Once you build your own linen cabinet, you will have a place to space to store your clean sheets and towels out of sight so they will be handy when you have guests over.


Step 1

Measure the space where you intend to install your built-in linen cabinet, using a measuring tape. Take the measurement along the wall to find the width and measure out from the wall to determine how deep to make your cabinet. If you want to build floor-to-ceiling cabinets, measure the height of the wall. For smaller cabinets, simply measure vertically along the wall from the floor to the desired height.


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Step 2

Use a stud finder to locate the studs in the wall where you intend to install your finished cabinet. Mark the position of the studs lightly on the wall in pencil.

Step 3

Use a circular saw to cut two pieces of 1/2-inch hardwood to the width and depth of your linen cabinet as determined in Step 1. These boards will be the top and bottom panels for your cabinet. Cut two more pieces of 1/2-inch hardwood using the depth and height of your cabinet for the side panels.


Step 4

Arrange the four boards you just cut in a rectangular shape, sandwiching the side panels between the ends of the top and bottom panels. Drive 1½-inch wood screws through the top and bottom panels into the side panels to secure the frame.

Step 5

Cut a sheet of 1/2-inch plywood to the total width and height of your cabinet using the circular saw. Lay the plywood flat on top of the rectangular frame you just constructed to serve as the back panel.


Step 6

Drive nails from a nail gun through the plywood into the thickness of the frame to attach it. By attaching a back panel to the cabinet rather than simply screwing the panels into the wall you can achieve added support for your shelves.

Step 7

Measure and mark the intended position of your shelves along the side panels, in pencil. You may choose to install all the shelves at a standard distance from one another or vary the heights to accommodate different types of textiles.


Step 8

Cut your shelves out of 1/2-inch hardwood using the depth measurement and the width measurement of the cabinet, minus 1 inch to account for the thickness of the side panels. Dimensional lumber is generally shorter than the figure it's sold as, so your 1/2-inch hardwood boards may not be exactly a half-inch thick, so measure them to be sure, and make the necessary adjustments to your cabinet dimensions.


Step 9

Slide the shelves horizontally between the side panels where you made the pencil marks and attach them by driving 1½-inch wood screws through the edges into the side and back panels.

Step 10

Construct a door for your linen cabinet by cutting a sheet of 1/2-inch plywood to the same dimensions as the back panel. Lay this panel flat on top of the open side of the cabinet frame and install two metal hinges along one edge of the door. Screw the other side of each hinge into the cabinet frame.


Step 11

Paint or stain your completed linen cabinet to match the existing decor in your room. You may also choose to apply one or more coats of clear varnish or polyurethane to protect the cabinet from water damage.

Step 12

Install the linen cabinet by holding it flat against the wall in the desired position. Open the cabinet door and drive 2-inch wood screws through the inside of the back panel into the wall studs every 10 inches.


Keep the size of your linens in mind when determining the depth of your cabinet. If you plan to use your linen cabinet mainly for towel storage you may need a deeper cabinet than you would for sheets.


Always wear protective gear and exercise caution when working with power tools like the circular saw and nail gun.


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