How to Make a Framed Cork Board with Wine Bottle Corks

I made this board for Mr. Awesome for our anniversary representing some of the bottles of wine we’d shared over the past year. I thought I had enough corks but apparently not… This is still a work in progress!

Most wine bottle corks are no longer “cork”, they are rubber which works even better for this project since they are easier to cut!


  • Wine bottle corks
  • Box cutter with a new blade
  • Frame with a wood back
  • Stain or paint for the frame
  • Hot glue gun and glue sticks

Let’s get started!

An existing frame can be used or a new one can be built. I used a frame from a cabinet door that I never finished. I routed a rabbet on the back side and glued a piece of 1/4″ lauan in the opening. I stained the frame then sealed it with polyurethane. I added a sawtooth hanger on the top and on the side so it could be hung vertically or horizontally, then added an antique-looking knob in the corner.


 Cut the corks in half. The rubber corks are very easy to cut but be careful!


Start gluing the corks  in place. Some of the corks are longer than others and small pieces will have to be trimmed to fit in the spaces but this adds to the rustic look I was trying to achieve!


If I hadn’t used such a large frame, this would not continue to be a work in progress! So I guess it may be a few more months before it is finally finished… Maybe for our next anniversary??

Until next time,

Happy Creating!

Tip Junkie handmade projects


How to Make DIY Art with Wallpaper

I saw the coolest wall decor in one of the high-end catalogs. I nearly choked on the price – $299.00!! Granted, the inspiration piece is described as being hand carved and is approximately 79″ long, but wow! I knew I could create something similar for a fraction of the cost!

I had some old door frames I built and never used. I figured they would make great wall art! The wallpaper I used is an awesome embossed and paintable pattern by Martha Stewart. Today, I’ll share my idea on creating this cool, decorative piece!



  • Frame constructed of 1x3s
  • Piece of 1/4″ lauan, Hardboard, or plywood to cover the front of the frame
  • Brad nails or stapler
  • Decorative, paintable wallpaper
  • Spray adhesive
  • Paint & Sponge roller

Let’s get started!

Determine the size of your artwork. Most wallpaper is 20.5″ wide. The frame will need to be at least 2″ to 3″ narrower than the wallpaper to allow for the wallpaper to fold over the edges. Construct the frame as follows:


Cut the 1/4″ material to fit the top of the frame. Glue and nail or staple in place. A thorough sanding isn’t necessary – only sand the rough edges.


Cut the piece of wallpaper and lightly draw trace around the frame so it will be centered. Thoroughly spray the paper with adhesive.

Lay the piece face down on a flat surface and center the frame piece on top of it.

Flip it over and smooth out any air bubbles.

Start folding the sides of the paper over the frame, then fold over to the back.


Secure to the frame with tape or staples.


I chose to leave my artwork unpainted (I’m sure I’ll change my mind later)- it looks more like the inspiration piece!

If you want to paint yours, using a foam roller and paint, lightly paint over the raised parts of the wallpaper. Another idea would be to thoroughly paint the wallpaper, let it dry, then use a contrasting color over the raised parts. Add a sawtooth hanger to the back and enjoy the new artwork you created!


Until next time,

Happy Creating!

P.S. Sorry about some of the pics… I had to move my work table to the shade to avoid sunburn… Again!!


Customizing a Closet Organizer

“Customizing a Closet Organizer” – is that an oxymoron?? Anyway, The Han’s closet is a mess. I’m ashamed to even show the before picture. One time I asked why the clothes were on the floor and she told me they “fell” off the hangers. Imagine that!

I wanted to build a closet organizer for her closet but when I drew it out and totaled the cost of the lumber, I decided it was going to cost more than I really wanted to spend. I have other projects to do, too, and a lot of the pre-packaged closet organizers are for larger closets plus a whole lot more expensive!

Anyway, I found this closet organizer at my local Home Depot and decided I could customize it using inexpensive materials or things I already have at home. I also wanted to add drawers to the main cubby tower and incorporate a few shelves.


  • Closet organizer – I used Closetmaid 12″ #7033
  • Melamine shelves & brackets
  • Plywood for the drawers
  • Auger Anchors (for securing into drywall where there is no stud)
  • 10″ drawer slides (I found mine on eBay – I paid $28.00 for five sets)
  • Drawer pulls
  • Drill


I drew a sort of “mock-up” in SketchUp… The wood grain represents the closet organizer and the white represents the modifications I’ll be making to it.

The existing closet had a shelf in it so I removed it and repainted the walls. I also removed the carpet and installed peel and stick vinyl planks…

I decided to re-space the shelves so I could add drawers. To start, I filled the existing holes for the shelves except for the ones at the top of each cubby section. I drew a pencil line where the top of the new shelf spacing would be. I used blue painter’s tape to mark the line, then drew a mark where the holes for the new shelves would be drilled. I placed scrap 2x4s under each side where I was drilling the holes. The tape and the 2x4s keep the melamine covering from chipping and produces nice, clean holes.


I cut the new shelf pieces (for the drawers) from plywood I already had on hand and sanded them. I added edge banding to one of the shorter edges, primed, then painted them and attached them to the sides with 1-1/4″ screws through the new holes I drilled. I put the tower in the closet and anchored it to the wall with the supplied brackets.


I cut the hanging rods down to size and installed them. I cannot cut a straight line with a hacksaw to save my life… Hopefully no one will notice! I used auger anchors to attach the rod hardware to the drywall. If you’ve never used these before, these are really awesome! The plastic anchor has threads on it that bore into the drywall, then they pop apart when the screw is inserted to hold everything securely!


I constructed the drawer boxes from 3/8″ plywood for the “new” shelves. I installed the drawer slide hardware for each drawer.


I decided to repurpose the shoe organizers The Han already had in her closet. The were the correct depth and one was the correct length  but I had to shorten the other. I cut the shelves down and pre-drilled holes for the screws. Pre-drilling, especially in MDF or particle board is a must as this keeps the screws from splitting the material. I put the side pieces back on and anchored the organizers to the cabinet with a couple of screws through each side piece. I had one shelf left from the shoe organizer I cut down, so I used it as the shelf on the other side. (I forgot to take a picture of the shelf I cut down but you’ll see it in the “after” picture!)

I bought two melamine shelves. One would be to install at the top above the closet rod and the other I would cut into pieces for the drawer fronts. I marked the shelf where the cuts would be made and covered the line with masking tape. Using masking tape keeps the melamine from chipping when running it through the table saw.

I filled theexposed edges with Dry Dex, then painted them white. I drilled the holes for the handles and installed the fronts on the drawer boxes.


I used metal shelf brackets for the upper shelves and installed them using the auger anchors. Of course, I forgot to take a picture of that, too!

Although this project took a lot of elbow-grease, I was able to keep the cost at a minimum. I spent about $75.00 – not too bad and now The Han has a much nicer closet system as long as the clothes don’t keep “falling off of the hangers”!!

What do you think?


Until next time,

Happy Creating!




Table Legs or Posts from 2x4s

How to Build Table Legs or Posts from 2x4s

A while back, I mentioned my friends, Chris and Elizabeth, who had an awesome idea using 2×4 lumber to make posts. I love this idea and decided to make the legs for my new dining room table using their method, which in my opinion is quite economical as I have a hard time finding untreated 4×4 posts in my area. Keep in mind that when posts are constructed this way, the actual measurements will be 3″ x 3″ so the dimensions of any pieces framing into these posts will have to be altered. Follow along as I share how to build table legs or posts from 2x4s!

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  • 2x4s
  • Glue
  • 2-1/2″ screws
  • Clamps
  • Drill & countersink bit
  • Wood filler
  • Table Saw
  • Tapering jig (optional)
  • Sander & sandpaper in 80, 120, & 220 grits

Begin by cutting your 2x4s to length. They can also be cut a little longer and after trimming on the table saw, can be cut to the finished length. Apply a liberal amount of glue to the face of one of the 2×4 pieces.

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When placing the other 2×4 piece on top, wiggle it a little as this creates suction and keeps the top piece from sliding off so they can be clamped together. Clamp until dry.

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Drill countersunk holes in the middle of one side and insert the screws.

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Fill the holes with wood filler. When dry, sand until smooth. Do not do the final sanding yet! Take the pieces to the table saw and raise the blade as far as it will go. Set the rip fence for 3-1/4″ from the blade and run each leg assembly through trimming one side only. Depending on how big the blade is, two passes may be necessary. Go slow and use caution!

how to build table legs or posts from 2x4s Nikon pics 062

Set the rip fence on the saw for 3″ and trim the other side of the leg assemblies.

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By trimming each side of the boards, this makes a nice square post!

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If using the optional tapering jig, set the jig to the desired taper (taking care to avoid the screws in the leg) and run the legs through the table saw. 

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 how to build table legs or posts from 2x4s Nikon pics 072

how to build table legs or posts from 2x4s Nikon pics 076In my case, I want the screw hole to face to the inside of the table so I tapered two legs with the screw holes facing up and two legs with the screw holes facing down. This gave me two “right” legs and two “left” legs.

Now the final sanding can be done starting with 80 grit, then 120, and finishing with 220.

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I used these legs to build the Restoration Hardware Inspired 1900s Boulangerie Table from The Design Confidential. These plans can be found here.

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how to build table legs or posts from 2x4s SANY0611

Give it a try – it is easier than you may think! ALWAYS use common sense safety practices! have any questions about how to build table legs or posts from 2x4s? Let me know at cher {at} designsbystudioc {dot} com.

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Installing Drawer Fronts

Easy Way to Install Drawer Fronts

Installing drawers fronts, to me, has always been intimidating. There is nothing worse than building a beautiful cabinet, only to install the drawer fronts incorrectly… It happens to me all the time and is extremely frustrating! Today, I will share an easy way to install drawer fronts for both overlay fronts and inset fronts for fool-proof installation.

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Starting with the overlay fronts, the drawer slides and boxes should already be installed.

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Mark the drawer fronts for the handle or knob placement and drill the holes. Align the front on the cabinet where it needs to be located. Clamp in place, if desired (I like to go commando and hold it in place).

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Drive a screw through one of the holes for the knob or handle into the drawer box. If using a handle or more than one knob, drive a screw in the second hole.

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Open the drawer and attach the drawer front from the inside by driving a screw through the drawer box into the front.

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Remove the temporary screws on the front and finish drilling the holes in the drawers for the knob or handle.

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Easy-peasy, right? For inset drawer fronts, the method is essentially the same. The front should be constructed so that it is 1/4″ smaller than the opening which leaves a 1/8″ gap around all sides. Shim the drawer front in place in the opening and drive the temporary screws through the holes for the knob or handle.

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Open the drawer and attach the front in the same manner as the overlay drawer.

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This is my favorite easy way to install drawer fronts. To me, it is quick and accurate! Have any questions? Let me know at cher {at} designsbystudioc {dot} com.




#DIY #Build #How-to

How to Make and Use a French Cleat

How to Make and Use a French Cleat

Does anyone know what a French Cleat is? Basically, a French Cleat consists of two pieces of wood, each with a bevel cut on one edge where one piece is mounted to the wall (secured to the studs) and the other piece is mounted to the back of the item being hung on the wall. It is used for heavier items such as large mirrors or pieces of art, and headboards that are not attached to the bed frame.

Because the weather where I live has been frustratingly unpredictable (warm and raining, or just too darn cold), we’ll have to settle for drawings to accompany the French Cleat instructions instead of photos – though I really need to make one to hang a mirror frame!

Start with a 1×3 almost as long as the item being hung. In my case, the cleat will be about 45″ long. Run the piece through the table saw cutting it in half with a 45 degree cut. (If a table saw is not an option, two 1x2s can be used with a router and a 45 degree chamfer bit).

How to Build and Use a French Cleat
How to Build and Use a French Cleat

One piece will be mounted to the back of the item being hung. The piece will be oriented so that the angle faces down and the longer part of the angle faces out. The other piece will be mounted to the wall and secured to the studs with the angle facing up, and the longer edge of the angle facing out. Make sure both pieces are level and straight!

To hang the heavy item, “stack” the cleat on the item being hung over the cleat mounted to the wall. The item is now securely hung on the wall!

I’m hoping the weather will straighten out so I can have just a few minutes to create the cleat I need and I will add real photos for a better idea!

How to Build a Drawer Box

How to Build a Drawer Box

There are several different ways to construct a drawer box and today, I’ll share the method I use to construct them. I used to dread making them because to me, I could never get them right. Through “practice” (and for me, I mean a lot of practice!) I think I have finally mastered the art – or at least my style – of building drawer boxes. Whether they are being constructed for an existing space or for a new project, the process is the same although there are a few differences.

Anyway, let’s get on with this show. There are generally two types of drawer fronts – inset and overlay. The construction method is the same for each type except for the size of the drawer front.

Start by measuring the opening for the drawer boxes as well as the depth of the cabinet. It is okay to use most of the depth of the cabinet for the boxes but they don’t need to be so long they hit the back of the cabinet. Stick with even numbers for the depth (12″, 14″, 16″, etc.) as that is how drawer slides are sold.

 How to Build a Drawer Box_Drawer Opening

 The only “rule” when planning drawer boxes is that when using drawer slides, the drawer boxes will always be 1″ narrower than the drawer opening. This allows for the drawer slide hardware to move freely. I’ve made the drawers too tight before and it is no fun to have to cut them down or worse – build another drawer box!

I prefer the flat, ball-bearing type of slides. They are easy to install and have a very smooth slide to them!

How to Build a Drawer Box Photo courtesy of
Photo courtesy of


So now that the measurements have been taken, it is time to start cutting the pieces starting with the bottom. The measurements for the bottom will be 1-1/2″ narrower than the width (to allow for the sides) and 1-1/2″ shorter than the length (to allow for the front and back). Then cut the pieces for the sides, which will be 1-1/2″ shorter than the finished length of the drawer (to allow for the front and back). Drill pocket holes in all four edges of the bottom, and in each end of the sides. Attach the sides to the bottom using glue and pocket hole screws.

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Now, cut the pieces for the front and back. If an inset drawer is being installed, the drawer front will be 3/8″ wider than the drawer box. This will keep the drawer slides from being visible when the drawer box is installed.

How to Build a Drawer Box_Inset Drawer_FB

When installing the drawer slides, they will need to be positioned 3/4″ back from the edge of the opening to allow for the front. Once the drawer is installed, there will be a 1/8″ gap around all sides of the front so it slides smoothly and looks nice in the opening.

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If an overlay drawer is being installed, the drawer front will overlap the box by 3/4″ on the sides, and 3/8″ at the top and bottom.

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The drawer slides will be  positioned at the edge of the opening.

How to Build a Drawer Box_Overlay Drawer

For an easy tutorial on installing drawer slides, I wrote a tutorial awhile back on How to Install Drawer Slides. There may need to be a few minor adjustments to the drawer slides but for the most part, they are usually right on the first try! Trust me!

If you have any questions about building drawer boxes or really anything for that matter, let me know! Drop me a line at cher {at} designsbystudioc {dot} com or designsbystudioc {at} gmail {dot} com. I’d love to help!

Until next time,

Happy Creating!

#DIY #woodworking #build

A Simple Guide to Building Your Own Kitchen Cabinets

A Simple Guide to Building Your Own Kitchen Cabinets

For some DIYers, the thought of remodeling a kitchen can seem overwhelming. Trust me, there is a lot of work involved but it is so worth it! A couple of years ago, I completely gutted my kitchen to the drywall. I tossed the old cabinets (which were very cheap and horrible) and built brand new cabinets myself. I used oak plywood and couldn’t be happier with the results. In fact, I still walk into the kitchen and am amazed at the fact that I did it myself!

A Simple Guide to Building Your Own Kitchen Cabinets SANY1697  A Simple Guide to Building Your Own Kitchen Cabinets SANY1698

At the time I started the kitchen, I was in the final semester of college earning my degree in drafting. As part of the program, I had to take classes on residential drafting. The information I learned in the classes is actually what prompted me to take on the kitchen project. In fact, I kept the book because there was a lot of helpful information.

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I watch a lot of DIY shows on remodeling kitchens and I am amazed at the amount of money spent. One show had a budget of $50,000 for the kitchen! Wow, I can buy a fixer-upper house in my area for that amount! I did look at cabinets in some of the big-box home improvement stores for ideas. There was no way I was going to spend a ton of money on mine when I knew I could build custom cabinets myself, out of oak, for a fraction of the cost. I spend less than $2000 including a new dishwasher and a new smooth cooktop.

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Planning of the cabinets is a very simple task but there are a few “standards” used in cabinet building…

1. The height of a base cabinet with a countertop is 36″.

2. The depth for a countertop is 24″.

3. The “toe-kick” (lower indentation part of a cabinet) is 4″ high by 3″ deep.

4. The distance between a countertop and the underside of the upper cabinet is 18″ – 24″, depending on the height of the ceiling.

5. The upper cabinets are generally 24″ long and 12″ deep.

When I started building my cabinets, I built them one at a time. In other words, I started with the cabinet for the sink, built it, then installed it. To me, it was the best way to get an accurate measurement of the remaining cabinets to be built. Next, I moved on to the corner base cabinet which measures 36″ long (each way from the corner) and 22″ deep. Then, I created a space for the dishwasher. After that, I “filled in” the remaining areas with cabinets. I did the same thing with the upper cabinets. I built open cabinets on either side of the window, then built the corner cabinet.

A Simple Guide to Building Your Own Kitchen Cabinets Kitchen 2  A Simple Guide to Building Your Own Kitchen Cabinets Kitchen 3

Another thing to keep in mind is that the cabinets should not rest directly on the floor. Just like no corner is ever square, no floor is ever totally flat. I used adjustable cabinet legs that I purchased from Rockler. This way, the cabinets and countertop would be level. If I ever had a water leak, I would not want my cabinets to be ruined and I adjusted these legs  so the cabinets sit 4″ off of the floor.

I used Purebond plywood for the cabinets. Purebond is formaldehyde-free plywood with a fantastic grain pattern in the veneer. I did not use stain, I applied a coat of satin polyurethane in order to let that beautiful grain show through!

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There are numerous ways to assemble the cabinets. I used the Kreg pocket hole jig. It was easy, quick, and buying the screws in bulk is very economical!

See? Planning and building kitchen cabinets is very easy but there is one extremely important tip to remember – make sure the cabinet will fit through the door before it is assembled!! Don’t ask me how I know this!!

If you have any questions, shoot me a message at cher {at} designsbystudioc {dot} com or designsbystudioc {at} gmail {dot} com. I’m here to help!

Until next time,

Happy Creating!

#DIY #woodworking #build

Different Types of Drawer Slides…

I think drawer slides are the greatest invention since sliced bread… Once I’d mastered the “art” of drawer slide installation (click here for an easy how-to), I turned my attention toward the types of drawer slides I prefer to use.

I started with the regular low-profile drawer slides. They are inexpensive and easy to install,  and are placed at the bottom of the drawer. Though they are not for drawers with a lot of weight to them, they are very good for drawers in nightstands or dressers, or even pullout trays in desks for keyboards. They can be found in any home improvement store but I found that the lengths are limited.


Photo courtesy of
Photo courtesy of

I’ve since “graduated” to the ball-bearing type of slides. I love these because they can be positioned anywhere on the drawer (not just the bottom) and slide so smoothly. They are better at handling heavier drawers like the trash bin I built for my kitchen. They are so much easier to install, especially with the drawer slide jig made by Kreg.


Photo courtesy of
Photo courtesy of

If you’d like to get extra fancy, the Blum Tandembox slides will have you spoiled in no time. They are actually the slide and drawer side in one. You add the bottom, back, and drawer front. They are self-closing (which contributes to the being spoiled part) and are very simple to install. I installed ten of them in my kitchen when I remodeled and couldn’t be happier! Now my sweet little Miss Door Slammer cannot slam the drawers!


Photo courtesy of
Photo courtesy of

I purchase all of my slides and hardware through Rockler. I am a huge fan of Rockler for several reasons – their prices are unbeatable and much lower than the big box stores (plus, they frequently run a “free shipping with $25.00 purchase” deal). The slides come in a variety of sizes and they have fantastic customer service. I purchased the Tandembox slides from them for $14.99 a set which is a stellar deal considering they generally retail for about $40.00 a set! Their drawer slides are very popular because I’ve been waiting for some that have been backordered since November!


At the beginning of this article, I included a link for a how-to on installing drawer slides. In that article, I show how to install the drawer slides explained above except for the Tandembox because they are installed the same way as the ball-bearing slides.

If you have any questions, drop me a line at cher [at] designsbystudioc [dot] com or designsbystudioc [at] gmail [dot] com!

Until next time,

Happy Creating!

How to Install Drawer Slides

How to Install Drawer Slides

When I first started woodworking, I found drawer slides to be very intimidating! I could not figure out how to get the hardware on the cabinet side to line up perfectly with the hardware on the drawers! I’ve always thought that I measured correctly but apparently not. The drawers were always crooked and did not close properly. I definitely attribute that to user error!

Upon further research, I discovered the Kreg drawer slide jig. It is magnetic and accommodates a wide variety of drawer slide types. It holds the cabinet-side hardware in place and has a guide which keeps the slide perpendicular to the front of the cabinet allowing you to screw the slides in place. Even more cool, I can locate the drawer slides back from the front edge for inset drawer fronts!  Awesome, huh? It certainly makes drawer slide installation a whole lot easier and it doesn’t cost a fortune which makes this a worthwhile investment!

How to Install Drawer Slides 1

Today, I’m going to show you how easy it is to use to install drawer slides with a drawer slide jig…


  • Drawer slide jig
  • Drawer slides
  • Drill
  • Screws for the slides


The cabinet should be assembled to the point of installing the drawer slides. If the drawer fronts are inset (flush with the face of the cabinet), the slides will need to be located 3/4” from the front edge. If the drawer fronts lay over the outside of the cabinet, the slides will be located flush with the front edge of the cabinet.

Attach the drawer slide to the magnet. There will be a lip on the slide jig to align it with the front edge of the cabinet.

How to Install Drawer Slides 2  How to Install Drawer Slides

 For this example, I am using ball-bearing slides and there is a shelf where each drawer will be placed. The bottom of the jig will rest on the shelf and the front part of the jig (in front of the handle) will rest on the front of the cabinet.

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Once the jig is in position, drive the screws into the holes provided on the slide.

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Remove the jig and attach the drawer hardware to the drawer. The hardware can also be removed if it makes it easier to attach the hardware.

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This method also works for the roller slides as shown in the next example.

For inset drawers, you will need to mark the inside of the cabinet where the slides will be located. For this example, the drawer fronts are inset, so I made a mark 3/4” in from the front edge.

How to Install Drawer Slides 9


Attach the cabinet-side hardware to the jig. Position the jig and slide so they line up with the marks, and drive the screws. Repeat for all cabinet-side slides.

 How to Install Drawer Slides 10  How to Install Drawer Slides 11

Attach the drawer-side hardware to the bottom of the drawer and make any necessary adjustments.


Hope this helps take some of the frustration out of using drawer slides! Have any questions? Let me know!

Until next time,

Happy Creating!

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(I am not affiliated with Kreg in any way – just a big fan!)