Build a Shallow Wall Cabinet

An Easy to Build Cabinet For Any Area of the Home

The plans to build a shallow wall cabinet are inspired by a set of wall cabinets I saw at IKEA, and can be used in so many areas of the home including the bathroom, entryway, living room, etc. I really wanted to build at least ONE for my kitchen to hold coffee mugs!

build a shallow wall cabinet dimensions

The plans use 1×6 boards and feature adjustable shelving inside. The door is constructed using 1x3s for the frame and 1/4″ plywood for the center. This is the perfect cabinet for those new to furniture building because of the straight cuts – nothing fancy here!

The holes for the adjustable shelving are drilled using a shelf pin jig. It’s a super-easy process that yields awesome results, and if fixed shelving is preferred, that is an easy adjustment to make. Also, the width and height of the cabinet can be changed to fit your needs or a custom space. So, let’s get on with it…


  • 1-1/2″ screws
  • 2″ brad nails
  • 1-1/4″ pocket hole screws
  • Shelf pins & shelf pin jig (<– affiliate link!)
  • 1 set of hinges
  • 1 magnetic catch (<– affiliate link!)
  • 1 drawer pull or handle
  • 3″ screws for mounting to the wall
  • Sandpaper (80, 120, 220 grits)
  • Finishing supplies


  • 1 – 1×2 at 4′
  • 2 – 1×3 at 8′
  • 3 – 1×6 at 8′
  • 1 – 2′ x 4′ sheet of 1/4″ plywood

Cut List:

  • 2- 1×6 at 32″ – Cabinet Base Sides
  • 2 – 1×6 at 24″ – Cabinet Base Top and Bottom
  • 2 – 1×2 at 24″ – Hanging Cleats
  • 3 – 1×6 at 23-3/4″ – Shelves
  • 2 – 1×3 at xx” – Door Frame
  • 2 – 1×3 at xx” – Door Frame
  • 1 – 1/4″ plywood at xx” x xx” – Door Panel

Notes About the Project:

  • A router with a 1/4″ rabbeting bit will be needed to allow the door panel to fit inside the frame.
  • Sand each piece before assembly – this makes things much easier!
  • A shelf pin jig with a drill bit is also handy for the adjustable shelves.
  • A pocket hole jig will be needed to assemble the door frame but it’s not required – screws can be driven from the outside of the vertical pieces into the horizontal pieces, if desired.
  • Have fun and finish the cabinet however you desire!

build a shallow wall cabinet

Step One

Cut the pieces for the top, bottom and sides. Drill the holes for the shelf pins: the jig should come with a bit that has a spring on it so that the holes are drilled to a certain depth the accommodate the pins and not go all the way through the board. The holes in the jig will also be evenly spaced, and the jig should have a guide on the side to align it with the lumber. I set mine for 1″ in from each edge and drilled approximately 17 holes!

build a shallow wall cabinet shelf pins

Step Two

Assemble the cabinet base by securing the sides to the top and bottom using glue and 1-1/2″ screws. This is where a set of corner clamps (<– affiliate link!) will come in handy! The clamps will keep the box square as it is being assembled.

build a shallow wall cabinet base

Step Three

Cut the pieces for the hanging cleats. Secure them inside the top and bottom of the back using glue and 1-1/2″ screws.

build a shallow wall cabinet cleats

Step Four

Cut the pieces for the face frame. I like to install the side pieces first, making sure that the outside edge of the frame is flush with the outside face of the sides, then secure them in place using glue and 2″ brad nails. Then, I secure the horizontal pieces for the top and bottom in the same manner except that the outside edges will be flush with either the top face or the bottom face.

build a shallow wall cabinet frame

Step Five

Cut the pieces for the door frame and drill pocket holes in each end of the shorter pieces. Make sure they are close to one edge to allow for the rabbet (the groove for the center panel). Assemble the door frame using glue and 1-1/4″ pocket hole screws.

build a shallow wall cabinet door frame

Step Six

With a router and a rabbeting jig, cut a rabbet (a groove) along the inside of the frame on the back face. Need help? Check out this tutorial!

Step Seven

Cut the piece for the door panel. The corners can be rounded to fit in the frame or the corners of the rabbet on the frame can be squared using a chisel.

Apply a thin bead of glue along the rabbet and insert the door panel. Clamp it in place or apply a few weighted objects to keep it in place until the glue dries.

build a shallow wall cabinet door panel

Step Eight

Install the hinges on the door according to the manufacturer’s instructions, then install the door in the cabinet. Install the magnetic catch either at the top or bottom (or both!) of the door, then install the knob or handle.

build a shallow wall cabinet door

Step Nine

Finish the cabinet, and door as desired.

Step Ten

Install the shelf pins, then measure the distance between the faces of the shelf pins to cut the pieces for the shelves (maybe cut them a hair shorter so you know they’ll fit!). I used four shelves because I’m storing mugs in my cabinet and it appears that I have a lot of coffee mugs.

build a shallow wall cabinet mugs

My project is still a work in progress… I couldn’t wait, though, and already mounted it to the wall (with screws into the wall studs). I’ll paint it later, and I still have to build the door.

So, that’s it! This great little cabinet is a quick and easy project! Have questions about the plans to build a shallow wall cabinet? Leave a comment below!

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