Alrighty guys. This is not a small project … It’s completely doable, but it does take a little time.
Our friends just bought their first house and were in need of some more counter and storage space in the kitchen, so I volunteered to build an island. We found this beautiful island from Pottery Barn, and I thought I’d give it a go.
This is the biggest build I’ve completed to date and I’m just totally in love with how it turned out. I still can’t believe I pulled it off haha 🙂
If you’re looking for a beautiful island, but can’t stomach the price, this DIY is for you!
Enjoy the free plans!
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TOOLS & SUPPLIES:
- 4 x 4 | 2 @ 8′
- 2 x 4 | 5 @ 8′
- 1 x 2 | 1 @ 8′
- 1 x 4 | 3 @ 8′
- 1 x 6 | 2 @ 6′
- 1 x 8 | 1 @ 6′
- 1 x 10 | 1 @ 6′
- 1 x 12 | 1 @ 6′
- 1/4″ Plywood | 2′ x 4′
- Butcher Block Counter Top | 25″ x 50″ (found at Home Depot)
Cuts for Island:
- 4 x 4 | 4 @ 30 3/4″ (legs)
- 2 x 4 | 8 @ 16″ (side & middle frame top & bottom)
- 2 x 4 | 4 @ 39″ (front & back frame top & bottom)
- 2 x 4 | cut to fit X braces (see plans)
- 1 x 2 | 1 @ 25 3/4″ (face frame)
- 1 x 4 | 10 @ 21 1/2″ (bottom shelf slats)
- 1 x 10 | 2 @ 23 3/4″ (side carcass)
- 1 x 12 | 1 @ 25 3/4″ (middle carcass)
- 1 x 12 | 2 @ 19 1/8″ (middle shelves)
Cuts for Both Drawers:
- 1 x 6 | 4 @ 10″ (sides)
- 1 x 6 | 4 @ 14 3/8″ (front & back)
- 1 x 8 | 2 @ 18 1/2″ (face)
- 1/4″ Plywood | 2 @ 14 7/8″ x 9″ (base)
Start with the sides of the kitchen island.
Glue and attach two 2 x 4s with 2 1/2″ wood screws (inserted from the back to hide them). These will serve as the top side frame for the island. Make two sets – one for each side.
Position the side carcass flush with the back front corner of the top & bottom 2 x 4 frames. This will be on the interior at the front of the island.
Attach the side carcass to the top and bottom side frame with 1 1/4″ pocket hole screws and wood glue. Place pocket holes at the back of the frame in order to best hide them. Make two sets – one for each side.
Attach the side frames to the legs.
Place pocket holes on the interior top frame 2 x 4s and use 2 1/2″ pocket hole screws and wood glue to attach. Also place pocket holes on the bottom of the bottom frame 2 x 4s and use 2 1/2″ pocket hole screws and wood glue to attach.
Cut the X braces to fit and attach.
The easiest way to cut the X braces is to measure the diagonal length once you have the side frame assembled and use a circular saw to cut from the center of the 2 x 4 at 45 to each side. This will give you a 90 corner at the correct length.
Place the continuous X brace first. Then cut the first 90 corner for the two-part X brace, position it in the frame and mark where to cut it for the intersection with the continuous brace. Repeat for the second half of the two-part X brace.
**If you have questions, please leave a comment below. I’m doing my best to explain how I made the X, but I realize it’s a little muddled. There are a million ways to make these cuts work, so use your best judgement for your situation and the tools you have available.
I did not put dimensions on the diagram. As I was building, I found that it was best to measure the frame as-built. Dimensional lumber can be difficult to get exactly lined up, and some of the dimensions change slightly as you go.
Alternatively, you can use a miter saw to cut the X brace at a continuous angle on each end, rather than two 45 cuts. Line the 2 x 4 up with the frame, mark the angle, and cut to fit.
Once you have the X brace assembled, attach to the side frame with wood glue and 2 1/2″ wood screws. I drilled screws through the bottom of the bottom side frame into the X brace to hold it in place. You could also use pocket holes at the back of the X brace. Use your best judgement and the tools you have available.
Attach the front & back frame to the side frames. Use wood glue and 2 1/2″ pocket hole screws placed on the bottom of the front and back frame.
Position the middle carcass 3/4″ back from the front of the frame (leaving room for the face frame), and attach at the center of the island. Attach on the top and bottom with 1 1/4″ pocket hole screws and wood glue.
Place the face frame centered over the middle carcass and attach with 1 1/2″ finish nails and wood glue.
Add the bottom shelf slats and attach with 1 1/2″ finish nails and wood glue. Space the slats about 1/4″ apart.
Because the 1 x 2 face frame is wider than the middle carcass, wood shims are necessary to set the drawer slides wider than the face frame so they slide.
I used spare 1 x 2 pieces cut at 10″ and attached them to the middle carcass with wood glue. I clamped them in place until the wood glue dried and then just used 1 1/2″ screws to attach the drawer slides so that they extended through both the shim and the middle carcass.
I positioned the wood shims 4″ down from the top frame so that they sat half way down the side of the drawers once they were in place.
I used corner brackets for the middle shelves and set the shelves 9″ up from the bottom shelf.
Sand and finish as desired.
I used Minwax Dark Walnut and spray-on Semi-Gloss Polyurethane.
I decided to go with spray polyurethane to save time. I cannot recommend it enough. It cut the finish time down by dayzzz!
For real. It was amazing.
Total game changer.
I used about three cans and did four coats to ensure adequate coverage. It was a piece of cake to finish this bad boy up and the poly is sooooo smooth. 🙂
Once it’s all stained and poly-ed, attach the butcher block counter-top from the bottom with corner brackets. The corner brackets allow the wood to move a little as it shrinks and swells so that it won’t split or pull the island frame off square.
You can purchase butcher block counter-tops from Home Depot or Amazon. I used a 48″ x 25″ x 1 1/2″ butcher block top.
I built the drawers for this island using a dado cut for the base, which I’ll explain below. However, if you would prefer the no-fancy-tool version, I have a different tutorial here. Simply adjust the measurements to fit the island.
I waited to build the drawers until I had finished the rest of the island….