DIY: Kitchen Island

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OK so I have a confession to make. Remember back in 2013 when I redid my kitchen… well I ran out of steam before I got to the Kitchen Island. I know, you’re horrified. It’s been 2 years. What did you do? Well, I’ll tell you what I did. I did absolutely nothing. I left it, and just worked around it. That’s right, I left all the stuff that was meant to go into the kitchen island in the boxes and left them in the middle of the kitchen. 

Before Kitchen Island

Just in case you where having trouble picturing it, I took a picture for you. Yep that’s right. TWO YEARS!! When I needed something I would just fish around in a box (or two) to find what I needed, and when it was cleaned, I would just put it back in the box. OMG, I know many of you are disgusted. But I just couldn’t drum up the energy to build the kitchen island, and I figured that it was only temporary so I could deal with it. Needless to say, a week turned into two, and a month turned into a year, and before I knew it, it had been TWO years. Where did the time go. 

Then Christmas came along and I had the opportunity to work in a REAL kitchen with a REAL island, and I knew that I couldn’t deal with it anymore. I might be dealing with a budget of ZERO DOLLARS, but it had to be done. This girl needed her kitchen island. 

So here is the story of how I built my kitchen island for less than $10 (I know, I ended up over budget, but still, it was close to free). 

First came my wood fairy (we’ll call them B&L), they decided to replace their old cedar fence and gave me all the old wood. We love B&L (especially considering that there was enough that I can do a couple of projects out of the wood…. 😉 ). 

Reclaimed Cedar

But then, I was a little concerned that the wood wouldn’t be strong enough to build the kitchen island out of. It did appear to be old, and some of the spots where in pretty rough shape. Would it be stable enough, or was there just too much rot… 

Then came along my other wood fairy (I know, how many wood fairies can a girl have – we shall call this one SLP) and reminded me that she had a bunch of wood left over from when her was woodworking. He passed away in 2010 and she inherited a stock pile of wood, with nothing to do with it. So like the little fairy she is, she offered it to me for my kitchen island. 

Are you noticing a trend… maybe I wasn’t the only one that had had enough with the whole kitchen island situation, or should I say, lack of kitchen island… hmm. 

So after getting the fresh (not rotting) wood home, I started measuring and cutting. 

After cutting the pieces, I used my Kreg Jig to drill the pocket holes and build 3 “H”s. I then used smaller pieces to attach the “H”s together to form the basic shape of the island. I also attached 3 left over brackets from when I build the kitchen shelves, to help tie it all together, and provide added support for the overhang. 


I then used the cedar boards from B&L, to make the shelves for inside the island. 

I also decided to apply 2 out of the 3 coats of sealer to the boards before installing them in the island (made my life way easier). It was after the 1st coat of sealer that I truly fell in love with these boards, seriously, sanded and sealed, these boards are a thing of beauty. Especially if you leave some of the left over paint from when they where a fence… so lovely. But I degrees. So I sanded and sealed the boards, and placed them into the kitchen island. I did this before installing the side panels so that I didn’t have to cut the boards into small pieces. The shelves within the island are fixed and wont be easily adjusted, so keeping the boards solid was an easy choice. 

After installing the shelves (I had left them loose within the island to make it easier to install the sides) I build the sides of the kitchen island. I used 3 – 6, 2 – 3, and 2 – 2 per side plus bead board. I measured, cut, and drilled my pocket holes into the boards. Then I simply glued and screwed the pieces together. 

After gluing and screwing the pieces together to make the frame, I routered out the opening for the Bead Board, and glued in the board. 

I then used my pre-drilled pocket holes to attach the sides to the kitchen island. 

Attaching the Sides to the Island

From there is was just a mater of calking, painting, and sealing. 

It ended up taking 3 coats of paint to get an even finish, but I’m very happy with the result. 

Once the exterior of the island was finished, I screwed in the shelving boards and applied the last coat of sealer to it. And because, patience is not a virtue I possess, I unpacked the boxes. 

Now, to just finish the top…. stay tuned. 

I’ll be sharing at these awesome parties. Check out my party page to check them out. 

Thanks for stopping by


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4 thoughts on “DIY: Kitchen Island

    • Your mom was absolutely correct in that, in the end all anyone ever sees is the final project. Thanks for stopping by Anna.

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