Yes!!! A order has come in and this one was a fun one to do. I love islands so much. They give a kitchen a center for a place to converse and adds more storage. Big impact. So when I got the order for this little baby I was excited. It is a 4ft by 3ft island similar to the desk I have done before. However not only did they want a shelf, but they wanted a drawer on it as well. My eyes lit up. Of all the furniture I have done I have not created a piece with a drawer. To get started on this DIY kitchen island with a drawer I need to get a good idea of how it was going to look.
Below is a sketch of the piece that I was to create. After a while she decided to change the side brace design. Below is the revision sketch. Disregard the dimensions for the seating area. Had a little miscalculations but I fixed them in the cut list. Oh did I say they also wanted to roll with locks. I’m super pumped to show you how I did it. Lets get into this DIY kitchen island with a drawer.
Now that I finally had a good idea of what I was creating its time to pick up the supplies.
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Sander (Orbital or corner which ever fits your fancy)
2-2” Caster with locks
1-4′ x 8′ 3/4’’ plywood Purebond Maple or your choice
1- 2’x4′ 3/4” Plywood
Step 1: The Cut-list
To start get all your cuts done below is a cut list. The cuts are based off the top (4′ x 3′ 3”) cuts can be adjusted to your needs.
6-4×4 @ 32 1/2” (the legs)
6-2×4 @29” (aprons top and bottom)
4-1×3 @24 1/2” (side braces)
2- 2×4 @12” (front and back aprons for drawer area)
2-2×2 @12” (front and back aprons for the lower shelf)
2-2×4 @22 1/2” (aprons for the seating area)
4-2×4 @8 3/8” each end cut at 45 degrees perpendicular (corner braces)
1- 1×6 @ 11 3/4” x 5 1/2” or you can use left over plywood and left over edge banding. I had left over wood so I utilized that. (Front facing for the drawer)
2- 3/4” plywood @ 3’3” x 4” (Table Top)
2- 3/4” plywood @ 6” x 29” (Side facing for drawer area)
1- 3/4” plywood @ 6” x 12” (back facing for the drawer area)
1- 3/4” plywood @ 12” x 29” (shelf)
2-3/4” plywood @ 9 1/3” x 4 1/4” (drawer side facings)
2 – 3/4” plywood @ 21” x 4 1/4” (drawer front and back facing)
1 – 3/4” plywood @ 11” x 21” (bottom floor for drawer)
The Frame of the DIY Kitchen Island
First lets get those legs ready. Start getting your lower aprons 3 inches from the base of the legs.
I used my trusty pocket hole kreg jig. No bull s@#t. I freaking love this thing. I use it all the time with my projects. if you plan on doing a lot of pieces I recommend you grab your self one of these suckers. best investment if you would even call it that. Attach apron with two 2 1/2”pocket screws per side. When attaching the top apron, try to space out a 1/4” from the front facing like in the picture below. Do thesis steps two more times. You should have three base leg frames.
Out of two of those leg frames you will attach the side braces. Make sure its flushed on the top and inset 1/4” on the bottom apron. These side braces will be attached with 1 1/4” pocket screws. Begin to attach the legs together.
Next gather the one leg frame that doesn’t have the two brace side design on it. Start attaching the upper and lower aprons for the drawer and shelf area. Making sure they are 3” from the bottom of the legs. Continue to attach the remaining aprons for the other leg frame with the brace design for the seating area.
To add strength to the seating area of the frame add some 2×4’s cut at a 45 degree angle to the corner.
The Shelf, the Drawer, and the Top
Now that the frame is mostly completed is on to the shel and drawer area. *Quick tip its best to cut the pieces for the top first so that you don’t cut more or less than you needed. With the remaining plywood cut out the piece for the shelf. It should be 12” x 29” but you may have to cut more or less to fit the area. So measure before you cut.
To finish the base of the island is the drawer box frame. Again measure before you cut the pieces for the sides and back frame for the drawer.
Making the Top
For the Table top my client wanted a solid piece of maple wood. So I used maple pure bond plywood. To get the thickness I wanted I got both cuts and glued them together. Clamping the ends and putting weight in the center with spare wood. Side note* I don’t know why but ever fly in my neighborhood said ooooh glue lets go check it out. Ugh I was slacking away those damn things for at least ten minutes. Anyway I digress. For the final part of the top I used glue on edge banding to hide the plywood edges. Its pretty easy to do, but you have to do it right or it will look shabby. If you want a quick tutorial let me know in the comments down below.
Time to Create the Drawer
Its really easy and pretty basic. Gather your cuts for the box. These measurements are based on the dimensions of the drawer enclosure, but you can alter them based on how big the enclosure is. Rule of thumb just tease the thickness of the slides and subtract that for the width of your space and thats will be the width of your drawer. You will be drilling the pocket holes in the front and back facing pieces of the drawer.
Also make sure the pocket holes are facing on the outside of the box. We want the inside to look pretty and clean. Don’t worry you won’t see the back and the front will get a facing to cover that. Also this way makes the box stronger and the joints won’t weaken when you you the drawer out. Finally get the last piece of plywood for the drawer and attach with glue and nails. If you have clamps this would be a great time to pull them out so that the box will adhere well.
Installing the Drawer Slides
This video link by Kreg Tools showed me how to install the slides or at least get a general idea how to install, however I didn’t use the drawer jig in the video. I just ended up using clamps and spare wood to hold up the drawer slides. I used full extension ball bearing soft close 20” drawer slides. Yes I got fancy with it, but you don’t have to get the soft close if you don’t want to. Like in the video, be sure to attach some spare wood to the sides to make it flush for the slide to attach to.
Once installed I was just giddy with the soft close function. No lie I think I did it about 20 times just opening and closing the drawer. There is just something so satisfying about it when it soft closes. I attached the facing after the piece was installed to make sure it was leveled and even all around.
The Finished DIY Kitchen Island with a Drawer
My client ended buying her own paint color and had a stain that was used on her kitchen cabinets. I really do like the color combo. The stain color reminds be of briar smoke from Verathane. I attached the bottom casters, but you can’t see then in the grass. For the casters with the locks I attached on one corner and then at the opposite end.
I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and if you ended up creating it, I would love to see them. Do me a favor and pin to your favorite Pinterest board and don’t for get to subscribe to get free printables like wall art and cheat sheets. Speaking of free printables there is a printable PDF of these DIY kitchen island plans that has been added to the resource library that will also include a plywood cutting diagram. Make sure you sign up on the pop up to get acmes to the library right away.
Here is the Island in the clients space. Loving the shades of gray in the backsplash & floor tile plus the grayish toned brown wood and gray base. See you in the next build. Adios!