DIY: $60 Kitchen Island

This project was so incredibly easy that it left my husband and I wondering why it took us so long to make it. We’ve been talking about adding some sort of table or counter space to the kitchen for some time, but hadn’t figured out the best way to accomplish it. Well, some of the best ideas come sporadically and ours occurred one particularly productive weekend.

What you need:

  • Shelving unit from Home Depot (we built half of it – other half will be used as extra storage elsewhere)
  • Scrap wood – cut to size at home or measure and get it cut at the hardware store
  • Polyurethane

What you do:

Assemble the shelving unit following the directions. This one in particular is made to be built vertically, much taller, or horizontally with two sections joined together. We put half of the unit together. You could add a third shelf as well if desired.

Because of the way the metal is cut, you’ll have a small lip even with the particle board all the way at the top. Use the scrap wood to piece together a top. We used a circular saw to make a few cuts. Fit the boards in, using the lip as tension to keep the pieces in place. If you want to be really thorough, you could join the pieces together with wood glue or screws and then place it on the top. I left mine unglued and it’s pretty snug.

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Coat the surface with three or four coats of polyurethane, letting each coat dry for a couple hours. Let the table sit for 24 hours after the final coat before placing items on top.

Aviary Photo_130915510088933287That’s it! Since we already had scrap wood and polyurethane, the only thing we bought for this project was the $60 shelving unit. In the future, I might decide to switch up the table top by painting it or replacing the material. I could even paint the metal pieces!

Aviary Photo_130911229516063825

The counters in my kitchen feel HUGE now that this extra space is available. What have been some of your “duh” projects?

Lydia Jane

Tools and supplies:

Shelving unit

Circular saw


Wooster brush

8 thoughts on “DIY: $60 Kitchen Island

  1. Very clever! I have a regulation island in my current house, but lusted heavily for one in the previous abode. Would that I had seen your post then! It would have been the perfect solution.

    Couldn’t help seeing your picture of the mitten over the island!!

    Virtual hugs,

    Judie < — born in Michigan


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