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The Easiest Way to Make Shaker Cabinet Doors!

Want to make shaker cabinet doors but don’t have a router? Find out the easiest ways to make your own shaker cabinet doors without special tools for cheap!

Hi Friends!  I have been busy remodeling my hallway upstairs.  We’ve lived in this house for 13 years and it was the same as when we first moved in…sigh!   On one side were those famous oak cabinets! 

As you know, I have been slowly getting rid of all the oak in my house and I was down to these cabinets and my laundry room.  Instead of gel staining or chalk painting these ones, I decided to just get rid of the oak doors and to make shaker cabinet doors on my own and I didn’t even use a router.

I really love the look of shaker style cabinet doors and I wanted to lighten up my hallway since it’s so dark up there.  So once I learned how to make shaker cabinet doors, it was easy to paint them white and put them up.  I can’t wait for you to see the after pictures!

Here’s what my hallway cabinets looked like before, lovely, right??oak cabinets in hallway

I looked at a lot of tutorials and ended up following Ana White’s easy frame and panel doors found here.  I love Ana’s tutorials and especially loved this one because you don’t need a router or any other special tools to make shaker cabinet doors, which was perfect since I don’t have one! (even though I wish I did!!) 

Ana’s tutorials are always easy to follow and I have made some huge builds with them including my DIY farmhouse table and my son’s full storage captains bed.

Materials to Make Shaker Cabinet Doors

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    • wood – 1x3s and 1/2 inch plywood cut to size
    • paint – I used Sherwin Williams color Alabaster
    • Miter saw or saw
    • wood filler
    • Kreg Jig – found here

DIY Shaker Cabinet Doors Plan

So make sure to hop over to Ana White’s site by clicking here to grab the printable plans for these DIY shaker cabinet doors. I ended up redoing the whole cabinets and converting the top half into open shelving with fake shiplap. 

Measuring For New Shaker Style Cabinet Doors

I started off by taking all of the cabinet doors off and measuring them to see how big I needed to make the shaker cabinet doors.  My shaker style cabinet doors needed to be 13.5 inches wide by 39.5 inches tall. 

Since the outside boards will be 1x3s (actually .75x 2.5), I subtracted 5 inches from the width and height to get the measurement needed for my inside panel – 8.5 x 34.5.

I headed off to Lowe’s to get my wood and paint.  The employees at my Lowe’s store are always amazing and cut my wood for me (even more than the 5 cut maximum!). 

I got 2 pieces of .5x2x4 Birch Hardwood and had them cut into 4 8.5×34.5 inch panels (they didn’t have an 8 foot in stock or I would have gotten that since it probably would have been a little cheaper).

How to Build Cabinet Doors with Kreg Jig

If you don’t have a Kreg Jig or have never used one, this is the perfect project to get you started!  A Kreg Jig makes these shaker style cabinet doors possible without having a router.

Once you have your panel cut, make Kreg jig pilot holes following Ana’s directions.  I made two on the short ends and three on the long sides. 

Make sure you have the Kreg jig to the right setting.  You will switch the settings when you put on the sides.using a kreg jig on cabinet doors

ryobi drill with kreg jig cabinet doors


Putting Together the Shaker Doors

Attach the short sides.  I had 1/4 inch scrap piece of plywood I put under the panel to raise it up so that it would be even with the 1x3s.  I used wood glue plus the screws to build the kreg jig cabinet shaker cabinet doors

Once the short sides were on I measured each side separately to get the long side as close to the exact size as possible.  Drill pilot holes in the short 1x3s (make sure to change the Kreg jig setting according to Ana’s plans!)kreg jig cabinet doors

Then attach the long sides.  Fill all the holes with wood filler and apply caulking on all the edges.make shaker cabinet doors

shaker style cabinet door using kreg jig

Once everything is dry, sand the whole cabinet door and paint it.make shaker cabinet doors

make shaker cabinet doors

Once they are dry, attach the hardware.  Make sure to put the hardware the same distance from the top and the bottom.make shaker cabinet doors

When I attached them to the bookcase I put a piece of wood at the bottom and rested the cabinet doors on it while I made pilot holes.  This way the DIY shaker cabinet doors are even.make shaker cabinet doors

That’s it!  I loved that I was able to make shaker cabinet doors without a router.  Thanks to Ana’s plans, I now have a beautiful new hallway cabinet!

shaker cabinets diy


sherwin williams alabaster

make shaker cabinet doors

If you’d like to check out how I added faux shiplap to the bookcase click here!

make shaker cabinet doors

This is how the other side of my hallway turned out!  Click here to read how you can make your own United States string art for cheap!!

united states string art diy

If you’d like to save this tutorial for later, simply hover over the top left of the image below and PIN it now.

make shaker cabinet doors without a router

The DIY shaker doors are not perfect but I love how they came out! 

Thanks for stopping by,

leap of faith crafting




make shaker cabinet doors without a router






Friday 30th of April 2021

So I have to ask, what did you do with the oak hallway doors? Did you repurpose them. I would have used them for doors in the garage or shed. Looks great. I'm getting ready to build some shaker doors for a built-in buffet in my dining room. I used the plans for the buffet from Ana's Extra Long Buffet...and converted the plans to a built-in between two walls. I still haven't decided on a color for the paint though. But I have time to work on that. :)

Leap of Faith Crafting

Saturday 1st of May 2021

Actually, they are still in my garage! I know they can be used for so many things but I wanted to keep them in case when we sell the house they want them back!

Mike Steffens

Monday 14th of October 2019

Great Project. You’ve definitely inspired me! Can you tell me info on type/name of concealed cabinet hinge you used? Thanks!!!

Leap of Faith Crafting

Tuesday 15th of October 2019

I didn't use concealed cabinet hinges, I just stuck back on the ones that were on there before!


Sunday 5th of May 2019

I’m going to try this out! I don’t have a router either. Thanks!

Leap of Faith Crafting

Tuesday 7th of May 2019

I love how they came out! Ana makes the best plans! is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to