Make A Storage Unit From Salvaged Materials. Step 3: Grab The Glue And Screws!

Now that we’ve got the cabinets and door sliced, diced and perfectly painted, it’s time to assemble everything into one snazzy, salvaged storage unit!!

Make A Storage Unit From Salvaged Materials

Here’s all you’ll need to turn two upper cabinets and a hollow core door into a storage unit:

~  4 L-brackets and corresponding screws

~ 4 drywall anchors (optional)

~ Gorilla Glue (or other wood glue)

~ drill

~ painter’s tape

~ 4 cabinet knobs of your choosing

~ screwdriver

1.  Assume the position.  Got that perfect spot picked out for your storage unit?  Mine was a blank wall in my craft room that was just begging for some extra storage, and I lined the cabinets up against the wall.

Make A Storage Unit From Salvaged Materials. Step 3: Grab The Glue And Screws!

Chances are that one of your cabinets will lean out further than the other one (like mine, above) – this is no problemo.  Just wiggle them around until the fronts of the cabinets are flush and level, then put a few screws through the interior walls of the cabinets (using your trusty drill) so that the two sides of the cabinet are screwed together.  This will keep them flush and perfect for all eternity.

2.  Batten down the hatches.  Now you’re ready to attach your cabinets to the wall.  This is an important step, because you don’t want your storage unit to come crashing down the second that you put something in it – that would be pretty uncool.  All you need is a few L-brackets and screws (and drywall anchors if you want, which will make your cabinet less likely to pull out from the wall).  These are what I used (apparently L-brackets are also called corner braces – who knew?):

Make A Storage Unit From Salvaged Materials. Step 3: Grab The Glue And Screws!

I put one L-bracket in the outer corners of each cabinet – just attach the L-bracket to the underside of the top of the cabinet with a few screws.  I was driving myself crazy trying to hold the L-bracket in place with one hand and the screw with the other hand and then trying to screw in the screw – that’s for the birds.  Here’s a little tip – just use some painter’s tape or masking tape and tape those little brackets to your cabinet and to the wall – voila!  No more pulling your hair out while you’re trying to screw the screws in!

Make A Storage Unit From Salvaged Materials. Step 3: Grab The Glue And Screws!

Here’s another little tip.  If you’re going to have anything on top of your cabinet that has cords, make sure that you leave a little space behind your cabinets so that the cords can sneak through.  I knew that I was going to have a TV on top of my cabinet, so I used a screwdriver to hold the cabinets out from the wall when I was placing the L-brackets.  Easy!

Make A Storage Unit From Salvaged Materials. Step 3: Grab The Glue And Screws!

3.  Put a lid on it.  Here’s the fun part, the part where your storage unit is actually going to start looking like a storage unit instead of just some random cabinets and a door.  All you need to do is grab your Gorilla Glue, make some squiggles on the top of your cabinets and smush the door down on top.  After you make sure everything is centered and just where you want it, grab some heavy stuff and put it on top for about an hour.

Make A Storage Unit From Salvaged Materials. Step 3: Grab The Glue And Screws!

Note:  If you’re going to have cords behind the unit, you might want to make a little cut-out on the back side of the door that you can sneak your cords through.  To make the cut-out in my door, I just figured out where I wanted the cords to come through, made two little inch-long cuts with my hand saw, scored the wood with a utility knife, and then whacked away at it with a hammer until the pieces broke off.  One piece was a little pesky, so I went after it with a pair of pliers and it finally submitted.  Victory!


4.  Get a handle on things.  While the glue on your new countertop is drying, it’s the perfect time to put some new knobs on your storage unit.  I wasn’t exactly sure where I wanted the new knobs, so I just took a look at the knobs on our kitchen cabinets and copied the placement.  I figured out that the knobs should be 1 inch below the frame of the cabinet door, in the middle of the side piece.

Make A Storage Unit From Salvaged Materials. Step 3: Grab The Glue And Screws!

Then I just measured down, made a little dot with a pen, and made a little hole with my trusty drill using a drill bit that was about the same size as the screws that came with the new knobs.

Make A Storage Unit From Salvaged Materials. Step 3: Grab The Glue And Screws!

Final tip of the day – put a little painter’s tape on the back side of the cabinet door where you’re going to be drilling – that will prevent the wood from splintering and make your drill hole look more like Picture 1 than Picture 2.

Make A Storage Unit From Salvaged Materials. Step 3: Grab The Glue And Screws!

Make A Storage Unit From Salvaged Materials. Step 3: Grab The Glue And Screws!

Yay, now your storage unit is ALMOST ready to go!!  Stay tuned to find out how to make that snazzy, custom countertop . . .

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  1. christy says:

    Wow Liz – you are seriously handy. I’m so impressed. I can’t wait to see you put your skills to use on your new flip!!

  2. Averill says:

    Liz, you need to be hosting your own show on DIY or HGTV or something! It’ll be like Flipping Out but you’ll be nice/sane and able to wield a drill yourself. :)

    • Liz says:


      That’s hilarious!!! I can see it now . . . Jeff Lewis, watch out!! Ah, a girl can dream, right? :)

      ~ Liz

  3. Meredith says:

    Good post! Helpful DIY info as always!!

  4. robin says:

    i like the new cabinet, but i would have liked it better if you didn’t paint the glass!! it was so pretty before the paint…it reminded me of the windows i’ve always wanted from maggie gyllenhal’s character’s bakery window in stranger than fiction. (i’ve always wanted those windows!!) i guess everyone’s a critic, right? it’s beautiful, though!! good job :)

  5. Liz says:


    I was kinda feeling the same way when I first laid eyes on those inserts – I think the pattern looks like the bottom of glass soda bottles, which is pretty neat. Then I changed my mind and decided to paint them when I realized that the inserts were plastic instead of glass – is that fickle of me? Maybe. :) The new scheme also matches my craft room a little better (I know, I haven’t shown it to you guys yet . . . soon!!). Ooh, here’s a pic of those windows from Stranger Than Fiction . . . “”. It looks to me like cut glass plates in the window – gorgeous!

    ~ Liz

  6. Roeshel says:

    I love it! Great job!

  7. Courtney says:

    I am so loving this whole project! Thank you so much for taking the time to share your great idea with all of us!!

  8. Sarah @ Thriftydecorchick says:

    That is sooooo cool!!! Love how it turned out. And I love the kitty in the sink below too, ours do the same thing. So cute!

  9. Liz says:


    Aren’t cats hilarious? It’s always a surprise to turn on the light in the bathroom and find a kitty looking at you and thinking “Geez, how rude of you to wake me up!!”. :)

    ~ Liz

  10. Rowwith says:

    We had to reroute plumbing in kitchen from inside to outside wall, therefore must move sink, dishwasher, and cabinets and countertops that go with them. We don’t have money for new cabinets, but realize we may need new countertops. How do we detatch cabinets and move them without tearing them up? They’re cheap, stock cabinets put in by investors who flipped house before we bought it. Unsure if screwed and/or glued in. Thanks.

    • Liz says:


      While I can’t guarantee that you’ll be able to salvage all of your cabinets, you should be able to save most of them, depending on the method used to originally install the cabinets and the quality of the cabinets. First, remove the countertops – there will be a seal between the cabinets and countertop that you can cut with a putty knife – then use a little elbow grease and possibly a prybar to remove the countertops. The next step is to remove the base cabinets (that will make it easier to access the upper cabinets). How you remove the cabinets will depend on how they were hung – nails, screws, metal hangers, or a combo of one of these with glue. Our cabinets were old so they were held in place with nails, but it sounds like your cabinets are new and likely secured with screws. You’ll probably have to crawl into your cabinets to get a good look at how they’re secured. If the cabinets are screwed, remove all of the screws – you may also need to cut a seal between the cabinets and the wall or the cabinets and each other before you can lift them out. If the cabinets are nailed, use your prybar to pry them off the wall.

      I hope this helps – good luck in your kitchen remodel!!

      ~ Liz