Inset Jewelry Cabinet: Cutting the Wall and Building the Cabinet

Since we moved 6 months ago my jewelry has been in storage with the exception of about a dozen pairs of earrings, 2 bracelets and about 4 necklaces.  For some of you that is the extent of your jewelry collection.  For others like me, that doesn’t even tap the surface of all the baubles you own.  In my old house I converted a crib to a jewelry storage cabinet and also used paint sticks in my linen closet to store jewelry.  In my new house neither of those options would work easily.  The crib cabinet was too wide for the space I wanted it, and there was no room on the sides of my linen closet to make the paint stick jewelry organization work.  I have been giving the side eye to this perfectly narrow space between the toilet room and the linen closet.


Based on how the walls where constructed I knew there was plenty of room behind the wall for an inset jewelry cabinet and I was pretty confident no plumbing or electrical stuff existed behind it. I took a stud finder to the wall and did know there was a stud smack dab in the middle of where I wanted the cabinet to go.  However, I knew that the stud wasn’t load bearing so it would be fine to remove.  So on Easter Sunday I decided to cut a hole in the wall to see what was behind the wall – because that is a normal thing to do on Easter. {giggle}



Now whenever you open up a wall there is always a slight fear there.  What if there is a dead body?  HAHA!  No just kidding.  I was pretty confident there wasn’t anything major going on behind the wall and I was right.  With the exception of cutting the stud and building some support for the cabinet, there were no surprises.

Now if you try this at home the inside of your wall will look different than mine.  I am going to go through the steps I took to make mine secure but yours will be different.

First step was to use my Rockwell Versacut to cut the hole the size I wanted.  I just kind of eyeballed it as to how large I wanted it.  However, there was another stud to the right that prohibited me from going any further so that set the width on the right side of the cabinet.  I wanted to make it even on both sides so I ended on the left side the same distance from the corner.



Next I used my Rockwell Sonicrafter to cut the stud.  I cut the stud even with the top of the cut drywall and 1 1/2” below the cut portion of the wall on the bottom to accommodate the support I would need to build.

So the hole size was set.  Next up I measured from the stud in the floor to the top of the cut wall and then subtracted 1 1/2”.  Then I cut two 2” x 4”s to that size and drilled some pocketholes with my Kreg Jig.  Then I screwed them into the stud on the floor.  Then I cut out another 2” x 4” the width of the bottom to set on top of that and screwed into the 2 supports that were Kreg’ed into the floor.  This gave me a support for my cabinet to rest on (see above picture).



I said before the right side didn’t need added support because of the 2 x 4 already there.  So the only other side that needed support was the left side.  As you can see in the picture below there was some studs in place but they were about 3” from the edge of the drywall.  In order to remedy that I just added some 3” 2 x 4’s to the left stud evenly spaces and then added another long 2 x 4 cut to length of the left side onto that.  So basically I added 2 depths of 2 x 4’s in order to close the 3” gap.  This would give me an adequate support to drill the cabinet into the left.


I didn’t add any support to the top but did drill a screw through my drywall into the stud I cut in order to hold that in place.  Later, when I attached the cabinet, one single screw drove into that stud at the top.

Okay hole cut, supports set, now is time to build the cabinet.  I measured the length and width of the rectangle I cut out of the wall.  I subtracted 1/4” on the top and side measurement.  That became the measurement of my cabinet.  I used  1x 4’s to the make the frame since I had a 4 1/2” in depth I could play with.


I simply drilled pocketholes with my Kreg Jig into the top and bottom frame board and drilled them into the side pieces.  (Make sure the pocketholes are facing outward or you will see them). Then I measured and cut 1/4” luan plywood for the back and stapled it in place.  That was easy!


Next I brought the cabinet upstairs and my husband held it in place while I drilled the cabinet into the supports with 2 1/2” wood screws. You might need a pry bar to hold it in place while another person drills screws in.  Also make sure to predrill your holes! I added two screws on the bottoms and 3 on each side and one at the top.


Next up was to frame it out with 1 x 2’s.  I mitered each corner and I did cheat the frame 1/4” into the cabinet on all sides.  This hid any gaps there might be from imperfect building or imperfect walls.  Then I caulked all the seams (including around the frame in the interior of the cabinet where the frame met the cabinet) and wood filled all the holes I made with my air nailer.


Then I painted the cabinet with a Roller Lite foam roller and an angled Purdy Brush (my faves!).  I also touch up painted the wall too.  Now it is time to move onto organizing my jewelry.


Click here for Part 2 of my Inset Jewelry Cabinet tutorial for how I built the storage and organized the jewelry.