Oh hey guys!  Happy hump day!

I’m really excited to show you how this last project turned out.  I have been in need of a larger, more functional kitchen island, so I designed one that fit the bill!  Check out my new DIY Kitchen Island!

Shanty 2 Chic Kitchen Island

What do you think?  I would consider this an easy build… very few cuts and all are straight, but you will need to have certain tools to keep it easy.  As always, I will walk you through the entire build here and you can also download and print the FREE plans for this baby by clicking HERE or the button below.

Print Island Plans

The first step is cutting the legs for the island which use 4×4 lumber.   You want to be sure your saw cuts 4×4 if tackling it.  Some 10″ saws are not big enough to fit the 4×4 under the blade.  Another option is using a manual hand saw with a  bit of elbow grease or having someone at the hardware store cut it for you.    Ryobi just came out with a new 12″ sliding miter saw that we LOVE.  Cuts through 4×4 like butta… Check it out HERE.

The next step is cutting the notches on the sides of the legs.  I really love how much character these give the island.  This is a simple (and messy) part.  I’m pretty sure I had sawdust on every inch of me after finishing 🙂  Start by marking where the notches will be according to the plan.  I used my circular saw to make these cuts.

Ryobi Circular Saw

First, I adjusted the blade to 1.5″ which is the thickness of the side boards.

Adjusting Circular Saw

Next, I made several different passes between the lines I had marked.  Make sure to clamp your board down on this part.  When I was finished it looked like this…

Cuts using Circular Saw

Then, I used a chisel to quickly take out those extra pieces left behind.  I found this one at Home Depot.  This is my first time using a chisel (I loved it) and I felt like a real woodworker ;-)!


Once I had it chiseled out, I used my JobPlus tool with the sanding attachment to smooth the inside of the notch.

Ryobi Sander

That left my notch looking like this.

Cut notch with Ryobi Jig Saw

And 4 legs later…

Island legs

Next, I cut the pieces for the apron of the island according to the measurements in the plans.  These are all constructed from 2×4.  Once I cut them, I used my Kreg Jig to make 1.5″ pocket holes on each end.

Kreg Jig Pocket Holes

I attached each piece to the legs using Gorilla Wood Glue and 2.5″ pocket hole screws.

Gorilla Wood Glue

Use drill to attach pocket hole screws

I attached all sides of the aprons the same way lining each on up 1/4″ from the outside edge of the 4×4 leg.

Island top brace pocket holes

attaching legs to island

Next, I attached the middle support piece also using 2.5″ pocket hole screws.

island top brace

Before constructing the island top, I added the two bottom shelves.  You will also notch out the bottom of these the same way you do your legs, but set the circular saw at 1/2″.

Adjust Jig Saw

The bottom of the shelf boards looked like this.

Create notch on wood using Jig Saw

I attached the small side pieces into the notches before attaching these.  I used my nailer and wood glue to hold them in place, and also used a clamp.  I did go back and add big black decorative screws over the nails because I like the way they look.  Here it is all attached.

clamp island base

Time for the top!  I decided to cut the edges of our 2x boards straight using a table saw.  It gives the tabletop a really smooth finish and I LOVE the outcome. First, I just set my table saw fence to 1/8″.

Set table saw

Then, I just ran both sides of each piece through the table saw to cut off the rounded edge.

Use table saw to cut 2x6

The outcome is a straight edged board which I love.  This does cut a small length off of each board, so make sure to keep that in mind when building your pieces.  It didn’t make too much difference on this project.

I added all of the pocket holes to the table top pieces after that.

Pocket Holes using Kreg Jig

Island Top Wood

I chose to attach my island top to the island using pocket holes and screws.  Some people in certain climates have trouble with wood expanding and warping over time.  I don’t have this issue, but if you do, we have noted another way to attach the table top in the plans to help prevent this.

You can see here the pocket holes I have added to the apron.

pocket holes for island top

Then, I just used my drill to attach through the apron and into the tabletop using 2.5″ pocket hole screws.

Attach Island Top

Finished!  My final step was staining it.  I used a new color I love called Varathane Summer Oak.  I found it at Home Depot.

Next was hardware!  I used these Liberty casters, but any caster will work.

Liberty Casters from Home Depotjpg

For the side I found this great hook rail at Target.

Threshold Hook Rack

Metal Rack for Island

All finished!  What do you think??

Shanty 2 Chic Kitchen Island

Shanty2Chic Kitchen Island

How cute is this metal tray from Save on Crafts??  Makes a perfect lemon holder 😉

Metal Tray

Thanks so much for stopping by!  For those of you wanting to know…

My flooring is Cottage Grey Faux Wood tile by The Tile Shop.  You can see it HERE!

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  1. Thank you so much for the tutorial. my dad and i built this last saturday for my kitchen, i just have to stain it and i just ordered my hook rail. love it!!

  2. Thank you so much for these plans. I modified them slightly to accommodate for some reclaimed wood I had already cut (taken from a house my wife’s great, great grandfather had built in 1890) and it turned out great. Can’t wait to see it in action in our kitchen.

  3. Can you tell me what you do with the pocket holes on the underside of the table top pieces? What do those screws attach them to? Each other?

  4. I am about halfway through this project. I see you drilled pocket holes on the underside of the 4 table top pieces and also in the apron pieces. I only see where you say attach through the apron piece holes. What do you do with the holes on the underside of the tabletop pieces?
    Thank you! Terri Turner

  5. First off I would like to say superb blog! I had a quick question that I’d
    like to ask if you do not mind. I was interested to find out how you center yourself and clear your mind
    prior to writing. I have had difficulty clearing my mind in getting my ideas out.
    I do enjoy writing however it just seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes tend to be lost
    simply just trying to figure out how to begin. Any ideas or tips?

  6. Thank you so much for the very thorough directions! I’m hoping to build this soon – but one thing is confusing me. The directions say there is a depth of 29″, but the boards are 4 of them at 8″ wide – which should equal a depth of 32″. Is the 29″ the frame, and the rest is overhang? Is one board cut lengthwise (if it is, I am missing it in the instructions).

    Thank you!

  7. I built the island and its great, however the 4″ casters we found at home depot are too large to be screwed into the 4×4 and if we go with a smaller size the island will not be counter height. Any suggestions? Thanks!

  8. I love this island, but the space in my kitchen is really small. I would need something a lot smaller, any suggestions?

  9. Beautiful work, and a simple plan! I think I’ll adapt a couple of these for as woodshop machine workstations in my garage–one for a drill press and grinder, and one for a small band saw and lathe. (A small note about the project plan–the depth of the notches in the 4×4 legs (1.5″) is mentioned in your walk-through, but not noted in the printable plans.)

  10. That’s it, I’m moving in with you and your family.
    Your style does not speak to me it shouts out to me.
    Love everything you do.
    Your house is absolutely gorgeous.
    I want to say how generous you two are with your plans and your ideas.
    They are indeed well defined clear, concise.
    Thank thank you so much.

  11. I feel like I just learned so much about basic carpentry just by reading this post! I’ve dabbled in a few wood working projects here and there, but have much yet to learn! The island turned out beautifully, too! We’ll be needing one soon, so I’ll have to save this for later 🙂