IKEA Hack: How to Shorten an IKEA Kitchen Cabinet

Custom-sized cabinets

With this simple IKEA hack, it is easy to get the custom-sized cabinet that you need — no fancy tools required!

Installing a pantry or a wall cabinet is a breeze with the IKEA SEKTION system. However, sometimes kitchens have a bulkhead or something that makes it so you can’t use the standard-size cabinets.

Luckily, it is super easy to shorten an IKEA kitchen cabinet, and I will show you how!

You can watch the full video below or keep reading to learn more.

Play Video

STEP 1: Measure and Make Your Cuts

First, measure how much of the cabinet you need to remove. I removed 5 inches from this pantry cabinet in the video to fit it underneath a bulkhead.

You always want to adjust IKEA cabinets in increments of 5 inches because the cabinet doors and drawers come in increments of five inches.

For example, you can cut a cabinet to 70 inches with no problem, but you don’t want to cut it to 72 inches, as you won’t have a door to fit it.

Also, please note that for wall cabinets, you should always cut from the top of the cabinet as you want the finished end, which will be visible, to be nice looking. For pantry cabinets, which end you decide to cut is less important. 

How to Shorten an IKEA Kitchen Cabinet | Step-By-Step Guide

Cut the Sides of the Cabinet

Start with the sides of the cabinet. Measure and mark your cut. I recommend putting a piece of painter’s tape along the line of your cut because it helps give a cleaner cut. Make sure everything is straight, and make your cut.

If you have one, you can cut the sides with a table saw, but a handsaw or a circular saw can also be used. In the video, you will see me cutting with a handsaw.

When you’re done, hang onto your offcuts because they’re critical for the next step!

Cut the Back of the Cabinets

Repeat the process with the back of the cabinet: mark 5 inches from the bottom, and cut with a saw. You can discard this offcut.

How to Shorten an IKEA Kitchen Cabinet | Step-By-Step Guide

STEP 2: Make New Holes for Hardware

On the pieces we’ve just cut off, the holes for installing hardware we need to replicate onto the two sides of the cabinet box. So, take the cutoff piece and position it on top of the respective side, ensure the end and sides are aligned flush and clamp it together.

Then, find drill bits that match the size of the holes. I suggest you use the existing holes as a guide to determine the required sizes.

You will need two drills. One for the holes for the bracket and the holes for the assembly screw, and another bigger one for the holes for the wooden pegs.

Drill through each hole into the piece below it, careful not to drill through the cabinet side. You only need to drill the holes where the hardware goes, and you can ignore the holes that are for hanging shelves since they are already in the side piece.

One pro tip is to put a piece of masking tape on your drill bit that marks the depth you want to drill. This helps prevent you from going too deep and drilling through the side of the cabinet. However, it isn’t a disaster if you drill all the way, as an adjacent cabinet or a panel will most likely cover the side. 

How to Shorten an IKEA Kitchen Cabinet | Step-By-Step Guide

Step 3: Assemble the cabinet

Once you have drilled the holes for the hardware, you can assemble and hang the cabinet as usual, following the instructions.

And that’s it! Mission accomplished.


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Drop the Power Cable

I have used the plugged-in version of this table saw for years. When it was due for renewal (which it really wasn’t, but sometimes you need to give yourself a good reason to spend money to get a new tool), I decided to go with the battery-powered one. 

What seems like a small matter, powered by 120V or a battery, turned out to be a bigger upgrade than expected. Now, I don’t need to bring my extension cord, and I don’t have the hassle of finding the power outlet in my client’s garage. 

The saw itself provides a flawless cut, and the overall quality of the tool is what I have come to expect from DeWalt.

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