I receive a lot of e-mails about how to cut down closet doors or where to get doors for small closet openings. One idea is to build a cabinet face frame and attach big cabinet doors to the face frame. A lot of times this situation happens in a bathroom and being able to walk into the closet is not necessary so building a cabinet face frame and attaching it to the out side walls of the opening is perfect. Then shelves can be built inside this closet and the space is utilized very well for storage.
Building a Cabinet Face Frame
I have built these numerous times and it is not that difficult although takes a few special tools. One of these special tools is a Kreg Pocket Hole Jig Tool. This little tool is very handy for doing other wood working projects and to learn more about this tool go to this page kreg pocket hole jig.
Next would be a couple of good clamps for clamping the wood joints together tightly so you can use the kreg jig to drill and screw the joints together. The jig also needs to be clamped down before drilling. Always use a generous amount of glue at these joints. The best screws to use with the kreg jig are the flat head cabinet wood screws. The rest of the tools necessary are pretty general such as a good screw gun or drill, pencil, tape measure etc.
For the wood I always use a 1x4 for the sides and top connecting piece and then a 1x6 at the bottom. Measure the closet door opening and make the face frame slightly smaller at the inside so the frame can be secured to the outside wall of the opening sufficiently. The cabinet doors you buy or build might impact the size of the face frame some what, so take this into consideration when building the face frame. It's a good idea to know or have the doors there when building. Also a cross piece will be needed for extra support and a place for the new cabinet doors to shut against if you would be using 4 doors.
Generally I will run the 2 vertical 1x4's the total length of the height. Then cut the horizontal pieces to fit exactly in between which includes the top 1x4 and the cross piece and bottom 1x6. Using the kreg jig, every thing is drilled and screwed on the back side. Chose the correct hinges for this project and be careful when attaching the hinges so the doors operate smoothly. If the hinges are not attached properly and squarely the doors will bind and will not open and shut smoothly. Nailing the face frame over the closet door opening is sufficient by just using finished nails so the nail holes can be filled later.