Wood Tilt Out Trash or Recycling Cabinet

Solid wood tilt out trash cabinet or recycling cabinet. Easy to build, fully framed, open back, fits standard trash cans.


Projects built from this plan. Thank you for submitting brag posts, it's appreciated by all!


Author Notes: 

I ran into a friend of mine the other day, and after the normal how are yous, she looked at me straight, and said, "Ana, HOW are you?" 

 "I'm great . . . what do you mean?" I asked. 
 And she said, "I read your blog, and I've noticed that you haven't been posting as often, and was just wondering if everything is okay with you." 
 I was quite touched that my friend took her time to read my blog faithfully enough to know that I have not been posting six . . . sometimes seven . . . days a week, and even more touched that she would stop me to make sure everything is okay. 
That evening when I was putting hinges on this very trash bin cabinet, I thought about our conversation in the condiment aisle. Is something wrong? 
As I closed the door on this trash bin for the first time, and stood back and inspected the finished project, I got goosebumps all over. 
No, nothing's wrong, because even after all these years and hundreds of pieces of furniture built, I still get goosebumps over a completed project. My passion for what I do is very much alive and well. 
But you see, a few months back when our site was crashing all the time, I got a few quotes from web design companies and I just could not afford to spend $20,000 on a website, and wait three months for the work to be done.

But I knew that there was $20,000 of work to be done on the site. 

So I sat my family down for a business meeting. I estimated that for the next three weeks, I would need to work long long long hours, and I would need the help of my husband and daughter to make this happen. Because I decided to take on the job of not just building a new site for our plans, but also learning how to build a website, and migrating hundreds of posts and plans.
And I made a deal with my preschool daughter. I promised her after I finished the new website, I would spend less time in my office on the computer, and more time with her. 
Well, the website is done, and she's holding me to our deal. 
I want to be doing what I'm doing for many many years. But in order to keep the goosebumps coming, I've got to find balance, to remember the reason I build - to make a better life for my family.

So I've set more modest goals, to post when I can, to not stress about posting when I cannot. I hope you understand, and I thank those of you who would stop me in the condiment aisle if you lived in our tiny town in Alaska.

All is perhaps better than ever.
Shopping List: 

2 - 1x12 @ 6 feet long
1 - 1x3 @ 8 feet long
2 - 1x2 @ 8 feet long
Narrow Hinges (the cheapo kind with flat headed screws)
Knob or Pull

2 inch screws
1 1/4 inch finish nails
2 inch finish nails
120 grit sandpaper
wood conditioner
paint brush
measuring tape
safety glasses
hearing protection
countersink drill bit
General Instructions: 

Please read through the entire plan and all comments before beginning this project. It is also advisable to review the Getting Started Section. Take all necessary precautions to build safely and smartly. Work on a clean level surface, free of imperfections or debris. Always use straight boards. Check for square after each step. Always predrill holes before attaching with screws. Use glue with finish nails for a stronger hold. Wipe excess glue off bare wood for stained projects, as dried glue will not take stain. Be safe, have fun, and ask for help if you need it. Good luck!

Dimensions shown above. Fits trash can less than 16" wide x 22" high x 12" deep overall.
Cut List: 

2 - 1x12 @ 29 1/4"
1 - 1x12 @ 19"
1 - 1x12 @ 17 1/2"
2 - 1x3 @ 19"
3 - 1x2 @ 19"
2 - 1x2 @ 26" (Back)
2 - 1x2 @ 25 1/4" (Front)

Door Slab overall 1/4" less than opening
1 - 1x12 @ 12" cut in half diagonally
1 - 1x12 the width of the door (approximately 15 3/4")

Step 1: 

Use either a Kreg Jig or 2" screws or finish nails to build your box as shown above. The bottom shelf is 2 1/2" from the bottom, at the top. So leave 1 3/4" gap underneath the bottom shelf. Check for square.

Step 2 Instructions: 

Once your box is done, choose the less attractive side and attach trim as shown above. I used 1 1/4" finish nails and glue.

Step 3 Instructions: 

Now the sides on the back. You can also choose to cover the back in 1/4" plywood, but I personally wanted an easy means of both changing trash bags and cleaning the cabinet out. So my trash bin is actually open on the back.

Step 4 Instructions: 

Now the front. I like to cut footers out in place because you don't have to worry about clamping it down or anything like that. Nail down and then mark as shown in the diagram (you can click images for a larger view) and cut out with a jigsaw.

Step 5 Instructions: 

Now the back side trim.

Step 6 Instructions: 

And the front. Notice that the top has a 3/4" gap. This is good.

Step 7 Instructions: 

Finally the front edge. Nail and glue in place. This completes the cabinet construction.

Step 8 Instructions: 

I used a new technique to build a raised panel door for this project! But I'd like to get that content to you in the form of video, so please be patient - will get that tutorial posted in the next day or so.

You should always build your doors to fit your openings - especially for inset doors. For inset doors, I like to leave an 1/8" gap around all sides of the door, so that means you need to make the door overall 1/4" less wide and 1/4" less tall than the opening.

You can use other methods to build the door - a full slab for a modern look or beadboard on a 1x3 frame for a cottage look.

Build the base as shown above, securing to the door.

Step 9 Instructions: 

And then just hinge the door to the cabinet. For our tilt out trash cabinet/recycle center, we didn't even have to worry about a magnetic catch - the weight of the tilt out base keeps everything closed nicely.

However, you may need to install either hardware or a chain to keep the tilt out door from opening all the way and bruising your toes :)

Preparation Instructions: 
Fill all holes with wood filler and let dry. Apply additional coats of wood filler as needed. When wood filler is completely dry, sand the project in the direction of the wood grain with 120 grit sandpaper. Vacuum sanded project to remove sanding residue. Remove all sanding residue on work surfaces as well. Wipe project clean with damp cloth. It is always recommended to apply a test coat on a hidden area or scrap piece to ensure color evenness and adhesion. Use primer or wood conditioner as needed.
Estimated Cost: 
Skill Level: 


Kudos to you! For taking time to find balance in YOUR life. You have such beautiful plans and have a great eye for what your followers are interested in. However, if you are sacrificing the important things in your life to make our lives pleasant, than you are only hurting you and those whom are most important, your family. Being a mom and full time volunteer, I understand how we can let life happen and get carried away with what other's and circumstances persuade us to do.

Nice to see you are keeping your perspective! I love working on my projects too, being a SAHM, I find it tough to balance motherhood with my other passions (Like the half-finished headboard that is sitting on my patio right now).

This is a great plan and I look forward to seeing the video! Looks great for recyclables. I have nowhere to store them inside and I HATE having to walk outside every time I need to throw out a cracker box!

A row of these on the end of a large island would be just perfect for trash and recycling! Love it!

So glad I found this. Your fearlessness and ability to conquer the unknown in so many areas are inspiring! Your little girl won't be a little girl for long, so take time to absorb these days. I'm watching 3 little girls run through life at lightning speed!

Your attention to detail is amazing. Sure, in woodwork, but I'm also referring to your family life and balance. I think it's great you are finding better balance with all that you love. We appreciate you as I'm sure your family and friends do so much. keep up the good work :) thank you!!!

Good for you for finding that elusive balance that we all strive for. Being a SAHM, finding that balance is surprisingly difficult. But somehow, finding your site, has helped me balance out my life a bit, as I'm satisfying the need to create useful items for my family.

Ana thanks for all you do. Thank you for your thoughtfulness. Glad you've found a betterbalanxe between life and blog. You are greatly admired.


You are an unbelievably strong and beautiful person on the inside and out. Sometime it's nice to hear you are appreciated, and I so appreciate you! You have inspired me and helped me grow, though I have never met you. Your constant struggle to find balance between your passion of building and your passion of your family is real and raw and is comforting to hear, and helps to see you as a real person beyond your website. I love to see the Author notes to see what you have to say - beyond the building tips and plans.

I also am so excited you posted this plan - I needed to make one of these - and it comes as a perfect time!


I say good for you for making this decision! We are all so appreciative of all the work you do here! As it is, you have a HUGE catalog of things to build, and nobody is going to run out of projects any time soon if you post less! So, play with your babies and don't stress! I'm sure anyone that would stop you in the grocery store would have nothing but a lot of thank yous and admiration for what you do.

I don't know how you do it, but about the time I start looking for the easiest way to build something, you come out with the plans for it, you little mind-reader you! Thank you so much for all of your hard work! My husband thanks you as well, because my ideas (and sketchup plans) are not nearly as easy to follow!

And I made a deal with my preschool daughter.

I promised her after I finished the new website, I would spend less time in my office on the computer, and more time with her. Well, the website is done, and she's holding me to our deal.

YAY for Grace!!!!!

Ana, I like your blog, but you have a cute daughter, a hunky husband, and live in a gorgeous state. I will by understanding if you cut back to a post or two a week, because summer is coming, the fish are biting, and the moose are ... doing whatever moose do.

Get out there and have fun!

A lot of us followers are Moms too and we understand. I had to realize that I can't build all the time because I have baseball, softball, and acting classes to attend weekly with my 3 kids. So I have to plan my building time accordingly. So, if we're not building 24-7, why should you sacrifice your family to spit out plans 24-7?

Oh yeah, that's why you taught us all how to use sketch up, right?

Time is precious, so spend as much of it with your family as you can! We have enough projects to last us until the next time you post.

Red Beans and Ricely Yours,
Donna Foster

I check your site everyday, sometimes twice a day!! And it's not to see if you have made another fabulous plan (although I do love to see new fun plans), but I am excited to check the "BUILT BY YOU" section! I love reading what others have been building, how much it costs, what problems they ran into, and to see the beautiful pictures they have of their new furniture. THAT is inspiring to me!

So, take all the time you need with your family, because the Ana-White.com community can help support each othere through this great website you have made for us and on facebook. Have a good spring and summer, and don't stress about "posting"! :)

Your daughter will only be little for a little while. Choosing to spend this time with her instead of trying to make web-posts seven days a week is the right thing to do. As others have said, I love seeing what other people are building. I've gotten some great ideas for my own projects from them. So go ahead and take care of your family first. We'll talk amongst ourselves and get along just fine until you have the time to get back to us.

You have a wonderful website, and an even more wonderful family. I am sure your daughter is thrilled to be spending time with you. Great Job.

I just got teary-eyed reading trash bin blog post! :) Take all the time you need ~ I'll be busy with the plans you've already posted for a long, long time!!

Ana - You are amazing and have inspired me in so many ways!!

I cannot help but go back to a thought every time I visit your site: why not continue to offer free plans online as you've vowed they will always remain, but also offer to sell a printed book (maybe loose leaf in a binder style so we could laminate the plans - to be workshop-friendly) with all your designs to date?? The book could offer some additional info/advice, etc... I am also learning to sew and found a really cool book called SEW (Sew Everything Workshop) by Diana Rupp and I could envision you developing something similar... I for one would buy one knowing I could sit and peruse that for ideas (sometimes more easily than searching online) and would be supporting you in return for all the incredible hard work you have offered to all of us for FREE. You and your family deserve it.. I wonder how many other of your fans would be interested in something like this??? :) I know it would mean more work in the immediate term but perhaps more income in the long run, thus more quality time with family during hopefully frequent WARM Hawaiian vacations??? Just a thought...

...I completely agree w "guest" above saying we will all remain super busy with the many many plans already posted so no need to post any more anytime soon!! you are our "teacher" so would encourage you to enjoy the traditional "teacher" schedule: summers off!!! spend your entire summer with your family!! then in the fall give my book idea some consideration?!?! haha ;)

So blessed to have such beautiful friends! I love posting, I love designing plans, but finding balance is really helping me be happier and create better plans. I so appreciate your support and your friendship. Thank you, thank you!

other btw... what is the best way to send you pictures of the dining room table i just completed? it is completely different from any of your plans, just something i kind of pieced together (not sure if you remember quite a bit back me asking about whether i could hire you as an online consultant to walk me through this project?!) but YOU my dear were my 110% inspiration so i feel a need to share a pic of it with you and THANK you... :)

last Jan 2010 I started recycling, I mean everything. I have two huge ugly black trash cans that sit in my laundry room, HATE them. But they work for their purpose, holding and getting trash to the recycling center. Still not what I want to look at everyday. And they are in the laundry room, not a long walk, but still. With two of these side-by-side actually in the kitchen would be great!

Thanks Ana for all you do, making time to blog is great! Keeping a promise to your child is priceless.

Rhoni T

I was stuck between buying a tilt out and a slide out recycling center a few months back. I am so glad I found your site (can't say that enough) and I am super sure my husband can alter this to make it a slide out for me. And, I won't have to pay $300 (X 6) for them!

Just FYI, I hope to build 6 in all--1 for cans (we live in Maine so we pay a deposit and when we return cans we get that back), 1 for cardboard, 1 for recyclables, 1 for cat food, 1 for dog food and 1 for trash. Then, hubby just needs to build my mudroom and I can store them all in there! LOL

Enjoy your children FIRST!. That is the most important thing for both you and your children. I have two daughters (31 & 16, two boys in between), and have made sure to be at all their "endeavors" over the years and would not trade it for the world. I will be waiting patiently for your video. I have been a carpenter for many years, and have been very impressed with your ideas. Nice to see different ways to do things, some of which I have tried. Good Luck to you and your family.


All of us Mom's get where you are coming from. As a mom with a full-time job, a beautiful two-year-old, and grad school, (and with no tools :) I can only dream about building all of the lovely things you post. (And I desperately want one of these!) Someday, I hope I can.

Much like you, I've made the promise to my husband, my daughter and myself that after I graduate next spring, I will not take on any new committees, new church groups, or "extracurriculars" for one year. I will devote that year to my hobbies and to my family, and my friends. After that, we'll re-evaluate.

I love your projects, and I love your enthusiasm for life. And life includes your family! Enjoy!

I am from South Africa and just started with wood-working. I love the stuff I see on your page and can not wait to show my wife tonight. We have an old rustic farmhouse in the middle of town, so your stuff is spot-on!

We will be using your plans for major builds!

Kind regards
Aubrey Kloppers
ps - My wife and I do everything together, so she is going to love your stuff!

Awesome project! I have been wanting something for our trash can for a while and now I have it! My only question is how you made the front door?

This one gave me the idea to turn it into a clothes hamper.So hopefully I am going to start on this project soon.


I am looking for plans to make a wooden tilt out trash cabinet with a drawer on top for my family. Do you happen to have such a plan or know where I could find them.


Tom Jastram
1205 E 68th St N
Sioux Falls, SD 57104

You show raised panel doors on the pictures of your recycle bin holder but the plans don't mention this or show it. What is the story behind that?

How do you keep the door from falling straight down and hitting the floor, thus spilling the contents everywhere? Did I miss a step somewhere?

Hi Ana. First I'd like to say how great it is to have come upon your site. I currently have a trash cabinet nearly just like this, and am excited to see your instructions since we're needing a new one. However, I'd love to know if you have plans/instructions for a double cabinet like this. Something to where each tilt out on its own, but share the same structure/top/etc.



Ana you mentioned in a plan for a trash can cabinet that you would post a video on building a raised panel door. Have you done it yet or is there another place to go to get some ideas? Thanks a bunch for all of your help.


I completed a project that included a slightly modified version of this tilt out trash cabinet but can't, for the life of me, get your CAPTCHA to work to submit as a Brag Post. I'll try posting a link to it here (http://wp.me/p2R2F1-7I) but please FB or email me so to figure out how to sign up as a member. I swear my eyes are not that old so I'm not sure why I'm having problems! :)

Happy New Year! ~ Dee @ deeconstructed.com

I have to admit this recycling cabinet looks so much better than an actual recycle bin, how long did it take to build it? I'm in the middle of changing my home's interior design and I would gladly build one for us! It would be a nice surprise for my wife to find it in our kitchen!

You could also go to a place where they sell reclaimed building supplies and use an old door from a cupboard or something. Just an idea. Obviously you would need to modify the size to suit your door. A good way to re-use.

Where I live Habitat for Humanity has a place called the ReStore which is great for those kind of things.

BTW...Great site!

My dog raids the trash if I forget to put either it, or him away when I leave the house. This is just what I have been looking for and am going to put a crude latch of some sort on it for added security. I can't wait until it's finished and he doesn't even know whats inside of it.

Hi Ana! I'm a long time fan of your creations and plans and have printed quite a few off with the intent of starting! But now I'm serious about starting and am going to make it happen!

I just had a quick question about the wood. If I am going to go to my local lumber yard and have the cut it for me do I just take the cut list or do I show them both the wood shopping list and the cut list?

Thank you!

Hi CreativeBond,

If you're just buying 1 Ryobi Airstrike, you'll get the most use out of the 18G brad nailer.  I absolutely love mine and use it for tons of building things.  It will shoot 5/8" brads up to a 2" length nail which is great for most of your general building needs.  Also the 18G leaves a smaller nail hole to fill.  The 18G brad nailer is less expensive too.  I paid $129 for my 18G, and our HD lists the 16G at $199.   You'll be very happy with the Airstrike!  Happy building!


Ana, I missed this post before but kudos to you for keeping your promises and trying to find the balance between what you love to do and enjoying the time you have with those you love.  Both of my children are grown with children of their own and I wish I had been able to devote more time to them when they were young.  The years seem to fly by and all to soon you will have time on your hands because they are busy.  

I noticed that you were posting less but you have so many plans here for me to pick and choose plus you still posted at least once or twice a week with either one of your plans or had a guest blogger.  So... from the virtual condiment aisle (because I live almost as far from you and still stay in the US as I can get) sure we miss you but we understand.

Keep up the great work.  You have inspired so many to diy.


I have no place to put a trash can near any of my appliances or sink or counters. The only space is on the opposite side of the kitchen from any trash producing area. Alas, the other side of the kitchen is where my table and chairs live. I don't like having the garbage next to my meals, so when I saw this cabinet, I had a major AHA! moment. I plan to use beadboard for the front so that it matches my kitchen cabinets. Thanks loads for this.

Susan G in TN