An Easy Way To DIY Cane Cabinet Doors

white cabinet doors after having rattan panels added

When we installed our cabinets in our snug room, we used cut down kitchen cabinets to cover an ugly radiator and provide extra storage. The only problem with this was that to get the heat from the radiator, you had to have the cabinet doors open! So I needed to find a way to let the heat out without having to see the radiator. I really like the look of rattan cane cabinet doors, as I like how the natural warm tone of the rattan cane provides warmth and texture. I realised that if I could DIY some cane cabinet doors, they would do the job perfectly. So here’s what I did:

Step 1: Measuring For The Cane Cabinet Door Panels

The existing cabinet doors are ‘Shaker’ style, so my plan was to upcycle them by cutting out the central section of the doors and replacing this with the cane, leaving the frame around the edge. The first thing I did was to measure this central section of the doors. Once I knew the size of the section I needed to cut out, I was able to work out how much rattan I needed to make my cane cabinet doors. I allowed a few extra centimetres all around.

Once I had my measurements, I ordered some cane webbing from Clas Ohlson.

Step 2: Making The Cabinet Cut-outs

The next step in making the cane cabinets was to cut out the centre section of my Shaker doors. To do this I used a jigsaw and a drill. Using a drill, I drilled a hole as close to each corner of the area I was removing as possible, making sure I used a big enough drill bit that I could fit the blade of the jigsaw into the hole. I then used the jigsaw to carefully cut around the edges of the centre section, staying as straight and as close to the edge as I could:

Step 3: Sanding And Painting

Once I had cut out all of the centre sections, I then sanded the rough edges of the cabinet doors and primed them for painting. As I was keeping the doors the original white colour, once they were dry I painted the raw edges white to match.

cabinet doors with central sections cut out ready to add rattan cane panels.
My cut-out doors with sanded edges ready for painting.

Step 4: Preparing The Rattan Cane

The lengths of cane that I had bought were rolled up and were quite hard and stiff, so I soaked them in warm water (in the bath) for about 40 minutes to make the cane more soft and pliable to work with. After removing it from the water I was able to lay it out flat and cut it to size using scissors.

cane webbing being cut whilst damp.
Once softened, the rattan was easy to cut through using scissors.

Step 5: Attaching The Cane To The Cabinet Doors

I attached the Rattan to the inside of the door frame using an upholstery stapler. As the rattan was still damp when I was doing this, I tried to pull it as tight as I could as I stapled around the edges of the door. This is because the cane shrinks a little bit as it dries, so pulling it tight ensures that it becomes taught when dry. Before I attached the rattan I also made sure that I had the holes in the cane lined up straight against the edges of the door. As I have 4 doors side by side on my cabinet I thought it would look a bit odd if one of them was out of line.

cane webbing panel being attached to a cabinet door with a stapler.

Once I had attached the cane to all four cabinet doors, I put the doors back on and here they are:

cabinet doors with cane inserts.

I’m so pleased with them! Making the cane cabinet door panels was so easy – I think they look great!