November 11, 2013

Homemade Cubby Shelf

Yesterday I shared my new studio space and today I'd like to show you how I built the cubby shelf to hang on the wall.  I am so pleased with how it turned out, and I'm not the only one.  I already have two requests from family and friends to make one for them as gifts for Christmas.

Before I get to the nitty-gritty aspects of the project let me first explain that this won't be a tutorial that will give you exact measurements to follow.  

My goal for the studio space was to use only what I had on hand at home.  Which means I had to get a little creative with my stash of mismatched 1X4's to make it all work.  I was sort of flying by the seat of my pants through this project.  There was a lot of eye-balling and "that's close enough" moments to go around.  And I have to confess I was more interested in whether it was all going to work out than I was in taking photos for a tutorial.  All that being said, it truly is a very easy project so lets get started.

Supply List:

2" or 1 1/2" wood/or deck screws
circular saw
drill bits
wood filler
mounting hardware

The first step is to cut six 1X4's to the length of 30 inches (LOL, this was the first and last time I actually used my tape measure).

Lay the boards out like the photo below.  This will be your framework for the cubby.

The next step is to assemble the framework.

To do this I started at the bottom of the shelf, laying one 1X4 flat on the floor and lining up first the right side and then the left side of the cubby framework to the first board I laid down.  Making sure the bottom edges were lined up and flush, I then pre-drilled a hole through the outside framework and into the flat board.  I used two screws on both the right side and the left side. (see photo below)

The next step is to attach the first shelf board.  Line up one of the pre-cut 30" 1X4 directly on top of the board you just attached.  Make sure to pre-drill all holes first.  (see photo below)

Next attach the remaining two shelves in the order show in the photo below (see #1, #2, #3, #4).  You will now have a box with three shelves across it's length.  

The next step is to determine how many cubbies you want and measure and cut 1X4's to add as dividers.  I decided to divide the top rectangle into two parts and the bottom rectangle into three parts  (See #5, #6, #7).  This is where the eye balling and "close enough" moments came in.  I simply laid scrap 1X4's across where I wanted the dividers to be to see if it fit.  Eyeballing the fit and marking the length of the boards to be trimmed worked out quite well.  Some were spot on, others where "close enough".  I attached all the dividers by the same method as before of pre-drilling through the outside and into the piece being attached.  A level will come in very handy at this stage.  Make sure your dividing boards are level both left and right across the space but also level front to back.

Once I had the rectangles divided into parts  I still had a few scrap pieces left so I decided to divide one upper square one more time and one lower square one more time to add a little more interest to the cubby.  See #8 and #9 below.  I attached theses dividers just like I did previously.

At this point you will be done with the building part of the project.  Only the finishing work is needed.  Fill all your screw holes with wood filler.  Prime and paint and then add some hooks to the bottom and hanging hardware to the top of the cubby.

Your finished project should look like this!

Hope you enjoyed this,


  1. Super cute Cubby Robin! Need to check your studio space out!

  2. This great Robin! I have just the wall for this. Thanks for the inspiration. J

  3. Just great! I loved it!!!
    Thanks and congratulations for your job.

  4. you are WAY too talented girlie - makin stuff and makin it pretty - what a great combo!! ahhhhh!


  5. Thanks for the tutorial. Your's looks so professional. And decorated so nicely. :o)

    1. Thank you so much. I had a lot of fun with this. So glad it turned out.

  6. This turned out so great, Robin! It's wonderful you could use what you had on hand, and that now you have some Christmas present ideas, too!

  7. You go girl! What a great job! I think my 'close enough's would be too far off, ha ha! It looks fabulous along your studio wall.

  8. Saw your link at Tweak it Tuesday. Your cubby is awesome! Great job with the building, and great job with the decor, love the hanging hooks on bottom and the gorgeous heart, love the deer and log cabin - love it all!


  9. No way, that looks so easy now that you showed how to do it! Off to the garage to see what boards I have laying around.

  10. I love it! No way could I have made that.

  11. you clever....clever..handy gal! this looks FAB! well done! ;)

  12. That cubby shelf is so pretty - and I love how you decorated it!

  13. I love your shelf! I also love your blog. Thanks for sharing with us on Twirl and Take a Bow! ~Tammy


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