Cubby Storage System

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About This Project

This was my first building project ever! Even though it took longer than I expected to complete (I have four tiny kids and snagged an hour here and there during nap time over the course of many months), it was absolutely worth the time investment (and wait)! Hanging the doors was tricky (my awesome husband tackled that part), but other than that it was easy to put together. Finishing it was the hardest part by far. If I were to do it again, I'd probably do some preliminary sanding of the boards before putting them together and I would most certainly not use oak (I was talked into it by the HD guys) especially since I ended up painting it. I think it would have turned out just as great if I'd used a cheaper wood or MDF. Thanks for the plans Ana!

Oak plywood
Required Skill Level: 
Estimated Time Investment: 
Week Long Project (20 Hours or More)
Finish Used: 
Started with two coats of Behr Ultra Interior Satin (paint w/primer) color matched to Martha Stewart Barn Red (sanded between coats). After one final (light) sanding to distress, I finished with one coat of Ralph Lauren Glaze in Tobacco that I had on hand (brush on one side of surface and then quickly wipe away excess with an old rag--moving the rag in the direction of the wood grain). The glaze brought out the wood grain more and helped tone down the exposed wood.


I love the color red you chose and the configuration. It's a substantial piece that doesn't feel overwhelming since it's not full wall height. Lovely job!

Wow, this is absolutely gorgeous!!!  Especially since this is your first project.  It has a really professional look.  Way to go!!

This looks amazing! I just built my open bases and four cubby hutches yesterday and can't wait to finish it up.  Where did you get your baskets?

Thanks everyone for the compliments! It is so satisfying to have this project DONE! I got the baskets from Target. The other boxes in the open cubby bases are just cardboard boxes that I mod podged cute scrapbook paper onto. I figure that way if my kids demolish the boxes (which based on past experience they most certainly will) there isn't much of an investment to be lost. 

Looks great. I'm about to start my first project and was wondering how you finished the edges of the plywood? Did you have to fill them and sand before painting? Does it show through the paint that it's ply? I can't tell from the photo. You really did an awesome job.

Incredible work! This is just what I want and am weighing the pros and cons of building or buying this setup from Portty Barn for nearly $1,000. If I may ask, how much did materials cost you? Obviously your time is priceless, espically with yound kids at home. Also did you have HD make the cuts? Did you find the material lists and cut lists to be accurate? Great tip about the wood type too. Thank you thank you for posting!

This project cost roughly $350. HD did almost all my cuts for me and yes, I felt like the cut lists and material lists were accurate. I did run into a problem getting the rails and stiles for the cupboard doors cut (HD said they could cut boards into pieces as small as I needed) and then when I did try to cut them on my own I mis-measured or mis-cut so that I ended up having gaps between the rails and stiles. I could have bought more wood and tried again, but I'm too cheap and had decent enough luck just filling the gaps with wood filler. You can't tell unless you look really close. As for the edges of the plywood. . . I actually purchased edge banding with the intent to use it so that I wouldn't have to fill and sand so much. For a variety of reasons, I did NOT use it in the end. I used tons of wood filler and sanded the edges until they were smooth enough for me. They certainly aren't perfect edges, but they're good enough for me and the beating that my kids will give this piece of furniture. Good luck builders!

Just want to let you know how much I admire this piece.

I'm considering building one to use in place of a dresser/media stand in my bedroom.

HI :)

I absolutely LOVE your work you did a great job- and we all owe Ana a great big thank you for her generous and fabulous plans!

I am SO excited to build this- I plan to build one section the open cubby base with the drawer and the hutch on top with the doors. (It will be a great piece for our living room and hopefully take care of hiding our DVD collection- which is currently in the attic in laundry baskets... as well as blankets which are currently shoved under a table)....

Does anyone know where I can find the door plans, or does anyone have them that can email them to me? I have next week off work and I would love to surprise my husband with this!

Thanks so much,

I love your work, it really is a great spectacle accompany each moment. I love this style of work I have great admiration for the work done.

- Para a instalação completa de todas as peças do ar condicionado automotivo em veículos de todos os tipos é importante realizar trabalhos eficientes e completos.