2x4 Console Cubby Shelves

Submitted by Ana White on Fri, 03/05/2010 - 09:31
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This console height cubby unit can be used as wall storage or as one of our readers did (inspired by DIY Magazine) an entire wall of storage! Special thanks to our readers for sharing their photos.


This stack of magazines from our trip to the bookstore have been waiting to be blogged for a couple of weeks, and just yesterday it occurred to me that the April editions are probably now available. So not to overwhelm you with magazines, but I wanted to show you the reason I bought the Better Homes and Gardens DIY magazine for March 2010

image from DIY Magazine, Better Homes and Gardens, Spring 2010

I loved this room, and I especially love the shelving. Of course this is an IKEA Expedit unit, and at $70, a very reasonable price. I am going to give you plans for a similar unit (with trim over the shelves and dividers for extra strength) today, and also show you how to add the molding on the bottom of the shelving unit.

image from DIY Magazine, from Better Homes and Gardens Spring 2010

Notice that is THREE shelving units, put together with a solid countertop. I will show you how to adjust the length of the legs in this plan to get this exact look. Love those trees? Go to here for the pattern, from Jeni Wright of Team DIY.

So you might not have room for all three. I just want to give you an idea of how to finish out the tops and bottoms to make the shelving units look like built-ins. Of course, if you like the wheeled version better,

That's the plan we are doing today!

63 1/2" x 30 1/4" x 12 3/4"


Shopping List

4 – 8′ 1×12 Boards (Cut all of the long cuts first, short cuts from the scraps)
8 – 1×2 Boards, 8′ Length

Common Materials
1 1/4 inch screws
2 inch screws
1 1/4 inch finish nails
2 inch finish nails
120 grit sandpaper
wood conditioner
paint brush
Cut List

Cut List for the Box

2 – 1×12 @ 30 1/4″ (Sides
1 – 1×12 2 63 1/2″ (Top)
2 – 1×12 @ 62″ (Shelves)
6 – 1×12 @ 14″ (Vertical Dividers)

Cut List for the Trim (I recommend cutting your trim to the project specific measurements and using these numbers as a guide)

4 – 1×2 @ 63 1/2″ (Top and Bottom Trim)
10 – 1×2 @ 28″ (Vertical Trim)
8 – 1×2 @ 14″ (Shelf Trim)

3 – 1×2@ 11 1/2″ (Caster Wheel Supports)

Tape Measure
Speed Square
Safety Glasses
Hearing Protection
Kreg Jig
Circular Saw
Brad Nailer
Power Sander
General Instructions

Work on a clean level surface. Take a square after each step. Use glue and keep outside edges flush as necessary. Use proper safety equipment and precautions.


Step 1

Build the Box. Begin by fastening through the sides with 2″ nails and glue to the shelves. Use the measurements above to guide you. Then fasten the top in place.

Step 2

Dividers. First fasten all the bottom dividers in place, fastening through the shelves into the ends of the dividers. Mark out the proper spacing. Then fasten through the top into the top dividers. To fasten the bottom edge of the top divider, nail at an angle through the bottom corner of the divider into the shelf. Use 2″ nails and glue.

Step 3

Trim. Using 2″ nails and glue, fasten the trim in place, measuring to fit. You may wish to mark the top and bottom trim before fastening the vertical trim in place. The shelf trim is flush on the top with the shelves.

Step 4

Caster Supports. Using 1 1/4″ nails and glue, fasten the caster supports to the bottom of the piece. Then fasten your casters to these pieces.


Jessica Kennedy (not verified)

Wed, 06/27/2012 - 10:26

When clicking on the link it doesn't not show the tree pattern. I really would love to have this

Guest (not verified)

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 12:40

Does anyone know where I can get the plans Ana mentions for these shelves with the added countertop and molding to make them look like built-ins?  She references these plans, but I only see the ones for the single shelf with wheels.  Am I missing something?  Thank you!


Tue, 04/12/2011 - 12:59

I can't give you the exact dimensions but I do remember the plan used to be much longer..(because I wanted the built-in look too.) basically you build the box the same but extend the vertical face framing down as legs and then trim the bottom with base molding. For the top she added cleats to the corner walls and then another board across the top. I remember Ana saying not to use glue though, otherwise it would be impossible to get off. Does that make sense??

Maybe she will see this and post her original extended plans so you won't have to rely on my poor description and shoddy memory.... I'll look to see if I saved it somewhere though. 

Guest (not verified)

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 17:29

Bhoppy, thank you so much for the info.  I would love the extended plans, if you have them.  I appreciate your help!


Wed, 04/13/2011 - 10:30

I found a pdf version of the extended plans on my computer with all of Ana's original coversion to built-in with sketchup details... I don't see a way to upload on here so contact me directly and I will email them to you:-)

Guest (not verified)

Wed, 04/13/2011 - 11:14

I am new to this site, so I am not sure how to contact you for the plans.  Thank you so much!


Wed, 04/13/2011 - 11:42

It's easy and you can sign in and save plans to your virtual "to do list"..

I first found this site when I was looking for the article that Ana referenced in this plan from the DIY magazine last spring.  I haven’t actually built the cubbies because I can't cut straight with a circular saw to save my life (yet) But it's still on my "to do" list.  I have one of the 2x4 Ikea Expedit cubbies and I built some gallery shelves for the wall above them from Ana's 10$ ledge plans. 


Wed, 04/13/2011 - 17:24

Ok, I created an account.  But there must be something wrong with the site.  When I go to contact you a white pop-up occurs, but does not allow me to write anything :(.

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