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.


Viola (not verified)

Fri, 03/05/2010 - 09:56

Thank you Ana. This so versatile. I can hardly wait to build it this spring.

eas (not verified)

Fri, 03/05/2010 - 09:56

Ana, LOVE your blog!
I've been waiting and waiting for you to put plans up for a bookshelf EXACTLY like this!!!

Will you be doing plans for the 2 level one?!

Katie (not verified)

Fri, 03/05/2010 - 10:44

This is exactly what we are looking to build in our bedroom! We have a half story, with a low wall that I wanted to line with shelves like this! Thank you!!

Kate Bailey (not verified)

Fri, 03/05/2010 - 10:45

I know, I want to make the two level one, too! I could probably figure it out on my own by looking at the cut lists and instructions for this one, I'm just so lazy.... sigh. Anyway, I'm super excited to make this!

Qycone (not verified)

Fri, 03/05/2010 - 15:53

I love love love this! I am so happy you are doing these modern pieces too! My head is swimming with ideas on how I can use this! "Oh! I could use one there! Oh, I could use one over there too!"

I also put in a vote for the two level one when you get a chance. I think the two level one is exactly what I need to make the perfect sofa table in my living room.

Thank you so much, Ana! I am so inspired!

souldose (not verified)

Sat, 03/06/2010 - 02:06

I have to show this blog to my parents maybe they can build house furniture... I personally would love a study desk with big space to fit my wheelchair and something at the back after I'm seated that'll keep my chair from falling over when shaking and fainting spells hit

Alicia (not verified)

Mon, 03/08/2010 - 06:59

Can't wait for the two level one this will help clean up all the toys in the living room! Thanks!

Donna (not verified)

Mon, 03/15/2010 - 17:54

This is amazing! I've always admired these kind of shelves and thought I could possibly make one myself, but I could never quite figure out how to secure the vertical supports inside the shelving. Of course it was the trim...you make it look so easy! :)

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