Cubby Bookcases Modular Office Collection

Submitted by Ana White on Tue, 02/16/2010 - 05:05
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Cubby bookshelves are so popular because they enable you to further sort and organize your belongings. No longer do you need bookends and even baskets and bins become optional. This cubby bookshelf works with the craft table top to create a project table. It's the best of both worlds - ample workspace and easy storage. Build the cubby bookshelves alone or add the project tabletop for even more functionality.

36" x 36" x 12"


Shopping List

(This shopping list is for only one bookshelf) 

3 - 1x12(8') 
1 - 1/4" plywood (1/2 sheet) 
1 -1x2 (8')
Common Materials
2 inch screws
1 1/4 inch finish nails
120 grit sandpaper
wood conditioner
paint brush
Cut List
  • 2 – 1×12 @ 36″ (Top and Bottom) 
  • 4 – 1×12 @ 34 1/2″ (Vertical Dividers) 
  • 6 – 1×12 @ 11″ (Shelves) 
  • 1 – 36″ x 36″ 1/4″ Plywood (Back) 
  • 6 – 1×2 @ 11″ (Inside Supports)
Tape Measure
Speed Square
Safety Glasses
Hearing Protection
Kreg Jig
Power Sander
General Instructions

Work on a clean level surface. Mark your joints and cuts before assembling. Dry fit your pieces before fastening. Check for square after each step. Always use glue and work safely.


Step 1

Build the Box. Fasten the vertical dividers to the tops and bottoms as directed above. Screws will hold better, nails are easier. If you use screws, predrill and countersink your screw heads. Use 2″ fasteners and glue. Check for square.

Step 2

Back. Attach the back, making sure to fasten to the vertical dividers. Use the 1 1/4″ nails and glue. Check for square.

Step 3

Inside Supports. Fasten the inside supports through the tops and bottoms using glue and 2″ fasteners. Also fasten through the sides into the ends. These supports will keep everything square and give you something to fasten the project table top to.

Step 4

Shelves. Measure and add shelf pins where the shelves are marked above. Notice the first Pottery Barn photo – the shelves in this system are removable. Fit the shelves on the shelf pins.

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Guest (not verified)

Fri, 10/14/2011 - 14:46

Hi, I am one of those people that need every step laid out so, how do you attach the top of the table to the cubbies?

Guest (not verified)

Sat, 10/15/2011 - 11:49

So no extra supports are needed to install the top? I always try to over think stuff!! Thanks!!

Phil (not verified)

Thu, 10/20/2011 - 18:02

I see the "check for square" on alot of plans, but how do you accurately check for square? Also, if you aren't square, what do you do then? Undo it and try again?


Sun, 02/26/2012 - 12:36

Hi Ana, I'm new to your blog today and so excited about your plans that I can barely type. This cubby/desk unit is about $400 ON SALE to purchase. Have wanted it for so long, but just can't do it in this economy and couldn't figure out how to make it (I'm a newbie at woodworking and am loving it).
Thank you thank you thank you for all you are doing!
I too am interested in making the cubbies able to hold 12x12 products.

Christi Jay (not verified)

Tue, 03/06/2012 - 08:21

I am confused. I am not seeing where to use the Kregg Jig. When do we use it? and where ? and how to we fasten the 2 inch screw? I am sorry,I am a newbie to these projects.


Mon, 09/22/2014 - 01:02

this is  for making pocket holes for a pocket hole screw. It makes a stronger joint in your projects and it is very easy to use.I hope this helps:)