Rolling Room Divider Cubbies

Submitted by Ana White on Thu, 03/18/2010 - 19:14
| Print this plan

Cubby shelves are so loved because they enable you to further divide down your storage spaces. This simple cubby was transformed by one of our amazing readers into this outstanding storage playroom.

I'm sure there is somewhere in your home you could roll this . . .
And quickly becoming one of my favorite colors is this "eggplantish" pink, with muted undertones. A little tip from someone who has painted tons of furniture, choose a color that is slightly muted. When you choose colors that are too bright, your furniture may take on a Dr. Seuss look. Nothing wrong with Dr. Seuss.
Ready to get your lumber cart and roll down the aisle, maybe get a few odd looks?
Overall Dimensions are shown above. Height without caster wheels is 60 1/2″. Depth is 13″ and width is 48″. Caster wheels will add approximately 2 1/2″ to the overall height. You can purchase different height caster wheels.


Shopping List

10 – 1×2 Boards (pine boards are about $1 each)
5 – 1×12 Boards (pine boards are about $9 each) OR 2 Sheets of 3/4″ A1 Plywood or 3/4″ MDF
Wood Glue
Wood Filler
2″ Nails for finish nailer
1 1/4″ Nails for finish nailer
5 Caster Wheels, shown in diagrams with a 2 1/2″ diameter, with screws
Sand Paper
Paint, Stain, Varnish or other finishing supplies

Common Materials
Cut List

Cut List for the Box
2 – 1×12 @ 59 3/4″ (Sides)
4 – 1×12 @ 46 1/2″ (Shelves)
1 – 1×12 @ 48″ (Top)
8 – 1×12 @ 14″ (Dividers)
Cut List of Trim (recommend to cut to measurements for exact fit)
4 – 1×2 @ 48″ (Top and Bottom Trim)
8 - 1×2 @ 57 1/2″ (Side Trim and Divider Trim)
18 – 1×2 @ 14″ (Shelf Trim)
3 – 1×2 @ 11 1/2″ (Wheel Supports)

Tape Measure
Speed Square
Safety Glasses
Hearing Protection
Kreg Jig
Circular Saw
General Instructions

Work on a clean level surface. Mark out joints prior to fastening. Take a square after each step to ensure your project is square. Use glue and 2″ nails unless otherwise directed. Wear saftey gear and take necessary safety precautions. If you are working with sheets of plywood or MDF, have your hardware store cut your plywood or MDF into strips that are 8′ long and 11 1/2″ wide. These will become dimensionally the same as a 1×12 board. If you are working with MDF, avoid nailing close to edges to avoid splitting your MDF whenever possible. You can alternately use drywall screws for MDF or wood screws for wood.


Step 1

Composition for Paint or Rustic Stained Look is pine boards in 1×12 width for the “box” and pine 1×2 boards for the trim
Composition for “Framed in Solid Hardwood” Look is 3/4″ A1 plywood in choice of hardwood (ie Maple) cut into 1×12 strips (11 1/2″ wide) with hardwood 1x2s for the frame.
Composition for Economical Painted Finish is 3/4″ Particle Board or MDF cut into 11 1/2″ wide strips, framed in 1×2 MDF or pine boards.

Step 2

Build the box. Start by marking out the sides where the shelves will be fastened. It is a good practice to mark on both sides of the shelves to mark where to nail. Remember that the shelves are 3/4″ thick. Leave a 3/4″ gap under the bottom of the bottom shelf as shown above.

Step 3

Dividers. In this step we are just going to fasten the dividers in so they don’t move. The trim will actually hold the dividers in place. Start by marking your shelves and top where the dividers will go. Remember that the dividers are 3/4″ thick.
Starting on the bottom shelf, fasten the bottom dividers to the bottom and first shelf. Working your way up, fasten the next level of dividers in place. This time you will only be able to fasten through the shelf on the upper shelf. On the lower shelf, you will need to nail at an angle through the front edge of the shelf into the ends of the dividers. Do this on the remaining dividers. Use 2″ nails and glue. Remember, we will add more support in the frame to the dividers.

Step 4

Bottom and Top Trim. Check for square. Then using 2″ nails an glue, fasten the bottom and top trim in place. Make sure you fasten to any vertical dividers, whenever possible. Keep outside edges flush. Do this on the front and back.

Step 5

Step 6

Divider Trim. Measure and cut your divider trim. Mark the bottom and top trim boards as shown above. Fasten the divider trim to the dividers, as shown above. The trim will be centered on the dividers. Make sure you fasten to the shelves too. Use 2″ nails and glue. Do this on both the front and back.

Step 7

Shelf Trim. Measure and cut your shelf trim, keeping top edges flush with the tops of the shelves as you fasten the shelf trim in place. Use 2″ nails and glue. On the ends, fasten through the side trim into the ends of the shelf trim.

Step 8

Wheel Supports. As shown above, fasten the wheel supports to the bottom of the piece. Then attach your wheels to these support pieces.

Step 9

Finishing. Fill nail holes with wood filler and sand and finish as desired.

Help Improve This Plan

We apologize if there was an error in this plan. Please help us out and report any errors here.


savvy_homegirl (not verified)

Sat, 03/20/2010 - 04:45

In case there's any cheaters out there (like me) that are on the fence whether to buy or build.. EXPEDIT shelving - the 4 cube & 8 cube - is on sale this weekend at IKEA in Burlington, ON (maybe everywhere??).

The 8 cube is $59 instead of $99 and the 4 cube is $39 instead of $69.

subversivecynic (not verified)

Thu, 03/25/2010 - 18:12

Do you suppose that this could be built strongly enough to be a window bench as well as the storage? (we've a shortage of toy storage and a shortage of seating, I like the two birds, one stone approach.)

Sommer (not verified)

Sat, 04/24/2010 - 05:41

I love it with the solid counter top! I have a HUGE basement that is pretty much one big rec room and I've racked my brain tring to figure out how to furnish it so it doesn't look cluttered and I think these would be great! Thanks Ana. Oh and those tree's are too cute. Here is a link to a super cute fabric tree project you can make with your childs hand =)

Liz (not verified)

Sat, 04/24/2010 - 08:39

I love the look of these, so we started building them and we are short of 1 x 12s! 3 was not enough to get the top, sides, shelves and six dividers... we were only able to get two dividers! Am I missing something?

Joe Helfrich (not verified)

Sun, 05/02/2010 - 08:37

That didn't seem right to me when I started looking over the plans either, so I roughed out a cut plan in sketchup. There's no way to get all the wood out of three 8 foot boards. If you only need two dividers you can do it in three, (if you have scrap, or need fewer shelves); otherwise you need 12 foot boards or four 8 foot boards.

Travis (not verified)

Tue, 05/18/2010 - 04:41

This is great!!! I'm only going to make one of the units instead of 3 because it'll be in a smaller room. It looks like the cut list for the box is for one unit and the cut list for the trim is for 2 units??? Am I looking at this right? What is the shopping list for? One or two units or the whole thing (3 units including a corner)?

Erica (not verified)

Thu, 06/24/2010 - 12:55

We're planning on doing an entire wall, 12 ft wide, to look like built-in "shelves".

Any tips/advice on doing this going from floor to ceiling? :-) Thank you for all your postings Ana!


Thu, 03/10/2011 - 10:05

I love this..Im thinking something like this all along one wall in our game room would be so nice. I'm SO loving the tree sitting on top in the pic! Where can I find one of those!??


Wed, 04/13/2011 - 15:47

I'm lovin' the cubbies, but I really want the pattern for the tree cut-outs!!