How to build a cubby wall shelf from cedar fence pickets! Free plans from Ana-White.com
5 fence pickets - I used dog eared cedar ones (recommed getting 6 in case one splits or you have to cut around knots)
1 1/4" finish nails
2 - 1/2" x 5 1/2" fence pickets @ 32 1/2" long (vertical dividers)
7 - 1/2" x 5 1/2" fence pickets @ 16" long (horizontal shelves)
2 - 1/2" x 5 1/2" fence pickets @ 36" long (sides)
7 - 1/2" x 5 1/2" fence pickets @ 17" long (back - optional or you could use plywood)
Please read through the entire plan and all comments before beginning this project. It is also advisable to review the Getting Started Section. Take all necessary precautions to build safely and smartly. Work on a clean level surface, free of imperfections or debris. Always use straight boards. Check for square after each step. Always predrill holes before attaching with screws. Use glue with finish nails for a stronger hold. Wipe excess glue off bare wood for stained projects, as dried glue will not take stain. Be safe, have fun, and ask for help if you need it. Good luck!
First cut the vertical dividers. Mark the side you start measuring from - this will be the bottom. Clearly mark this - it is important because if your boards aren't exactly 1/2" thick (mine were almost 1/16 wider in width) you'll be off that much.
Then cut five of the seven boards in notches. Again, mark the side you measure the notch outs to keep everything square and even.
With your vertical divider boards with the marked end down, add the shelves, marked ends all to either the right or left for consistency. You may need to use a mallet to get the notches to go in, or sand some tight spots.
Next, mark the top and bottom shelf 5" and 10 1/2" in to match the notch outs you did in step 2. Match up with the side you measured from matching the marked ends of the notched shelves.
I nailed on with 1 1/4" finish nails and glue.
Originally I was going to slap 1/4" plywood to the back, but thought that the cedar would be prettier and cheaper. So I just cut boards and added to the back. For the top, I simply cut it down to size with the jigsaw.
It is always recommended to apply a test coat on a hidden area or scrap piece to ensure color evenness and adhesion. Use primer or wood conditioner as needed.