Cubby Bookshelf - Large

Submitted by Ana White on Tue, 03/13/2012 - 10:49
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How to build a cubby bookshelf with adjustable shelf. Free plans for beginners with full video project tutorial.

cube bookshelf plans

Hey there!  Are you needing extra storage in your home?  Storage that adjusts, is attractive, and has some storage space on top?  Well look no further!  I've put together plans and a project video to help you build your own cubby bookshelf on a budget.  

Take a look!



cube bookshelf plans
Dimensions are shown above.


Shopping List

3 - 1x12 @ 8 feet long 5 - 1x2 @ 8 feet long optional moulding shelf pins

Common Materials
1 1/4 inch finish nails
2 inch finish nails
Cut List

BOX 2 - 1x12 @ 45 1/2" (sides)

1 - 1x12 @ 45" (top)

1 - 1x12 @ 43 1/2" (bottom)

2 1 x 12 @ 42 3/4" (middle uprights)

6 - 1x12 @ 14" (shelves)

BACK FACE FRAME 2 - 1x2 @ 44 3/4"

1 - 1x2 @ 45"

1 - 1x2 @ 42"

2 - 1x2 @ 41 1/4"

FRONT FACE FRAME 1 - 1x2 @ 45"

2 - 1x2 @ 44 3/4"

1 - 1x2 @ 42"

Optional moulding is cut to fit

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

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!


Step 1

Build the box. I used 3/4" pocket holes and 1 1/4" pocket hole screws and glue.

Step 2

Build back face frame first with Kreg Jig, then attach with 1 1/4" finish nails and glue.

Step 3

Now build the front face frame as you did the back face frame, and attach with pocket holes to back with 1 1/4" finish nails and glue.

Step 4

Add optional moulding if desired ...

Step 5

You can add the shelves with either pocket holes on the underside or using shelf pins.

If using pocket holes, drill two per end of each shelf (close to the outside edges) and attach with 1-1/4" pocket hole screws.

If using the shelf pins, drill shelf pin holes using a shelf pin jig.  Use shelf pins to set shelf in place.

Finishing Instructions
Preparation Instructions
Fill all holes with wood filler and let dry. Apply additional coats of wood filler as needed. When wood filler is completely dry, sand the project in the direction of the wood grain with 120 grit sandpaper. Vacuum sanded project to remove sanding residue. Remove all sanding residue on work surfaces as well. Wipe project clean with damp cloth.

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.


Guest (not verified)

Tue, 03/13/2012 - 12:41

Do you think it would be terribly difficult to add doors? We moved into a townhouse with an itty, bitty kitchen and I need some overflow storage. I like that these are adjustable. :)

DH is a bit OCD though and will not be ok with my crockpot and cans out for all to see!


Wed, 02/03/2021 - 06:01

might need to add 1x14" as top and bottom to get that 3/4" overhang for the doors to fit well?
Also seems like all of the 40-ish boards would require quantity 4 not 3?

Oregon SuNsHiNe (not verified)

Tue, 03/13/2012 - 13:57

Amazing! I love how you know what I need at the moment I need it. And a video like this is wonderful, and you're very tv-genic :-).

how fast is 4g (not verified)

Wed, 03/14/2012 - 06:43

Youre so cool! I dont suppose Ive learn something like this before. So very good to locate somebody with some exclusive concepts on this subject. realy thank you for beginning this up. this internet site is something that is needed on the net, somebody with somewhat originality. valuable job for bringing something new to the internet!


Wed, 03/14/2012 - 06:55

I've experienced the pain first hand of nails from a brad nailer that pull out. I didn't know about glue coated nails. Those might be necessary for a future project.

If you don't have a nailer, I read a good article a couple weeks ago about using cut nails:…

They're supposed to have a better gripping power than a regular nail. The article also has some good points about how to choose the right nail for the job, something I'd never known before. I'll be picking up a box of the trim nails with my next Lee Valley order.

Cindy from Indiana (not verified)

Wed, 03/14/2012 - 09:56

Listen, Ana could present these projects in a potato sack and look fabulous!

There aren't too many who can wield a power tool or two, build great looking stuff with seemingly no effort and still look drop dead gorgeous.

Love ya, Ana! Love your site! Love your projects! Keep up the great work.

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