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.


Saved By Grace (not verified)

Sun, 11/25/2012 - 11:34

Did anyone else build this using the Kreg Shelf Pin Jig? I am in the middle of building this project now, and on the two 1 x 12's in the middle of the bookshelf, you end up with holes that go all the way through the board when you drill both sides. I didn't see anything about this issue on the Kreg site or in this post, so I was wondering if this happened for anyone else? Maybe no one else considers this an issue? Or maybe it won't really be very noticeable?

Saved By Grace (not verified)

Sat, 12/22/2012 - 10:19

Just wanted to let people know that I "solved" this "issue" by adjusting the fence on the jig. I used the 1" inset for the two outer columns, and the 2" inset on the middle column.

Eric (not verified)

Fri, 12/21/2012 - 16:24

First, I love this website!

I purchased the materials and tools listed above, made all the cuts and was ready to start pre-drilling holes using the Kreg Jig when I noticed something.
None of the steps ever mention the two center vertical boards. The ones the shelves actually need to sit on. I was looking around like I had lost a whole 1x12 wondering what I did wrong. The materials list says you only need three 1x12x8 and none of the cuts listed mention the two 42 3/4 inch center boards. Did I read something wrong or do I need to go buy a fourth 1x12x8? I hate having to stop right in the middle when it was going so smoothly.. Thanks!

Saved By Grace (not verified)

Sat, 12/22/2012 - 10:15

Hello Eric,

Yes, you do need four 1 x 12 x 8's because the cut list does not include the two inside boards. I ran into the same problem and I tried to send Ana a message through the Facebook page, but I probably should have left a comment on here as well, sorry!


Tue, 03/19/2013 - 07:31

I ran into this problem as well, but it was a quick fix and got everything went smoothly after that. Finished assembly yesterday, and will begin sanding and painting tonight!

Love the site Ana!!

Joyful (not verified)

Sat, 12/29/2012 - 17:37

I am totally loving this site. Way to go Ana! I am in the process of building this cubby shelf and I love the plans available. Thank you for all you do!

Rajesh (not verified)

Wed, 01/02/2013 - 19:33

The box frame picture seems to indicate that the top rests on the side panels , however the pocket holes seem to attach from the top towards the side panel. Should it not be the other way around?.

Rajesh (not verified)

Sun, 01/06/2013 - 09:53

Hello Saved By Grace.

Thanks for the suggestion. Just wondering if the joint would last long if the pocket hole were put on the vertical board. The reason I say that is because
the pocket hole will be the direction of pull (if one were to lift it move etc..)

I am considering reducing the lenght of the top horizontal board to 431/2 inches
and also reducing the middle vertical boards by 42 inches. Will update when

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