Locker Bookshelf - Full Size

Submitted by Ana White on Fri, 08/30/2019 - 11:52
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Need better organization in your entryway or hall, but it's too narrow for a hall tree or bench, and don't want to drill holes in your wall?

Build your own locker unit!  It's the size of a bookshelf, and is freestanding - so you can move into your home without drilling holes in the wall.  You can build it with basic tools and our free step by step plans with full diagrams, shopping and cut lists.

Need a smaller size?  We have plans for a smaller locker bookshelf here.

freestanding wood locker bookshelf

Photo by KHAWLEY5 - modified in height

locker unit freestanding wood project
Dimensions are shown above.


Shopping List
  • 44 – 1 1/4″ Pocket Hole Screws
  • 2″ brad nails
  • 1″ brad nails
  • 3 – 1×12 – 12 foot Pine or Whitewood Boards
  • 4 – 1×2 – 8 foot Pine or Whitewood Boards
  • 1 – 1×3 – 4 foot Pine or Whitewood Board
  • One sheet 1/4″ plywood, paneling or MDF
  • Wood Glue
  • Wood filler or Pocket Hole Plugs 
  • Coat Hooks
Cut List
  • 2 – 1×12 @ 67 1/4″ (sides)
  • 3 – 1×12 @ 46 1/2″ (shelves)
  • 1 – 1×12 @ 49 1/2″ (top)
  • 2 – 1×12@ 36 1/2″ (locker sides)
  • 1 – 1×2 @ 48″ (header)
  • 2 – 1×2 @ 65 3/4″ (side trim)
  • 1 – 1×2 @ 49 1/2″ (crown)
Tape Measure
Speed Square
Safety Glasses
Hearing Protection
Kreg Jig
Circular Saw
Brad Nailer
Power Sander
Drill Bit Set


Step 1

Build the Box

This is so easy. Just drill pocket holes on both ends of all of the shelves and the top ends of the sides. Drill three pocket holes per end, as shown in the diagram. Then mark the sides for the joints of the shelves. Apply glue to the shelves and screw in place with 1 1/4″ pocket hole screws and glue.

Step 2

Locker Dividers

Mark the middle shelves as shown above. Drill pocket holes on both ends of each of the dividers. Use 1 1/4″ screws and glue to attach dividers to the shelves.

Step 3


I purposely choose to make the back 48″ wide so that 1) you don’t have to rip plywood and 2) you don’t have to waste plywood. Use 2″ nails and glue to nail the back on. Make sure you all the shelves and dividers too.

Step 4

Face Frame

Drill pocket holes on both ends of the footer and header. Drill two pocket holes per end. Mark legs 3″ from bottom and screw the footer and header to legs as shown above. Tack the frame to the face of the cabinet.

Step 5

Attach front top trim to finish out the front edge of the cabinet.


evelania (not verified)

Tue, 10/19/2010 - 11:36

Hi Ana,

This is beautiful--I especially love the color! Looking at your other images, including the adirondack chair, I am now curious what paint colors you used. Please tell me they are note "opps" or mixed paint colors. Can you supply the paint name and maker? Thank you!

Erik (not verified)

Tue, 10/26/2010 - 14:54

Hey Ana,

Just saw this featured in the magazine. Very nice work. I am going to build this for our mudroom. One question, how did you paint/finish it to give it that aged/weathered look? It looks really great.

Ana White (not verified)

Tue, 10/26/2010 - 19:44

Erik, thank you! The finish is simply two coats of cosmic green by Valspar in flat. I let that dry, sanded edges with sandpaper, then added a coat of chocolate glaze (check the faux painting aisle) over the paint. Then a clear top coat. Good luck!

Stephanie Bowling (not verified)

Thu, 10/28/2010 - 05:11

I LOVE this!!! I don't have a mudroom, but, have a small homeschool room that I am desperately needing storage for. I need something that can go up against a specific wall and this is the perfect width. But...I'm wondering if it would look bad to add shelving in one of the sections for books. I have lots of puzzles, little boxes of art supplies, etc. It would also be cool for each boy to have a place to hang thier backpack and put their own stuff. I just want to make sure it's practical and won't look strange....opinions???

caroline (not verified)

Thu, 11/04/2010 - 13:48

I'm in love with it! And the color just makes it even more irresistable....

I want to use it in my entry way closet (which is wide and narrow) but i want it to be only two cubbies so i can add a rod for jackets. do you have altered dimensions anywhere on the site for this? When I start measuring and doing math, things dont end up well! Thanks!

Karrie Johnson (not verified)

Mon, 11/08/2010 - 10:54

I love your site! Can you please tell me what size storage baskets you used in your photos for the cubbies? Thanks!


AJ (not verified)

Mon, 11/22/2010 - 12:56

I built this a few weeks ago to hold our hockey gear in the garage (5 kids). The bottom shelf is perfect for skates and roller blades. The thing that REALLY makes this work for me, I used pegboard for the back, so I can hang gear inside, and extra gear hangs behind the unit. This is helpful since the unit is not against a wall! I also added a hook to hang an adult bag along the side. I just wish I had a rod on the other side to hang all the jerseys.
Now, for construction. I won't use MDF, so it's all solid pine 1x12. That made it very easy to get the lumber home in the minivan, but next time I'd use plywood, and 1x16. This was also my first project with the Kreg jig. It's amazing! I splurged on the vice-grip clamp, and I wouldn't want to live without it. I wish I had more time, and I could stain it, and personalize it with nameplates or numbers. Pair this with the "rustic bench" for a great place to gear up during street hockey games!

Lori S (not verified)

Tue, 11/30/2010 - 03:20

THANK YOU ANA!! First and foremost, just for empowering women out there who think they can't swing a hammer, or use power tools--your beautiful, practical and EASY to build storage unit just shows all the women (and practical men too), that "necessity" really is the mother-of-invention.....Speaking from a woman who has been building alll my life (mostly out of necessity because "you can't find exactly what you want,when you want it,at the price you want to pay for it"). Starting from a very young age being dragged around to building projects alongside my grandfather,to remodeling a boat with my father, to rebuilding a home with my stepfather, it is refreshing to see these projects being built by "Moms" out there who aren't afraid to share with all of the readers. I applaud you and your husband for building your home by yourselves. I will be looking forward to more of your projects in the coming issues! Thanks again!!

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