PureBond Children's Locker

Beginner Projects
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Build a rolling kids locker unit! Just like preschool! Free DIY plans from Ana-White.com

Has this ever happened to you?

I traveled last week to Atlanta to host a carpentry workshop at Haven 2012, and for weeks, I've been so excited about it!  To finally get a chance to build with lots of my DIY buddies!  Oh Yeah!

I even went a day early to make sure I had time to prep to make sure everything went smoothly.

But when the session started, with a camera rolling, guess what happened?

Nope, I didn't freeze up.  I wanted to.

Or start crying. I wanted to do that too.

My NOSE did!

Yes, my NOSE started crying.

I'm not really sure what happened, but I just turned into a faucet.  That wouldn't turn off.

I was mortified.

Has that ever happened to you?

Some angel handed me a clean tissue, and the kind ladies in the audience were very understanding - thank you - and what do you know - as soon as the session was over, it stopped.

I guess some people break out into a sweat under pressure.

Me, I just get awful allergies.  My nose turns into a faucet.

Forget picturing everyone in their underwear.  I'm grabbing a box of kleenex.

Anyway, I survived, and I owe you an awesome Haven post, but I want to get you plans pronto for the project I built at Haven.

Well, I actually didn't build it all by myself at Haven.

I had a lot of help!  Photo from Ugly Duckling House  Man, those Haven ladies were good with power tools!

Before the Haven Conference, I was asked to come up with a plan to build using exactly one sheet of 3/4" PureBond Plywood - you know the beautiful hardwood plywood made right here in North America with soy based glues?

I thought since we'll be sending our kids back to school in a couple of months, a project that helps the children organize for school would be best.  This is the cubby unit I came up with.  Yes, she rolls!

The kids locker cubby organizer was on display at the PureBond booth and was given away to Erin from DIY on the Cheap.  Sweet Erin is also sharing photos with us today!

I missed you - and thank you everyone who has stepped up in my absence to help out!

Dimensions are shown above.


Shopping List

1 – sheet ¾” PUREBOND plywood (shown in oak) 

4 – 4 feet long 1x3 boards in matching species 

1 – half sheet ¼” plywood in matching species 

4 – caster wheels with plates 

1 ¼” Pocket hole screws 

1 ¼” finish nails 

Wood glue 

Edge Banding if staining

Cut List

1 – 1x16 @ 48”
2 – 1x16 @ 14”
2 – 1x16 @ 10 3/4”
1 – 1x16 @ 46 1/2”
3 – 1x3 @ 46 1/2"
2 – 1x8 @ 36 1/4”
1 – 1x8 @ 46 1/2”
2 – 1x8 @ 33”
1 – ¼” plywood 48” x 48”
3 – 1x8 @ 15”

Tape Measure
Speed Square
Safety Glasses
Hearing Protection
Kreg Jig
Circular Saw
Power Sander
Drill Bit Set
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

The first step is to cut your PureBond Plywood into more manageable strips. I suggest first ripping two strips from the full sheet into 15 3/4" wide strips, 8 feet long. Then cut your big pieces from these. Take all the scraps and rip into 7 3/4" wide strips.

You'll want to also drill all of your pocket holes at this stage. Go through the plan and mark each board where you will need a PH and drill. You will need to use 3/4" PHs and 1 1/4" PH screws.

Step 2

Start by assembling the base storage compartments as shown above. Measure and mark out the joint locations with a square and attach with 1 1/4" PH screws.

Step 3

Mark out the cubby divider locations with a square, and then attach this time with countersunk screws.

Step 4

Drill pocket holes along top edge and ends of the footers. Attach inset slightly to the base.

I actually nailed and glued for the session - which works just fine.

Step 5

Step 6

Now the top shelf. Measure and mark out the location.

Step 7

And then attach the dividers. NOTE: These should actually be 33" long.

Step 8

Followed by the back header - do the same, drill PHs along ends and bottom edge and attach as you did the footers.

Step 9

Finally, attach back with glue and nails.

Step 10

NOTE: For the shelves, I used shelf pins and recommend attaching a 1x3 to back underside of the shelf to attach hooks to. Then when you move your shelf down or up, the hook goes too.

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.


Bill (not verified)

Mon, 06/25/2012 - 23:16

This design looks pretty well thought out. However do you think the pocket system is extra work for fastening the interior verticals? I'd do them simply countersunk from above/below and then you don't have the elliptical holes to fill.

The side verts would be stronger with the pockets though because of the grain directions.

The plywood back is actually critically important. If done right, with a good glue joint it will hold everything together. Without it, the system is rickety. You could even eliminate the pocket fastenings on the outer verts that are toward the back--because of the support of the back.

Now, for shelf pins: you don't describe how you deploy these. Accuracy of placement is important to prevent wobbly shelves. How did you do it?

Ilana (not verified)

Sat, 07/07/2012 - 20:22

Hi, Ana

This is my first project- I know, kinda crazy- and I am having an issue already. When I was sawing my boards, some of my cuts went wrong. Right now I have one 1x16 @ 14" and the second one is shorter, @13.5 approx.
What can I do so that my piece is not totally lopsided?
I since then researched on your blog and saw hoe to make a jig for cutting plywood... Good to know for next time, but what with now?

Also, would you suggest getting the guys at home depot to do every single cut for me in the future? I only have a circular saw...


In reply to by Ilana (not verified)

Ana White

Sat, 07/07/2012 - 21:46

Hi Ilana, great that you got started!

For a first project, might not be a bad idea to ask the HD to do the board cuts :)

No worries on your cuts being off. Just make both ends the same at 13 1/2" and then take 1/2" off the 10 3/4" boards (make them 10 1/4". Then all you did was shorten the whole project by 1/2"

Good luck on the project!



Wed, 09/18/2013 - 21:29

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