How to Build Cubby Hole Shelves

Written by mandi rogier Google
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Cubbyholes can provide the perfect storage solution for a busy home. These separated units are ideal for families with multiple children who need to keep their belongings separate or for teachers doling out space to students. Placed by the door, these shelves can house backpacks, books, shoes, and umbrellas with a cube or set of cubes for each family member. In the playroom, cubbyholes can keep individual toys or sets of toys stored neatly in their own area. You can even implement cubbyholes in the kitchen, providing an individual spot for each appliance so that drips and crumbs don't scatter from one to the next.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Bookshelves
  • Measuring tape
  • Heavy cardboard
  • Scissors
  • Hot-glue gun
  • Glue

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  1. 1

    Measure the interior space of the shelves in your bookcase, from the underside of the top to the bottom shelf. The bottom of the lowest shelf is probably still about two inches from the floor, so you need to measure the interior space of the shelves, not the height of the entire case. Next, measure depth from the back of the bookcase to the front of the shelf and add 1 inch to this measurement. Record both numbers.

  2. 2

    Cut a piece of cardboard to the measurements recorded in Step 1. If you were to remove the shelves (which you can if they are easily removable) this piece should fit perfectly inside the case, standing flat against the side of the bookcase and sticking out one inch from the front.

  3. 3

    Measure the distance between the shelves and the width of the shelves in the bookcase. Mark the cardboard at each interval, indicating where the shelves would hit it.

  4. 4

    Cut out a large notch into the cardboard for each shelf, being careful to leave the last inch, which is holding the piece together. Insert the cardboard into the shelving unit. It should stand straight with each shelf fitting into the notch created for it. This divides the shelving unit into two spaces on each shelf.

  5. 5

    Repeat Steps 2 through 4 for each additional piece of cardboard until you have enough to divide your shelf into relatively even cubes. For example, if your shelves are 6 inches high and 30 inches long, you will need four dividers to create five 6-by-6-inch cubes.

  6. 6

    Run a thin line of hot glue along the top, bottom and back of each shelf where it meets the cardboard to keep your dividers in place.

Tips and warnings

  • This project begins with a standard set of bookshelves. However, if you may build these shelves to your own specifications with plywood, shelf mounts and screws. You can also find shelving in excellent condition for a great price at many Goodwill stores or yard sales.
  • For cubbyholes with dividers that do not stick out from the shelves, cut individual pieces of heavy cardboard or plywood for each divider.

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