How to Make Cube Shelves

Written by sharon mcneill
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How to Make Cube Shelves
You can build your own cube shelves. (sawing wood image by Aussiebloke from

Cube shelves can be made in various sizes or all the same size. They can be made with regular spruce lumber or even scrap lumber. Cube shelves can be hung, attached or simply stacked on the floor. These instructions are for a 12 inch wide by 12 inch tall cube.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Tape measure
  • 1 piece of 3/4 inch by 11-1/2 inch lumber (1x12) 5 feet long
  • Large square
  • Safety goggles
  • Circular saw
  • Sandpaper
  • Paint
  • Wood putty
  • Heavy duty hanger

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  1. 1

    Measure 12 inches down from each end of your 1x12 and mark.

    How to Make Cube Shelves
    Measuring from end of lumber and making mark. (man measuring lumber image by palms from
  2. 2

    Place your framing square on the 12 inch mark and draw a line across the 1x12 lumber the 12 inch way. This will give you a straight line when you cut your lumber. There are a few different kinds of framing squares. Some are shaped like an "L" and some are like the one in the picture.

    How to Make Cube Shelves
    One kind of framing square (square image by Paul Moore from
  3. 3

    Put on your safety goggles and use them every time you cut lumber.

    How to Make Cube Shelves
    Safety goggles (safety at work image by Paula Gent from
  4. 4

    Cut your 12 inch pieces with your circular saw, all the way across, using the line as your guide. This will give you a top and a bottom for your cube. When cutting lumber, always use the line as a guide, cutting on the side of the line you will not be using. If you cut on the line or on the side you will be using, your lumber will not be what you measured; it will be shorter because of thickness of the saw blade.

    How to Make Cube Shelves
    Circular saw (construction image by Greg Pickens from
  5. 5

    Measure and mark two 10-1/2 inches pieces for your sides and your centre piece out of the remaining lumber.

  6. 6

    Draw your line with your frame square on each mark the 12 inch way.

  7. 7

    Cut your 10-1/2 inch pieces with your circular saw, all the way across, using the line as your guide.

  8. 8

    Sand all the rough edges on all your pieces with fine sandpaper.

    How to Make Cube Shelves
    Sandpaper (sandpapier image by Thomas Aumann from
  9. 9

    Paint all your pieces and allow them to dry.

    How to Make Cube Shelves
    Paint and brush (brush in paint image by Vladislav Gajic from
  10. 10

    Nail one 12 inch piece to two of your 10-1/2 inch pieces using your 1-1/2 inch finish nails. Make sure the cut edge of the 12 inch top is exposed and you have nailed to the cut ends of the 10-1/2 inch pieces.

    How to Make Cube Shelves
    Finish nail (hammer, nail set and nails image by Allen Stoner from
  11. 11

    Nail the 12 inch bottom onto your two sides using your 1-1/2 inch finish nails, with the cut side of the 12 inch board exposed.

  12. 12

    Counter sink each nail with another nail by placing the nail on top of the head of the nail and lightly taping it in.

  13. 13

    Put wood putty in all your nail holes. Sand the wood putty, wipe off dust and touch up with paint.

  14. 14

    Attach your heavy duty hanger to the back of your cube on the side piece. If you are using your cubes on the floor this step is not necessary.

Tips and warnings

  • You can build more than one of these and stack them on top of each other to obtain more storage on the floor in a small area.
  • You can also attach two of these together to hang on the wall. Make sure you use a even heavier duty hanger.
  • Make sure you always wear goggles when cutting lumber.
  • Make sure when hanging cubes you find your studs in the wall so your cube will be hung securely.

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