How to Make a Storage Cube Unit

Updated March 23, 2017

Storage cube units have become a modern alternative to book shelves and general storage units. Baskets and boxes tend to fit perfectly in a cube design. Besides its clean look, the storage cube unit has also become popular due to its ability to be a room divider. Placing the cube unit perpendicular to a wall creates a room divider, which can be great for smaller apartments. Building a storage cube unit at home is simple.

Draw and measure the side pieces for the storage cube unit. Draw two rectangles on the plywood measuring 32 inches in length and 8 inches in width.

Draw the additional side pieces to create a cube frame, including four pieces measuring 31 inches in length and eight inches in width.

Draw the connecting shelves in the unit by drawing six 10-inch long pieces that have the width of eight inches.

Cut each piece out using a saw and smooth the edges with sandpaper.

Paint or stain the storage cube unit. If several coats are required, let all of the pieces dry overnight.

Place the two 32-inch long pieces down. Take one piece at a time and measure 1/2 inch inward from one end. Make a mark on the 8-inch width of the piece. From that mark, measure another 10 inches and make a mark. From that point, measure 1/2 inch and make a mark. Continue with this pattern until there are four 1/2-inch sections and three 10-inch sections. Repeat on the second side piece.

Take the four side pieces measuring 31 inches and lay them down. From one end, measure 10 inches inward and make a mark in the same manner as the previous step. From that mark, measure 1/2 inch and make a mark. From that mark, measure another 10 inches and make a mark. Continue until there are three 10 inch sections and two 1/2-inch sections. Repeat this step on the remaining three 31-inch pieces.

Place the two 32 inch long pieces and find the four 1/2 inch sections previously created. Drill two holes in each section with the 5/16 inch drill piece. The holes should be spaced evenly apart and only be about 1/4 inch deep. Each hole should not penetrate completely. When done, secure one dowel joint in each hole and put both pieces aside.

Place two of the four 31 inch pieces and drill two holes in each 1/2-inch wide section, as done in the previous step. The holes should only be 1/4 inch deep and not penetrate the other side. When done, secure one dowel joint in each hole.

Place the remaining two 31-inch pieces and drill two holes in each 1/2-inch section. Each hole should go straight through, creating a see-through hole. Place one dowel joint in each hole, so it is visible and protruding from each end.

Place the one of the 31-inch-long pieces just prepared on its 1/2-inch sides and the 31-inch length. Place the other one right above it in a horizontal placement. Place the two remaining 31-inch long pieces, where the dowel joints only protrude from one side, on each side of the already placed pieces with the dowels pointing in towards the pieces. The four pieces should now lie horizontally but in vertical steps with the dowels pointing towards each other.

Place each of the six pieces cut in step 3 in between the dowel joints on the 31 inch long pieces to create cubes. Line them up so the 1/2-inch thick ends meet the dowels. Mark with a pencil where the dowels meet the 1/2-inch ends. Drill the two holes in the 1/2-inch end piece with a depth of 2 inches. In all cases, this means both ends of the six 10 inch pieces, but line each piece up and measure accordingly, as each end could vary.

Attach each of the six pieces to the dowel joints on the 31 inch pieces by pushing them together. At times, it may be necessary to hammer lightly with a hammer to create some pressure. When done, the storage cube unit should only be missing its side pieces.

Line the two 32-inch long side pieces up against the four 31-inch long ends. As done in the previous step, line each piece up and make two marks per shelf where the dowel joints meet the 32-inch long pieces. The connections should be made in the 1/2-inch sections drawn previously.

Drill 2-inch deep holes in the ends of the 31 inch long pieces and connect the dowel joints with the side pieces. Use a hammer to hammer each piece together, if necessary.

Place the unit upright and start filling each storage cube with books, baskets or decorations.

Things You'll Need

  • Wooden furniture dowel joints 5/16 inch thick x 2 inches
  • 12 1/2-inch-thick plywood sheets
  • Hammer
  • Drill
  • 5/16-inch drill piece
  • Measuring tape
  • Pencil
  • Saw
  • Sandpaper
Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

Based in Toronto, Mary Jane has been writing for online magazines and databases since 2002. Her articles have appeared on the Simon & Schuster website and she received an editor's choice award in 2009. She holds a Master of Arts in psychology of language use from the University of Copenhagen in Denmark.