How to Build Shoe Cubbies

Written by pat olsen
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How to Build Shoe Cubbies
Tame the shoe monster with individual cubbies. (dancing shoes image by maureen dainty from

Everyone loves shoes. But sometimes you can't find a matching pair because shoes are strewn about your house and don't have their own location. Now there is a way to make your own 10-pair shoe cubby to place near the front door where most shoes are abandoned. This project will take an afternoon to finish, and it's an inexpensive way to solve a clutter problem.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Measuring tape
  • Three ½-inch x 12-inch x 60-inch plywood boards
  • Two ½-inch x 12-inch x 36-inch plywood boards
  • Eight ½-inch x 12-inch x 12-inch squares of plywood
  • One ½-inch x 36-inch x 60-inch plywood sheet for the back
  • Finishing nails
  • Tack hammer
  • Wood glue
  • Medium- and fine-grain sandpaper
  • Paint
  • Acrylic finish
  • Disposable foam paintbrushes

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  1. 1

    Have all of the wooden pieces cut at the lumber store or do them yourself at home with a circular saw. Sand all pieces of wood, first with medium- and then fine-grain sandpaper.

  2. 2

    Paint both sides of all of the pieces of plywood using a disposable foam paintbrush. After the pieces are thoroughly dry, apply a second coat. Apply a coat of acrylic; let it dry thoroughly; and apply another coat.

  3. 3

    Use the measuring tape to mark where the top, middle and bottom boards will bisect with the sides of the cubby pieces. Mark them 12 inches across on each board to make a total of 10 different cubbyholes.

  4. 4

    Build the "carcase" of the cubbies by nailing the top, two sides and bottom together to make the rectangle. Place nails every 6 inches for best bond. Measure and mark the centre of the two sides and nail in the centre shelf. Turn the carcase on its face and nail the plywood back to the top, sides and bottom.

  5. 5

    Stand the carcase up and place a square side in place at the mark 12 inches from the side on the bottom shelf. Run a line of wood glue on both the top, back side and bottom edge before nailing it in place to ensure a good bond. Nail the square in place through the centre shelf with a nail at the front, in the centre and in the back. Place the next square 12 inches over, on the marked spot, and continue to nail it in place. Finish this row to make five 12-inch-wide cubbyholes.

  6. 6

    Complete the top row of cubbyholes in the same manner. Glue the top, back and bottom edges when you put them in position, and then nail from the top down into each square. The glue bond will hold the bottom edges of each square securely, and the top nailing will ensure that the cubby sides remain in place.

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