Free DIY Plans to Build a Simple Cube Shelf

08.17.11 By //
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This is a very simple step-by step- for creating these stylish and affordable display shelves. These can be used to display just about anything, and they are perfect for those areas needing a little extra something. Ideal for nurseries and kiddo rooms, where shelving and display are a hot commodity, and without taking up surface space or square footage and might otherwise present a potential safety issue. They can display keepsakes, books, or any other special items you wish. Arrange a few in a guest bathroom, possibly even as a fabulous way to add shelving above a toilet area, without having to purchase a large unit…add extra towels, rolled for easy access, and display some bath salts, and sea sponges, to give yourself a spa like retreat. I think if these were painted in a few different colors or one bold color choice, they would become fabulous wall decor, for any room in the house, while also providing functionality.

Estimated Cost 

Under $25

  • **If you have your local hardware store cut your wood or MDF to size, you will only need a drill or your Kreg Jig for this project.
  • Tape Measure
  • Square
  • Sander
  • Drill
  • Saw
  • ** Kreg jig – optional and can be constructed without this, but you will have stronger more well disguised attachments if you use this.
  • The materials below will allow for 3 shelves at 3' in length.
  • 3 – 1×4 Wood or MDF at 10' 
  • **1 1/4″ Pocket Hole Screws (Kreg Owners Only, you won't need the 2″ screws listed below)
  • 3″ Drywall or Wall Dog Screws
  • 2″ Construction Screws if using wood and 2″ Dry Wall or Coarse Thread Screws for MDF
  • Wood Filler
  • Wood Glue
  • Sanding Supplies
  • Finishing Supplies
Cut List 
  • 3 Shelves:
  • 6 – 1×4 at 36″ (Front and Back)
  • 3 – 1×4 at 34 1/2″ (Base)
  • 6 – 1×4 at 3 1/2″ (Sides)

Before beginning to build, always check in on my site to make sure you have the most up to date set of plans, I occasionally update and change the plans to make the building process easier or to allow for less expensive purchasing of materials! Read through the entire set of instructions and all comments before beginning this project. If you print out or save plans, be sure to check in on my site to be sure you have the most up to date set of plans, as I occasionally update things for ease of building or buying. If you are new to building, read through the GETTING STARTED section and other articles found under the BUILD tab in the menu on my site, it has valuable information about how to get started, tools and techniques. If you are unfamiliar with the finishing process, visit my Finishing school for some tips and tricks for painting like a pro and for special finishing practices. Use glue to secure your joints and Consider Painting or Staining individual sections prior to assembling. This makes the paint application virtually flawless. Coat with a spray on Poly or Wipe on Poly to protect your finish and your piece and it will last for ages. Adhere to all safety standards and guidelines, and be sure you follow safety protocol throughout your build. If you are unsure about whether you are building safely, run a quick online search for the tool or technique you are using, or contact me via email or post to the forum before you move ahead. My contact info can be found in the menu of my site.

Step 1

Step 1 

Fasten the Front and Back to the Base. The base will sit inside of the front and back panels, use 2″ Screws or your Kreg Jig set for 3/4″.

Step 2

Step 2 

Attach the Sides, use 2″ Screws or your Pocket Hole System and be sure to counter sink for regular screws and for Kreg Owners you will place your pocket holes on what will be the inside of the sides.

Step 3

Step 3 

Fill any screws holes, sand, and finish as desired. To secure to wall, use 3″ Dry Wall Screws Anchor Screws and attach to a stud. Most studs are 16″ OC (on center, which means from the center of a stud to the center of the next stud) from each other. This should allow you to secure to at least 2 studs per shelf. Stagger your shelves for an asymmetrical look or stack them for added visual affect. Paint a bold color and add a bit of fun to any wall space.

Finishing Instructions 

Fill any Screw, Nail or Pocket Holes, Sand and Finish as Desired. For Finishing Tips and Tricks visit my Finishing School

**Disclaimer: Some rights reserved. Private use only. Feel Free to link to any of my plans so long as you provide an adequate link back to the appropriate post! Plans from this page are not to be used for commercial purposes or republished without the express written consent of Rayan Turner, The Design Confidential I hope to provide accurate plans, however, I cannot guarantee each plan for accuracy. Not every plan that I post has been built and tested, so you are building at your own risk. It is recommended that you have a clear understanding of how the project works before beginning any project. Please contact me if you find an error or inaccuracy so that I might fix it.

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