How to Build a Large Storage Cubby


Educators have long used storage cubbies as a solution for lack of storage space in classrooms. Not just for the classroom, cubbies offer individual storage spots with myriad uses, including arts and crafts, shoes or personalized storage for house guests. With just a few easy steps to acquire supplies, you too can build a large storage cubby.

Things You'll Need

  • 48" x 16" plywood sheets (2)
  • 46 ½" x 16" plywood sheets (4)
  • 3 ½" x 16" plywood (12)
  • 15" x 16" plywood sheets (6)
  • 48" x 48" plywood sheet
  • Paint brush
  • Primer
  • Hand level
  • Wood screws
  • Drill
  • Screw bit
  • Tape measure
  • Prep the plywood for construction. Use the paintbrush to coat all sides of the plywood sheets with a coat of primer. Primer protects wood from many concerns, like premature paint drying, proper curing, and from moisture caused warping and mildew. Spread primer in an smooth, even coat on all plywood surfaces and allow to dry.

  • Screw the 48" x 16" plywood sheet down into two vertical 46 ½" x 16" plywood sheets, one on each lengthwise end. Secure each joint using two wood screws. Attach the second 48" x 16" plywood sheet onto the opposite side of the verticals, again using two screws at each joint. Check the frame with a hand level to make sure the plywood is correctly fitted. You should now have your plywood frame finished.

  • Measure a 15-inch spacing inward from the end walls and mark it on the top and bottom sheets. Install the second two 46 ½" x 16" plywood sheets vertically along the marks. Secure each sheet with two wood screws at the joints. Use the 15" x 16" plywood sheet as a spacer, checking to be sure the three compartments are equal.

  • Install a 3 ½" x 16" plywood piece 13 inches down from the top on both sides of the compartment. These will be our supports to hold up the shelves. Measure another 13 inches down and install a second set of the supports on either side of the compartment. Secure all supports using two wood screws. Repeat to install shelf supports in the second two compartments.

  • Lay the 15" x 16" plywood sheets onto the supports. Secure each shelving sheet to the supports using two wood screws. Take the 48" x 48" sheet and press against the back of the structure. Make sure all corners are square with the backing and secure with 3 wood screws on each of the four sides. Attach the backing to the two inside vertical plywood sheets with three screws for additional strength. Apply any desired paints to all exposed surfaces.

Tips & Warnings

  • Make your cubby mobile for easy utilization and room design. Wheels can be screwed into the four corners on the bottom.
  • Use protective eye wear when drilling. Drilling often sends bits of wooden debris flying.

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