Today I’m sharing free plans to build a shoe cubby as part of our entryway makeover (see update #1 here). Our entryway is a decent-sized space, especially for a townhouse. But we don’t have a coat closet, and the space quickly became a dumping ground for shoes, coats, keys, and purses. We’ve decided to be *those people* who take off their shoes when they get home, but we had nowhere to put them.
Here’s what our entryway looked like before a shoe cubby (and before painting):
We’d been using a little Ikea unit in the space since moving in, and you can see that that wasn’t working very well for us. So I went to the drawing board to design a simple, functional shoe cubby for the space.
What do you think?
Like it? Read on to learn how to make one for yourself!
Here’s what I used:
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- 1 x 12 pine
- Kreg Jig K4
- 1 1/4 inch Kreg screws
- Radial arm saw (I have this one)
- Measuring tape and pencil
- 150- and 220-grit sandpaper (here)
- Nail gun (I just got this one)
- Durham’s Rock Hard Water Putty
- HomeRight Finish Max Fine Finish paint sprayer
- Primer and paint (I used Sherwin-Williams Anchors Aweigh)
Here is the cut list:
- (2) 22.5 inch sides
- (1) 39.75 inch top
- (3) 38.25 inch shelves
- (9) 6.25 inch dividers
And here’s how I made it!
(Remember to wear a mask and eye protection while sanding and working with wood, and wear an appropriate mask while working with paints, stains, and finishes. Follow the directions and warnings from your particular brand. Do not use any tools without proper training, precautions, and supervision from a professional. Read my full disclaimer here.)
Step 1: Cut all pieces.
After cutting, polish any rough edges with fine-grit sandpaper.
Step 2: Attach the sides to the top.
I propped mine sides up and set the top on to get a better idea of what I was working with. Here’s a right-side up view and an upside down view:
I made a small mark on the inside of the sides to indicate where I needed to drill pocket holes. Then, using my Kreg Jig, I drilled three pocket holes on each piece.
After drilling the holes, screw the side pieces into the bottom of the top piece.
Step 3: Drill pocket holes for shelves.
Drill three pocket holes on the sides of each of the three shelves. The pocket holes should be drilled on the bottom of each shelf.
Step 4: Attach the shelves.
Flip the assembled piece upside down and attach each shelf by drilling through the pocket holes directly into the sides. To get the spacing just right, you can set two divider pieces (that you cut in step 1) in place to hold the shelf up while you drill.
Keep going until you’ve attached all three shelves.
Step 5: Nail the dividers into place.
Start by sliding each of the eight dividers toughly into place. Then use a rubber mallet to gently reposition them as necessary.
I wanted to have three wider cubbies in the middle row for boots, which is why I didn’t choose to do four cubbies on each row.
Once each divider is positioned, use a nail gun to nail it into place through the top and bottom of each shelf.
Step 6: Fill nail holes and blemishes.
I used Durhman’s Rock Hard Water Putty to fill nail holes and all knotty blemishes. Once the putty is dry, sand it down smooth.
Step 7: Prime and paint.
I actually painted this cubby twice before I decided on the final color. The first color was a gray-ish color, but it was too light. I figured any light color would get easily scuffed up having shoes go in and out every day. Then I painted it a darker gray, which I loved, but it ended up looking terrible next to and across from the navy wall in the entryway. It just clashed.
So I finally decided to do what I should have done to begin with: paint the cubby using the same navy I’d used on the wall, Sherwin-Williams Anchors Aweigh. It is such a lovely color and is the perfect complement to the wall. See?
You can read more about this paint and my thoughts on the color in my last entryway makeover post.
I knew that painting this piece with a brush would be a huge pain, so I decided to use my new paint sprayer that the HomeRight company sent me to test out! When I did this piece, I had already worked on a few other pieces, so I was really getting comfortable with it. It’s the HomeRight Finish Max Fine Finish model, and I highly recommend it if you’re looking to get your feet wet working with a paint sprayer on furniture.
Since the idea of using a paint sprayer was a little intimidating for me, I decided to make a video to hopefully give you a better idea of how well it works. Check it out:
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