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How to Build a Shoe Cubby

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Wondering how to build a show cubby? See how I did it. I’m sharing my full free shoe cubby build plans. This project is featured in 30 Builds to Put Your KregJig to Work.

How to Build a Shoe Cubby: Free Printable Plans

Learn how to build a shoe cubby--the perfect entryway project!

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’re *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):

entryway before photo

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?

build your own shoe storage

Like it? Read on!

Here’s what I used:

(This post contains affiliate links. You can read more about that here.)

You can download the free build plans to get the full cut list! It’s easy, just enter the email you want them sent to below.

And here’s how to build a shoe cubby!

(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 terms of use here.)

Step 1: Cut & polish.

First download the full build plan here. After cutting, I polished 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:

build your own shoe storage
build your own shoe storage

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, I screwed the side pieces into the bottom of the top piece.

build your own shoe storage
build your own shoe storage
how to build a shoe cubby
Free plans to build a shoe cubby
Free plans to build a shoe cubby

Step 3: Drill pocket holes for shelves.

Next I drilled pocket holes on the sides of each of the three shelves. The pocket holes were drilled on the bottom of each shelf so you wouldn’t be able to see them when I put everything together.

Free plans to build a shoe cubby

Step 4: Attach the shelves.

I flipped the assembled piece upside down and attached each shelf by drilling through the pocket holes directly into the sides. To get the spacing just right, I set two divider pieces (that I cut in step 1) in place to hold the shelf up while attaching everything.

Free plans to build a shoe cubby
Free plans to build a shoe cubby
how to build a shoe cubby
how to build a shoe cubby
Free plans to build a shoe cubby

Step 5: Nail dividers into place.

I started by sliding each of the eight dividers roughly into place. Then I used 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 was positioned, I used a nail gun to nail it in place through the top and bottom of each shelf.

Free plans to build a shoe cubby
Free plans to build a shoe cubby
Filling nail holes

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 was dry, I sanded it down smooth.

Filling nail holes
Filling nail holes
Filling nail holes
Filling nail holes

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 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?

how to build a shoe cubby

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.

Like this? PIN IT!

progress photos of DIY shoe cubby with text overlay DIY Entryway Organizer & shoe Cubby, Get the Free Plans Here
Shoe cubby sitting in entryway with text overlay How to Build a DIY Shoe Cubby

If you like building functional pieces, check out these DIYs:

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DIY Murphy Bed With Storage

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DIY HVAC Unit Screen

Check out my small, under-the-stairs, and super organized craft and storage closet!

Under-the-Stairs Shelving

DIY cat tree using real branches

Cat Tree Made Out of Real Branches

10-Minute DIYs: Non-Glamorous Ways to Organize in the Kitchen
Kitchen Organizing Ideas: Easy Ways to Organize in the Kitchen
Powder Room Update #4: It's Finished!


Thursday 23rd of February 2017

What a great idea! It looks perfect in your foyer!


Thursday 23rd of February 2017

I really need something like this in my hallway. Love the blue by the way.

Designing Vibes

Thursday 23rd of February 2017

I love it Brittany. That paint color is gorgeous.

Brittany Goldwyn

Thursday 23rd of February 2017

Thanks Erica! Anchors Aweigh by Sherwin-Williams :)


Thursday 23rd of February 2017

Love your color choice, Brittany!


Wednesday 1st of February 2017

Thanks for sharing at the Inspiration Spotlight party. This is a great DIY. Pinned & sharing.

Brittany Goldwyn

Thursday 2nd of February 2017

Thanks Theresa!

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