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How to Build a Shoe Cubby

Wondering how to build a shoe cubby? See how I did it.

How to Build a Shoe Cubby: Free Printable Plans

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):

small townhouse entryway
DIY shoe cubby in an entryway

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?

DIY shoe cubby in an entryway

Like it? Read on!

Here’s what I used:

(Affiliate links below; read more about those 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.

Here is a link to the Dropbox folder with all of the files!

woman in a workshop with text overlay that says FREE PLANS LIBRARY

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:

building a DIY shoe cubby
building a DIY shoe cubby

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.

building a DIY shoe cubby
building a DIY shoe cubby
building a DIY shoe cubby
building a DIY shoe cubby
building a DIY 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.

pieces of wood with pocket holes drilled in them

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.

building a DIY shoe cubby
building a DIY shoe cubby
building a DIY shoe cubby
building a DIY shoe cubby
bottom of a DIY 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.

DIY shoe cubby
hammering a DIY shoe cubby dividers into place
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?

DIY shoe cubby in an entryway

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.

Here is a link to the Dropbox folder with all of the files!

woman in a workshop with text overlay that says FREE PLANS LIBRARY

Like this? PIN IT!

collage that says shoe cubby build plans

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  1. Carolann says:

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

  2. Claire says:

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

  3. Designing Vibes says:

    I love it Brittany. That paint color is gorgeous.

  4. Carrie says:

    Love your color choice, Brittany!

  5. Theresa says:

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

  6. creativejewishmom/sara says:

    Love it Brittany, thanks for sharing on craft schooling Sunday! Great to see you again.

  7. Kimm at Reinvented says:

    What a great piece, I love the color you picked. Those nail guns are magical aren’t they?
    Thanks for sharing at Funtastic Friday!

  8. Maggie@ Maggie Lois says:

    Lookin’ good girl! That paint sprayer looks awesome, I may have to invest in one of those bad boys! Stopping by from Coffee with us 3 Pretty Pintastic party, enjoy the rest of your weekend!

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