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
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):
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!
Here’s what I used:
(This post contains affiliate links. You can read more about that here.)
- 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 (we just got this one, heart eyes)
- Durham’s Rock Hard Water Putty
- Rubber mallet
- HomeRight Finish Max Fine Finish paint sprayer
- Primer and paint (I used Sherwin-Williams Anchors Aweigh)
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!
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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If you like building functional pieces, check out these DIYs: