How to make cubby shelves

Clutter in the home can make even the cleanest environment look untidy. To keep a home organized, everything should have a designated box, shelf or cubby. If magazines, book and toys seem to take up every corner of the house, it's time to designate a place for these items.
Fortunately, it's not costly, time consuming or difficult to make an attractive cubby shelf. Both the experienced woodworker and novice can use the steps below to create a functional item with visual appeal. Rather than purchase new wood, consider repurposing spare plywood from a garage or basement to create one or more cubbies for the home.
- 30-inch wide birch plywood
- Table saw
- Clamps
- Edge banding
- Steam iron
- Wood block
- Chop saw
- Painter's tape
- Ruler
- Pencil
- Packing tape
- Wood glue
- Measuring tape
- 120 grit sandpaper
- 150 grit sandpaper
- Drill
- 6 1 1/2-inch screws
- Paint (optional
- Paint brush (optional)
DIY Everywhere
1. Place the plywood on the table saw and cut the plywood to size. Adjust the saw to rip the plywood to 7 inches wide, resulting in four separate pieces of wood.
2. Clamp a piece of wood to the work table.
3. Apply edge banding to the edge of plywood, across the length of the board. Iron the edge banding to adhere the strip to the wood. Rub a wood block over the edge banding to ensure adherence.
4. Repeat steps 2 to 3 for the additional three pieces of wood.
5. Make a rabbit on the back of a board of wood. Adjust the table saw to 5/8 of an inch and 1/2 inch high. Run the board across the saw twice.
6. Cut with the board in a vertical position. Adjust the saw to 1/2 inch. Run the board through the saw to create a rabbit that allows the back of the cubby to fit in the board.
7. Set the chop saw to 45 degrees.
8. Place a small piece of painter's tape on the top edge of each board.
9. Cut one end of each piece of wood (same side as the painter's tape) on a 45 degree angle. Stack the four pieces of wood.
10. Remove a piece of wood from the stack and place it on the work table. Use a ruler to measure 13 inches from the left side of the wood; mark it with a pencil. Measure 13 inches from the right side of the wood; mark it with a pencil.
11. Cut the right side of the wood on a 45 degree angle. Flip the board over and make the second cut at a 45 degree angle, using the pencil mark as a guide.
12. Repeat steps 10 to 11 for the three remaining pieces of wood.
13. Mark each board at 9 1/2 inches, then cut the sides to 9 1/2 inches on the chop saw.
14. Lay four pieces of wood on a flat surface. Place packing tape across the length of the wood to hold pieces together.
15. Fold the pieces upward so that miters meet evenly, creating a square.
16. Lay the pieces flat again, then apply wood glue to all miters. Pull the pieces upward to create a box again, then use packing tape to hold the wood in the form of a box.
17. Verify that the box is square. Measure from corner to corner to reveal an equal dimension.
18. Remove all the tape once the glue is dry.
19. Sand all sides of the square with an orbital sander using 120 grit sandpaper.
20. Break the edges of the wood with 150 grit sandpaper, sanding by hand.
21. Measure and cut a piece of wood to fit the back of the square.
22. Secure the back to the cube with six screws that measure 1 1/2 inches long.
23. Paint the cubby shelf to match home decor.
24. Use remaining pieces of wood to create additional cubby shelves following the steps outlined above.