DIY Storage Cubby

So, I have had a giant empty space above my refrigerator that has been haunting me since we moved in.  Why on earth the cabinets do not continue over the refrigerator is beyond me.  I’m convinced it was just to challenge my brain.  I have just left it bare because anything I imagined up there seemed to compete with the cabinets or look totally out of place…until I stumbled on this cutie on Ana’s site.

how to build a storage shelf

The dimensions on this set of plans were too big so I did have to modify them to fit it above my fridge.  I also used 3/4″ MDF because I had a half sheet left from another project that I will share with you very soon.  Here are the modifications I made:

3 – 1×12 @ 33″ (had 3/4″ sheet ripped to a standard 1×12)

2 – 1×12 @24″

4 – 1×12 @ (about 11 3/4″ but you will need to build the shelf then measure for a good fit)

2 1×3 (furring strips) @ 33″

1 – 1/4″ MDF @24″ x 33″ (backing)

I drilled pocket holes with my Kreg Jig and my cordless drill at the end of each 33″ board.  When assembling the piece, make the pocket holes face up so they will be hidden.

diy storage shelf

I used Gorilla Glue Wood Glue to assemble the entire piece.  For the dividers, I used my brad nailer to hold in place while the glue dried.

I used my favorite cream-colored latex paint to finish this piece ~ Behr Cozy Cottage in satin.  I also found these awesome card holders on Amazon .  They arrived in 3 days!

I chose to back this piece with the 1×4″ MDF.  To hang it on the wall, I located studs in the wall and drove screws through the backing into the studs. (this piece is very heavy because it is made from MDF and this is the only way I suggest hanging it).

Now for the fun:)

I wanted to make this piece not only CUTE but functional!  Who couldn’t use a little extra storage in the kitchen;)

I found these great glass canisters at Target for only $5.30 each!

glass canister

They are giant and fit perfectly in each cubby!

I decided to fill them with

~coffee beans





~chalk (weird unless you have a chalk board in your kitchen;)

I feel like the empty space has finally met it’s calling and the “monkey on my back” is GONE!  I just LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this piece and totally wish I could recreate it in so many spaces throughout my house!

cubby shelf

storage for kitchen

wood storage shelf

diy storage

cubby shelf

diy storage

diy wooden cubby shelf

Total cost for the cubby was $15 and the tags were only $15 including shipping!  I only used a half sheet of 3/4″ MDF and was able to use the leftover for another project that I will be sharing soon;)

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Thanks for stopping by:)




  1. Anne on October 8, 2012 at 3:21 pm

    Love this idea! I was wondering if you knew off hand what color your walls are in your kitchen? I am re-doing mine right now and my cabinets are a similar color to yours. thanks!

  2. Victoria @ SimpleHumbleHome on September 22, 2012 at 6:48 am

    What a wonderful way to use wasted wall space… I think it looks fabulous.

  3. Beckie Farrant on September 20, 2012 at 2:40 pm

    First off LOVE the jars, the contrast of the two colors and the entire idea 🙂

  4. Lynn Osborne on September 19, 2012 at 10:12 am

    I can handle all of the pop-up ads except the new one from Macy’s. Using my iPad, the ad scrolls over the content as I scroll through the post. I am in a contest with whether my scrolling is faster than its scrolling. Please make the Macy’s ad go away! Love this project, by the way.

  5. Nathalie BERNIER on September 18, 2012 at 1:30 pm

    Hello i’m french so sorry for my bad english. I love your blog thank for sharing ! Which screws you use? I tried but the mdf bursts. Thanks

  6. Lori Enos Jones on September 18, 2012 at 12:12 pm

    awesome job!

  7. [email protected] on September 18, 2012 at 8:39 am

    absolutely lovely. well done.

  8. Debbie Christianson on September 18, 2012 at 4:23 am

    LOVE your cabinet! And LOVE, LOVE Ana White. I’ve made 20+ items with her plans. And I feel honored to have had her make plans for me to showcase on her site. She is beyond fabulous. And your blog is beyond fabulous. Keep up the good work!

  9. Candice on September 17, 2012 at 4:12 pm

    I rescued a cute double dresser from the dumpster today and realized that it’s made from MDF. I was searching for what to use to prime/paint it and stumbled across your site. I’ve already sanded the rough areas on the top where were some obvious water stains. Then I’ll rough up the existing paint so that it can take a primer. What kind of primer do you use or do you use a paint with primer combo? Have you ever tried to sand the edges of mdf and apply a little stain to antique it?

    • Shanty2Chic on September 18, 2012 at 6:11 am

      How fun! We have distressed and sanded MDF. It actually does fairly well:). Good luck!
      Sent from my iPad

  10. Shanty2Chic on September 17, 2012 at 2:23 pm

    Thanks so much Suzanne:)

    Sent from my iPad

  11. shara on September 17, 2012 at 1:47 pm

    It looks wonderful! Do you have a stool close by to use to reach your jars or are those primarily to look pretty!

    • Shanty2Chic on September 17, 2012 at 2:24 pm

      I placed items in the jars that I will not use very often but I do have a step stool;). It was great to free up space in my pantry!
      Sent from my iPad

  12. Suzanne Strydom Laubscher on September 17, 2012 at 12:36 pm
  13. Alison on September 17, 2012 at 12:04 pm

    Love your site but the pop up advertisement has got to go! It’s very frustrating and makes me not want to visit your site.

    • Marcia on September 18, 2012 at 12:21 am

      I think you can block pop ups, you just have to find out how on your particular computer. On a Mac it is under the Apple logo. 🙂

      • Kimberly Curtis on September 18, 2012 at 12:25 am

        What about on an iPad? I don’t think it’s the bloggers themselves that put the ads up. I see it on a lot of blogs I read now. It’s annoying, but it doesn’t stop me from visiting my favorite blogs!! 🙂

  14. Tabitha on September 17, 2012 at 10:35 am

    Omg! Dream come true. How did you get the horizontal surfaces cleared for the shot? Wow. I’m drooling over your kitchen and that cubby calls to every organization fiber in my being. Nicely done.

    • Shanty2Chic on September 17, 2012 at 2:23 pm

      Thank you Tabitha:). I actually am pretty OCD about my counters staying pretty clear but what was in the shot I just scooted out of the way;))
      Sent from my iPad

  15. [email protected] on September 17, 2012 at 8:00 am

    This looks amazing!

    • Shanty2Chic on September 17, 2012 at 2:22 pm

      Thank you Korrie:)

      Sent from my iPad

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