I’m back to share the latest progress on my storage wall.  If you have missed the last two tutorials you can visit Part 1 and Part 2.  I found the plans for this project on Ana’s blog Knock Off Wood.  Ana provides FREE plans for knock off furniture (i.e. Pottery Barn and  Restoration Hardware) so you can dress your house for less!  Go check out her site!…you’ll be addicted!
So, this is Part 3 of this system and I chose to tackle the cubbies this go ’round (see Ana’s plans for the cubbies).  If you are wondering what Part 4 will be…it’s not featured in this picture.  Ana designed her own plans for a media bridge to go over the TV, so that will be my final piece to this puzzle.  Believe it or not, I am a little sad to see this project coming to an end, however I’m sure I will no longer be feeling that way once it’s time to paint:/
I started by drawing out plans for the cut layouts.  Although I am only doing the cubbies this time, I went ahead and added the cuts for the media bridge to maximize the amount of cuts per sheet (those cuts are in red).  This will also make it easier for the guys that cut your boards at Home Depot.  The drawing above shows that I needed three 8′ sheets of MDF at 3/4″ thick and one 8′ sheet of plywood at 1/4″ thick.
3/4″ MDF
3/4″ MDF
3/4″ MDF
1/4″ plywood
I gave these layouts to the guys at Home Depot and they cut all of the pieces in about 30 minutes.  Price per cut varies per store.  My local Home Depot offers the first two cuts free and then charges $0.25 per additional cut.  They were wonderful and never charged me for a cut!
Now for the building!!!
Make sure to label each cut.  This will save you time and headache while you are building:)
I always mark off a line to follow when I am predrilling so that the screw will go through the very center of the board on the other side.  MDF is soft and if you get too close to one side it will raise up or split through (if this happens, no worries, just sand with 120 grit paper, fill with wood putty, sand and find another point to predrill).
Mark off all of your measurements before predrilling.  In this picture I am showing how I marked off where this board is to be placed.
I always use three fingers to measure how far away from the edge I should start predrilling.  If you get too close to the edge it will split.
ALWAYS predrill with MDF!!!  It is very easy.  Pick the right circumference for your drill bit (just a tad smaller than the screws you will use) and drill all the way in and pull back out while still pushing on the trigger.
After predrilling run a generous amount of Gorilla Glue Wood Glue down the edge of the board and put back in place.
Follow up with the screw.  I use these Deck Mate screws and they work great.
After the first step.
Second step (added the top).
This is after the third step.  It was a little tricky so I’ll show you my steps.
Ana says that wood glue is very important on this step so I added it here too.
I marked off where I needed to predrill.  This is the top shelf that I am securing and my drill would not fit between the bottom and middle shelf so I drilled one screw at the front and one at the back at a slight angle.  No problems.
Now for the trim.  Add the wood glue.
Secure with nails per Ana’s plans.  I set the cubby upside down to hammer the nails in.  These nails worked just fine.
Using the same nails, I hammered the back piece into place.
I just couldn’t wait to put it in place!
I have only finished one of the cubbies but I wanted to share it with you!  I will be back with updated pictures after I finish the other three!  I am still leaning towards adding drawers to the bottom outside bases but I won’t make the final decision until it’s done.  Well, I’m off to finish the other cubbies!  I hope you all have a great weekend!

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  1. I was wondering how to build this without my hubby. The MDF is SO HEAVY! I know that our local Home Depot will do the cuts, but they won't guarantee that the cuts will be good measurements. Have you found that it still comes out ok? I'm such a chicken to purchase the wood, have them cut it and not be able to make things square. Yikes!

  2. This cubby system reminds me of the IKEA Expedit line which I have been looking for (used). After seeing this, I want to build my own. I was thinking of building the cubbies in sets of 4 and stacking a bunch together to make a wall of them. Easier to move (vs one large piece) and customize. If I did this, would I need to create some sort of base for them to sit on?

  3. Can I tell you how much I LOVE this blog!!!! I have been debating buying one of these systems for quite a few years…. but never could get the nerve to do it… I love making things myself and now I can… You are AWESOME. thanks so much for sharing all the fun you have…

  4. My husband is so ill with me now… I got totally sucked into Ana's blog, and now I've decided that I'm going to build a console table (gotta start small, right?), two benches and a dining room table, a bed for us, and this storage system for my sewing room. Oh, and an entry storage shelf too lol! It's ALL YOUR FAULT!!!! LOLOLOL! And I thank you for it – I never imagined that I'd be a carpenter, but it all looks so, well, *doable*!

    Thank you so much for sharing what you are working on, and for linking to Ana, and most of all, for helping me figure out how to solve my furniture needs!!!

  5. You guys are so inspiring!!! My project list is getting very long! I was wondering if you're going to catagorize/label your projects at some point. I have a hard time finding something for the second time… if that makes sense. If not I understand, it would just be helpful to find a type of project easier. Either way LOVE you guys!!

  6. Highest of compliments- I don't build things, and yet as I read through this, the first thought that popped into my head was… "I could do that!!"

    Fantastic- I can't wait to see the entire project finished!

    Please feel free to stop by the Talented Tuesday at My Frugal Family link party, and add your weekly craft links!

    It's found at theherberfamily.blogspot.com

  7. This is JUST the post I was hoping to find! We are building built-ins with baskets for our FROG and this is perfect inspiration! Thank you!

  8. WOW, you go girl! I think I might have to try to make this. Thank you for sharing, you have put a lot of work into figuring it all out. Great job!

  9. Looks like a ton of work, but is coming together great! I awarded you guys the "Sunshine Award"! Go to my blog to grab the award and give it to others who inspire you!

  10. You are doing such a great job! I can't wait until it is all done because then I can do it (or make my husband do it…). Will you make a detailed list of how much everything cost in the end?

  11. Thank you so much for posting your progress for us. It has spurred my husband to tackle this project. We're in the process of building the same thing right now. You are fast! It took hubby and I a lot longer to finish just one of the bases. We are working on the drawer right now… the home depot guy cut it wrong. You do have a great home depot. 🙂

  12. Man! I want your home depot! I'm in the process of building this as well, and have been relying on the Home Depot guys to cut my pieces. They have not been as receptive to the idea of so many cuts, AND there cuts have been off, making the building part SLOW and frustrating.

    Yours is looking great and I'm so jealous at how smoothly it is going! Can't wait to see the finished product!! Keep up the great work!

  13. It's looking amazing. We're building the farmhouse table right now and the media system is next. Can't wait to see your finished project.