Fashion is everywhere

Chez Larsson

Shoe cubby how-to

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Finally! Tadaaa! Here it is by popular demand, our hallway shoe cubby!

This is one of the first units I built all by myself. It’s out of MDF like most of our self builds and I primed and painted it white like all our other units. The fact that I did it all myself is proof that anyone can do it. I’m not a carpenter, I just like to make the things I need and want.

The unit it sitting in a nook just to the right after you enter our house so no sides were necessary. If you want to make it a freestanding unit you could easily add sides.

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Like with all our other pieces we’ve built around the house I start off by measuring what I need to house. In this case I measured Martins shoes as his are the biggest in size. I then added a little bit to get better proportions and allow for wider winter shoes and boots to fit too.

I decided to go for two rows for low tops and the bottom row for high tops. There are two double height cubbies too. In the winter they house bags or taller boots and in the summer my bag and a basket with flip flops. Two of the cubbies have metal boxes, one for shoe shine and one for umbrellas, cat collars, lint removers etc.

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The dimensions of the cubbies are:

Cubby width: 240mm (9 1/2")

Two top row of cubbies height: 155mm (6")

Bottom row of cubbies height: 230mm (9")

Depth of cubbies: 320mm (12 3/4")

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Above you can see the side view. It’s a good idea to let the top and base stick out about 18mm (3/4") and to let the shelves stick out about 6 mm (1/4"). This allows for minor measuring mistakes. No one will see that it’s a tiny bit off. It’s so much more difficult to get the exact sides and shelves to fit, at least in our wonky house where there are no perfect angles.

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Here you see the way it’s been assembled. I just started building from the bottom up, adding layer by layer. I cut each piece with a circular saw, planed the edges with an electrical plane and smoothed with a mouse sander. If you don’t already own a mouse, get one now! It’s my all time favourite tool. I’m on my second one as I’ve been using it all the time for all my projects, including sanding down the boat. It’s light weight and get into most corners and has a great gel grip.

If I were to build the unit today I would add another layer of MDF to the top to get a chunkier one. Martin added that in the drawings he helped me with. Actually I may add a layer this summer as it needs repainting anyway. When you paint MDF it’s a good idea to sand after the first layer of primer as MDF tends to "fray" a little after getting wet.

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To attach the pieces to each other I use these wooden plugs and the marking tool you see above. No screws. You drill a hole in the piece you want to attach. Place the marking tool in the hole. Place the piece with the marking tool against where you want it. Tap the back of the piece so the tool leaves a tiny mark on the opposite piece. You then drill a hole where the tiny mark is.

After you’ve drilled the holes for one piece, two holes where enough per piece in this case, you glue the holes, the plug ends and the edges of the MDF. Tap together with a mallet or hammer and clamp until the glue has dried. You can see the principle in the drawing above the photo.

Good Luck!!

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This one’s for Jean who asked to see the coat rack too. We found it in our basement when we moved in. It used to be a standard one found in many homes built in the 30’s and onwards. I love the industrial look of it. They have recently reissued them and in Sweden you used to able to get one at Designtorget. The metal boxes on top are old ones from IKEA, they are the larger of nesting sets. I use the smaller ones below in the cubbies.

I hope today will be better than yesterday, posting- and internet wise, although things started out a little rocky this morning with a power outage. I woke up at 4.30 and realised the alarm clock was out and so was everything else. We got our power back at 6.30 so hopefully it will be smooth sailing the rest of the day.

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