Picture of Build a Tetris DVD (or book) shelf
This instructable will involve creating a DVD/book shelf that is stackable in any number of configurations. You may recognize these pieces from something ;) This tutorial borrows the various pieces from Tetris and allows you to make a unique and classy DVD shelf that looks great and will fit into whatever space you put it in. Here we see the finished assembled shelf that I put together. Read on to see how it was built!

One final note before we get started. This project does not require a tremendous amount of skill, though it would be very helpful to have experience with some woodworking beforehand, for obvious reasons.
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Step 1: Got Wood?

For this project, I opted to use a nice solid pine wood. The primary reason for this is simply a matter of expenses. I spent about 85 dollars on the wood whereas if I were to use a nice red oak or rosewood or maple, or something of that nature, I would easily have spent over 200 dollars in wood. You need to make SURE that you have straight boards though. The easiest way to tell is to look straight down the full length of the board. You will see if there are warps in it. It is important that we get straight wood because these pieces need to be able to stack nicely on each other, and if our wood is warped, it would be like a canoe on a dock.

Since this is a DVD case I opted to make it 8" wide for a good movie holder size and to save a little bit on costs. If you get the 10" , you will have more stackable configurations available to you, as you will be able to stack them perpendicularly as well. You still technically could, but it would have some overhang. So on with the materials.
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dana-dxb1 year ago
heres mine
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dana-dxb1 year ago
great work guess im not the only one into this style
Here are mine. I put backs on mine, which made them a LOT stronger. I made the whole thing out of pine. I cut pieces of pine with my table saw to fit EXACTLY inside the shapes, then glued them into place on the back side. It took a lot of trial and error to get the backs to be exactly the right size, but the shelves are super strong now.

I didn't bevel the edges. I was planning to, but forgot to do it on the first shape and then just kept going.

For my finish, I used 2 coats of General Finishes gel stain, Georgian Cherry color, from WoodCraft. Then 2 coats of Minwax polyurethane, semigloss. If you use these finishes, take note that the gel stain instructions say you should not sand with anything higher than 180 grit. This color looks pretty "serious". It complements my living room without drawing attention to itself.
I forgot to mention that I do not have a nail gun. I glued the wood, clamped the pieces with right-angle clamps (2 seemed to be required), then used finishing nails and a hammer. I used a nail punch to put them under-flush and then wood filler to hide the nail.

A nail gun is faster, but right-angle clamps are much cheaper.
venenobr3 years ago
Hi... Thanks for the project... I built one here in Brazil... It´s really cool and not so hard to assemble it... I think the secret is to saw correctly.. Assemble need to have a pin gun...

mackgreen7 years ago
I decided to build this with my son as one of his school projects. Overall, this went amazingly well. It was simple enough where he could be involved (even with that broken arm) without being overwhelmed and stilled allowed him plenty of learning. We did add backs to the shelves (as you can probably see), which was pretty easy. Just add a dado on the opposite side of the bevel. The backs also should make the shelves more sturdy and if cut carefully can give a chance to square some 'not quite sqare' corners. Thanks for sharing this idea with us.
What did you use for the back? Plywood, or did you get some 1" thick wood, put a 45-degree bevel on it and glue/nail it in place?
Excellent idea with the backs. I was wondering if the T and S would be strong enough, and this certainly answers that question.
Wow. that looks pretty awesome. How did you added the color background?
You are my hero :-D
alfamc23 years ago
AWESOME INSTRUCTABLE. My mum plays tetris on her Iphone all the time and I made this for her and she loved it!
rromero43 years ago
is there any way you can provide CAD design for this

just finished mine! didnt use a miter for the bevels but it still looks good to me especially for my wife and I since we have no wood experience...decided to add some lighting as well...job costed under $120
That looks good. I'm planning to make something similar, how did you fix the shapes to the wall as I can't see any brackets on the pictures?
sorry i took so long,,,i used these exact items

anchors are rated at 50lbs each..

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Thanks for the info holdinweight. The wall I'm planning to put it on is concrete, so I'll have to go for a different solution. I've decided to put 6mm ply on the back of mine so I'll probably fasten them onto the wall through that. Finished the first "I" as a test yesterday, so only the L, J, T, Z, S and square to go :)
since the wood is an inch thick and the corner brace is an inch you wont see the brace..just screw them into the wall first and rest the shapes on them.. i used 2 for each shape but i dont see a problem using 1 for some as the steel brace is pretty strong and the anchors are 50lbs a piece and i was just using dvds,,but if you are going to use books and/or vases and such id do 2 achors and braces for each shape
This is AWESOME! Too bad I can't build it. I'm only 10 and my family doesn't even know about this website. : (
How do you put books in the long vrtical one?
You could just turn the unit 90º.
I'd go with glass or perspex shelving thereby enabling the space to be used without taking away from the wonderful concept.
if it's wide enough, you can lay DVDs or Books on their sides and stack them up to the top. optionally, i can see that you might be able to add small shelves within the tall one to distribute the weight accordingly...

awesome 'Ible...i think i'll make a mini version to start off, although i might add slotted retaiing bolts or clips to keep the pieces together in the assembled positions...
daveofwar4 years ago
Very cool idea!
joerice014 years ago
"Still have all 10 fingers? Good! Let's carry on."
haha thats awesome.

I definately build some of these when I get more tools.
teyamo4 years ago
Fantastic..i wish i would have one in my room..
burwuro4 years ago
Grout the edges (so they look like cubes) and paint them for the full effect haha
allesflex4 years ago
very nice! It is a project high on my wishlist, with some small alterations off-course. As soon as I start it, I will link to this instructable as well!

Very nicely done!
I can smell the awesome how many dvd's can it fit?
On a high note, now you can always make that line piece you've always needed!
macrumpton4 years ago
One disadvantage I can see with these is you have to make sure not to fill the bottom row, or the lowest shelves (and the books on them) will disappear, and you will have to make replacement parts and buy new books. On the other hand your score will go up too, so maybe it is worth it...
This is the best comment ever.
It is important to consider all the possibilities.
you have a point, the ideal design would not include a full row.. and it IS important to consider the possibilities.. consider these dangerous pillows!
wow looks so easy - I am going to try it!
anres3214 years ago
GREAT !!! A+
cfcubed4 years ago
the coolest thing ever?
rakudrama4 years ago
I love this DVD shelf and I have been musing over making a bigger one for books. Tablesaws are pretty dangerous and you don't show or mention that you should be using a blade guard. The safety issue is very real. I know someone who lost several fingers in a tablesaw accident, and over 30,000 people are injured by tablesaws every year. Using the blade guard will drastically reduce the chances that a slip, distraction, or the release of intermal stresses in a board will result in a hospital visit.
Perhaps some personalities should never go near a table saw. I can tell you that pros often use no blade guard at all and often have no accidents in their entire working lifetime. Those that design or implement very expensive prototypes often work with their fingers a tiny fraction of an inch away from open blades. Frankly for these folks it is just not an issue at all. But I am talking personalities that would not be distracted by a small bomb going off near them. I spent several years in a model shop with quite a few workers and without guards or kerf keepers ever being in use there was never a single scratch on any worker in that shop. Yet in cabinet shops I know that carbide often leaves blade tips and workers usually are not prepared for what happens. Protection for the entire face as well as the throat is essential and I have know pro cabinet makers that used old phone books over their chest area. That still left a few incidents where carbide acted like little bullet wounds in their arms. I suspect that too many individuals use saws for too many purposes in cabinet work and due to blade prices they push those blades too long before sharpening and replacements.
Sgt.Waffles7 years ago
HA!!! Thats awesome!!! My brother is a tetris junkie, so ill have to make one for him. I would be worried about the last picture. The "z" peice on the left hand side doenst look so safe to stack on. Besides that, great instructable, definatly a "+"
odecom5 (author)  Sgt.Waffles7 years ago
It's off slightly on that half, but I flipped it around, and it works out perfectly. I goofed on the measurements on one of those pieces I had to cut later. Despite that though, it is still very sturdy. I wouldn't rest a TV on it or anything, but it will hold movies until they go out of style.
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