Picture of Tetris shelves


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Having seen a bunch of examples of these that other people on the internet had made (that although awesome, were waaaaaay too expensive) I had a crack at my own take on the idea.

I made some prototypes a couple of years ago, but the colours didn't pop as much as I'd hoped, and I've got more tools now.

Here's how I made mine....

Stuff I used:

  • Table saw
  • Steel rule
  • Squares
  • Knife
  • Router + dovetail bit
  • Dovetail Jig
  • Wood glue
  • Paint
  • 12mm MDF - 8ft x 4ft sheet
  • 3mm MDF - 6ft x 2ft sheet
  • PPE - dust mask / googles / ear defenders

Step 1: Design

Picture of Design
When you think about it, each Tetris block can be broken down into four equal squares.

I decided each square would be 160mm2, and be 150mm deep (good for CD's).

*UPDATE* After making a few more sets of these for other people the ideal unit size is 224mm, as this fits DVD's n' stuff */UPDATE*

I took to AutoCAD and drew up some plans.

I chose to use 12mm MDF, and they'd be backed with 3mm MDF. The joints would be dovetailed as they're nice and strong, and not that hard when you've got a router and a dovetail jig. (you can get away with rabbit joints though)

Once I was happy I wrote all the measurements down as a "shed reference sheet" and took to my little workshop.

Its nice :)

thermallyme2 months ago


KimberlyC13 months ago
Can I order this? I wished I have the skills in making something like this.
jaimee3780654 months ago

Do you know what exact brands and colors of spray paint you used?

cdevildevil6 months ago

Putting a square block right on top of that hole at the top would really drive people crazy. I think I might do it :D

tomas75a6 months ago

What are dovetails?? Never heard about that. Cool project though! I like it:)

JohnnieT6 months ago
Really nice!!
kjsrocks6 months ago

Be sure to screw them together and screw them into the wall.

You wouldnt want it to fall over

Cotixtof6 months ago

Great! If all possible, where can I get the autocad files? Chris

Cairdy Crafts6 months ago

A very well documented, commented and photoed Instructable! The geek in me loves the way the Tetris pieces stack together, and the CDs storage part looks so good! I'd love to give something like this a go sometime, but until then, great job introducing, recording and explaining the steps!

starforest6 months ago

Wouldn't the shelves be some what unstable because they're just stacked on top of each other? If one shelf at the top had more weight on it then the ones at the bottom wouldn't it fall off?

Thats fabulous

dan30081 year ago

I want now :D... Just droped you an email requesting a quote. I dont really have the needed tools to do it myself lol


Its exceptional

mousepaper1 year ago

Its exceptional

mousepaper1 year ago

Its exceptional

Thats fabulous

Thats exceptional

fastbobble1 year ago

Thats astounding

gorgeddamp1 year ago


Its spectacular

illrings1 year ago


airbugger1 year ago

Its phenomenal


headlymph1 year ago


tealrink1 year ago


Its breathtaking :)

harechubby1 year ago


clapfilk1 year ago




Thats exceptional...

Thats calme

gazumpglue1 year ago

Awesome project! Looks like I will be making a set. One question, I didn't see any dovetails, did you mean rabbet's?

wish i had the room to get a set!
Excellent design, love it so much.
BunnyRoger1 year ago
So cool!! Wish I was a bit more of a handyman or carpenter to do this for my kids' room.
This is amazing, Love this Instructable!!
MAApleton2 years ago
Oh wow, I absolutely love this!!!! It looks so incredible.
Don't lower your standards! You've done a really good job there.
p3jawors2 years ago
Are the different blocks connected at all or are they just stacked onto each other?
HicksCustomFurniture (author)  p3jawors2 years ago
Stacked, so they can be rearrange for different spaces...or if you're feeling playful!
Super cool and awesome!
error422 years ago
Saving this for when my son is older...awesome!
Giedow2 years ago
just awesome!
Awesome project! Looks like I will be making a set. One question, I didn't see any dovetails, did you mean rabbet's?
Check out step 3 bro.
bobble2932 years ago
Don't lower your standards! You've done a really good job there. I'd bet on your dovetails against most other construction methods for strength!
sajeffe2 years ago
Voted this project up. Love it. Beautiful work.
agis682 years ago
love it too!!!
MJAussie3602 years ago
Love it!!
Beauty idea! Too bad you'll have to spoil them by actually putting things in the spaces.
vhcl2 years ago
The quality of your work is superb!!

Thanks for sharing!!
lhelton12 years ago
I wish I was more shop-tool savvy like my dad!! I would have two sets of these in a heartbeat!! (or hundreds. lol)
Billrose2 years ago
This is a great idea I have been looking for something like this and then you posted this and I went YES!
aje1272 years ago
Very cool!
james.m.k2 years ago

But for realism, you could have left a hole or two! (Well, realism for ME anyway! ^_^)
The Rambler2 years ago
Awesome. Nice touch storing your NES games and your Donkey Congas on your Tetris shelves.
WoundedEgo2 years ago
I appreciate your pointing out the importance of ear protection. Nice Instructible.
sassycat2 years ago
I love this!
doodlecraft2 years ago
Love this! My favorite piece has always been that purple one! :)
Just careful not to complete any lines. You might lose a few of them.
I want to build this, but I could never make the final section because then the whole bookcase would collapse. But I'd get the high score.
jjarmon2 years ago
Where could I find the plans you did in CAD?
HicksCustomFurniture (author)  jjarmon2 years ago
Drop me an email at hickscustomfurniture@hotmail.co.uk and I'll send through the file.
clapperz2 years ago
brilliant work. Paint looks perfect. Which primer did you use?
HicksCustomFurniture (author)  clapperz2 years ago
sanguish2 years ago
Why use dovetails on a wood like MDF? I don't think you're gaining any strength like you do with grained wood. You may be loosing it.

it seems that a smooth edge and good clamping (and pin nailing) or a dado cut would be a better solution. Certainly easier.

Now, if you made one out of a mix of Maple, Cherry, Walnut, Paduak, Mahogany, and some other colorful woods, dovetails would be the bomb.
HicksCustomFurniture (author)  sanguish2 years ago
Really?! I figured more gluing area = better joint. I barely ever use MDF, 'orrible stuff.

Using a variety of nice hardwoods would have been nice....bit expensive though!
Well, MDF doesn't have grain, so you really don't gain any strength. It's just as liable to break along the bottom of the dovetails as if you used a dado (in fact more so since you don't have the solid long surface area on the side and bottom)

With the glue, dados and the backs, you'd have had plenty of strength, and a lot less work. :-)

So many dovetails. Lovely job on them, but it must have taken a good deal of setup. Even with a good jig.
HicksCustomFurniture (author)  sanguish2 years ago
cool, I'll do it the easy way if I make another set then! haha
Gorgus2 years ago
Great idea and perfect execution. Good job!
Great instructable! I think I'll make these over the weekend. : )

These are the nicest ones I've ever seen - the paint really makes them perfect. :D