Picture of Tetris shelves


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
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Step 1: 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.
paverphalange5 months ago

Thats fabulous

dan30085 months 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

motherprune6 months ago


cobbledbeard6 months ago

Its exceptional

mousepaper6 months ago

Its exceptional

mousepaper6 months ago

Its exceptional

Thats fabulous

amazedgreen6 months ago

Thats exceptional

fastbobble6 months ago

Thats astounding

gorgeddamp6 months ago


clearedeager6 months ago

Its spectacular

illrings6 months ago


airbugger7 months ago

Its phenomenal


headlymph7 months ago


tealrink7 months ago


grousebandit7 months ago

Its breathtaking :)

harechubby7 months ago


clapfilk8 months ago


cheshirecorn8 months ago



spongeraffle8 months ago

Thats exceptional...

workexaminer8 months ago

Thats calme

gazumpglue10 months 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!!
MAApleton1 year ago
Oh wow, I absolutely love this!!!! It looks so incredible.
Don't lower your standards! You've done a really good job there.
p3jawors1 year ago
Are the different blocks connected at all or are they just stacked onto each other?
HicksCustomFurniture (author)  p3jawors1 year ago
Stacked, so they can be rearrange for different spaces...or if you're feeling playful!
Super cool and awesome!
error421 year ago
Saving this for when my son is older...awesome!
Giedow1 year 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.
bobble2931 year 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!
sajeffe1 year ago
Voted this project up. Love it. Beautiful work.
agis681 year ago
love it too!!!
Love it!!
Beauty idea! Too bad you'll have to spoil them by actually putting things in the spaces.
vhcl1 year ago
The quality of your work is superb!!

Thanks for sharing!!
lhelton11 year 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)
Billrose1 year ago
This is a great idea I have been looking for something like this and then you posted this and I went YES!
aje1271 year ago
Very cool!
james.m.k1 year ago

But for realism, you could have left a hole or two! (Well, realism for ME anyway! ^_^)
Awesome. Nice touch storing your NES games and your Donkey Congas on your Tetris shelves.
WoundedEgo1 year ago
I appreciate your pointing out the importance of ear protection. Nice Instructible.
sassycat1 year ago
I love this!
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.
jjarmon1 year ago
Where could I find the plans you did in CAD?
HicksCustomFurniture (author)  jjarmon1 year ago
Drop me an email at and I'll send through the file.
clapperz1 year ago
brilliant work. Paint looks perfect. Which primer did you use?
HicksCustomFurniture (author)  clapperz1 year ago
sanguish1 year 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)  sanguish1 year 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)  sanguish1 year ago
cool, I'll do it the easy way if I make another set then! haha
Gorgus1 year 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