Introduction: Modern Shelves

About: YouTube content creator, wood worker, Diyer.

My daughter likes movies and by likes, I mean she loves movies!! Her world, much like many other 4 year olds, revolves around Disney characters. At this point she is hung up on Toy Story, for the second time. When next week rolls around, who knows who or what it will be next.

My wife and I have been buying her Disney movies and all other various cartoon movies since she was first born. The problem with that is, you start to run out of places to store them after a while. Our dvd storage racks have been overflowing for the last couple years and we finally decided enough was enough. I had to build some more storage, preferably in her room this time. This would alleviate some room for us and put the movies where she could more easily access them. I knew I wanted something colorful and not too complicated, I was pretty happy with what we came up with.

Step 1: Make the Cuts

I start, as usual, by rough dimensioning all the parts that I’d need according to my cut list. This breaks the boards down into smaller, more manageable parts. I’m using 1×8 poplar for this project.

Now that I have all the parts broken down, I can begin ripping all the boards down to their final widths.

I’m using my miter gauge to cut the boards to their final length. I use my tape measure to set the stop block. The measurements don’t have to be exactly to the measurements, so long as they are all the same. That’s the most important part.

Step 2: Assembling the Boxes

Now that all the parts are cut down, I can start assembling boxes. I start by gluing them and clamping until the glue sets up. Once the glue is dry, I can then drive the screws. This step of gluing first prevents the parts from moving around while driving the screws.

I’m using my combo square to mark out two evenly spaced screw locations on the ends of the boxes.

I can then pre-drill, countersink, and drive the 2 inch screws that will ultimately hold the boxes together.

Now that the boxes are assembled I can mark the horizontal mounting supports and cut them to fit between the box sides.

I take several passes and slowly sneak up on each cut until I get a nice snug fit.

I attach these pieces with glue and pocket screws. I first glue and clamp them as I did before, letting the glue dry, and then add the screws later.

Step 3: Fill, Sand, and Finish.

To fill the screw holes I’m using wood filler. Just spread into the holes, let dry, and then sand smooth.

Now it’s time to sand the boxes smooth. I start by sanding the front edge of each box, which is mostly what will be seen, and make sure that they are all nice and even with one another. A blocking stick by hand does a great job at this.

I then sand the rest of the boxes with my orbital sander. I just sanded them with 120 grit because I knew I’d be brush painting them later.

I apply one coat of primer to the boxes and then two coats of color. I painted each box a different color to give them a neat look.

Step 4: Mount and Fill Them

Once the paint was dry I could mount them to the wall. The small boxes were pre drilled a little bit off center to offset the boxes and achieve the look I was going for. The larger boxes were marked for wall stud placement and mounted that way.

Now it’s time to fill those shelves up with dvds, toy, and whatever else we could come up with. I was very pleased with how these came out and my daughter loves them. I just hope they stay this neat and organized from now on haha.

Step 5: Watch the Video and Get the Plans.

To get a better idea of how these are built, watch the video! I also have a free set of plans (with cut list) available here.