Pallet Wood Cubby Organizer Shelves

Reclaimed Pallet Wood Cubby Organizer Wall Shelves

Years ago I bought one of those printers typeset drawers. The kind of drawer with tons of little cubbies that used to house the printers type for the old printing presses and now can hold tons of little knickknacks.  I think everybody bought one at the time and I still have mine.  The problem with the printers drawers is that the display holes were tiny.  Only the smallest of collectibles would fit on those shelves. Think tiny thimbles, political buttons, small bottles, a key.

The cubby shelves I’m showing you today is for the next generation of keepsakes.  These shelves will fit that collection of baseballs, alarm clocks,  ornaments. Making these shelves will free you from the itsy bitsy, to the average knickknack…from the teensy-weensy to one nice sized souvenir.

Reclaimed Pallet Wood Cubby Organizer Wall Shelves

To begin this project you’re going to need 8 pieces of pallet wood. Each of the pieces need to be the same width and about the same thickness.

Six of the pieces were cut 26 1/2″

The remaining 2 pieces, for the sides, are 27 3/4″.

Reclaimed Pallet Wood Cubby Organizer Wall Shelves

Nothing is nailed together yet, just figuring out if I liked the size and spacing.

Reclaimed Pallet Wood Cubby Organizer Wall Shelves


Use the same width pallet wood that you cut your shelf pieces to cut  20 shelf dividers. Mine were each 4 3/4″ but since the width of pallet wood tends to vary from piece to piece, you will probably have to measure your own piece, but 4 3/4″ is probably a good ballpark estimate of what you’ll need.

Reclaimed Pallet Wood Cubby Organizer Wall Shelves

Finally starting to nail. The corners were attached first followed by the long shelving. All are nailed from the sides with finishing nails. The smaller cut boards are just being used for spacing at this point.

Reclaimed Pallet Wood Cubby Organizer Wall Shelves

More pallet wood was cut for the back, slightly shorter than the 27 3/4 side pieces.  Again, I used a nail gun to attach. I put in a couple of nails per pallet piece for wherever the backing hit the shelf…that’s 12 nails per board.

Reclaimed Pallet Wood Cubby Organizer Wall Shelves

For the most part, the smaller divider shelves are just attached with wood glue.  I was able to put one more finishing nail at the top of each piece to hold it securely while the glue dried. Because these are the vertical dividers they won’t have any weight on them.

Pallet wood Cubby organizer shelves diy

Pallet wood Cubby organizer shelves diy

Reclaimed Pallet Wood Cubby Organizer Wall Shelves

All finished and ready to load up with your favorite collectible.

Reclaimed Pallet Wood Cubby Organizer Wall Shelves


Reclaimed Pallet Wood Cubby Organizer Wall Shelves


Reclaimed Pallet Wood Cubby Organizer Wall Shelves


Reclaimed Pallet Wood Cubby Organizer Wall Shelves

Reclaimed Pallet Wood Cubby Organizer Wall Shelves

Reclaimed Pallet Wood Cubby Organizer Wall Shelves


I can so picture these cubbies decorated for Christmas, Easter or any other season for that matter.

Thanks for stopping by and don’t forget to subscribe if you’re curious about what my next project might possibly be.

Stay inspired.

Vintage Metal Numbers from a soda can DIY

Update:  Once I was finished I decided to add numbers to the fronts of the cubby holes.  Find out how I made these vintage style numbers from a soda can here.

Shared at Metamorphosis Monday, Trash 2 Treasure,

Wow us Wednesdays, Talk of the Town, Handmade Hangout Party,

Link Party Palooza, Funky Junk Party Junk, Silver Pennies Sundays,

Dishing it and Digging, Amaze me Monday, That DIY Party,

Be Inspired Tuesday, DIY Sunday Showcase, Thoughts of Home on Thursday,

Sweet Inspiration,


  • peggy says:

    Mother-in-law gave me a post office letter box like this with 24 spots for cherished items. Very special to me and protects the pieces well. Gumby and Pokey made me smile. Yours is special too. Great job.

  • This is definitely next on my project list!

  • What an interesting display piece. And all the things in it are just as interesting, enjoyed the pics.

  • Becky says:

    This is awesome. I like that you are never afraid of a time consuming or complicated build. Thanks for linking up!

    • Joan says:

      I would love to say it was really complicated, but it really wasn’t that bad, just straight shelves across. You give me too much credit. 🙂

  • gail says:


    I love your pallet wood cubby shelf! I’ve never made one, and now I’m wonder why?

    thanks for sharing at Talk of the Town!

  • Incredible as always, Joan!

    Thanks for sharing it at Talk of the Town – pinning it on the part board and giving you a shout-out on FB!

  • Zefi Famelis says:

    Love your cubbies. One day I’ll get brave and make them! 🙂
    Found you at That DIY Party!

  • I’ve been wanting one fitted into my kitchen so appreciate your step by step process. thanks!

  • […] a little bit different look, make sure you check out my cubby shelves from a couple of weeks ago. Twenty-five cubby holes for all your treasures and it’s made […]

  • Keith says:

    Nice job and thanks for the write up…I could have used this when I built mine! Love the soda can labels too! Below are a few comments that might be useful to others.

    Make sure to dry your wood first. The pallets I found were outdoors all winter, and the boards ended up warping and twisting a lot after I brought them inside and cut them to size. By the time I got to assembling, they didn’t fit together very well. So word of advice is to let them dry out first for a few weeks, THEN do your cuts. Once they’re dry they won’t change shape anymore.

    A few more ideas I found online which worked out really well:
    -use a vinegar and steel wool solution to “age” the wood and give it a grayish patina. Google it. If the wood is pine you might have to wipe the surface with tea first to make this work.

    -to color and texturizing the wood like pottery barn did, gel stain works great. Dab and smear it on with a rag. Add more layers in the corners to make those areas darker. You can even do different colors…I did a golden pine first and then used walnut in the corners. Then top this with a clear coat to seal in the stain so it doesn’t rub off. If the stain is too dark (my case) because it’s soaking into the wood too much, you can pre seal the wood with a thin layer of any clearcoat…then wipe the gel stain on top of that once it’s dried. Sanding the wood also works but it can remove that nice rustic texture if you go too far.

    • Joan says:

      Great tips for making this project and any other pallet wood projects. I’ve never had my pallets warp, probably because I keep my wood in the garage. Do our shelves look similar?

      • Keith says:

        They’re really similar actually. Mine’s just a little more ‘organic’ looking because of the warped pieces. I was able to get them all to fit tightly together by cutting the ends at various angles (none are a perfect 90 degrees)…which took probably 5 hours of cutting, trimming, and test-fitting. I like that stuff so it’s all good…but if I didn’t I’d have started over with straighter boards.

        I think your garage storage is probably the key. With this material being free why not have a collection going?!

  • Keri says:

    Joan, this shelf cubby looks awesome!! You did a great job on this!! Years ago my mom bought one of those tiny printer trays that you wrote about, and you’re right the spaces were so tiny. I like that you were able to make a bigger one to hold all kinds of goodies! It looks so cool!! Thanks for linking up at Sweet Inspiration!!

  • Jemma says:

    You haves such a knack for creating! This reclaimed wood cubby organizer turned out great. Pinned!
    Thank you for sharing it at TOHOT!

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