In this guide I will explain how to make your own cubbie (stationary storage unit), step by step.

This unit includes 10 compartments which will fit 100 Copic Various Ink refills perfectly (10 refills for each compartment). This will give you the idea of the size of the compartments.

Note: The dimensions that I use in this guide fit to my own need, since the true purpose of this cubbie was to store my Copic Ciao markers and my Copic Various Inks. So if want to have a bigger or a smaller cubbie, feel free to make changes.

The materials that you will need:

  1. Foam core board, 5mm thickness, in A3 size. You will be needing 4 of these. You can also get a bigger board (e.g. 2 of those 750x500mm)
  2. All-purpose adhesive glue, I use the one from UH
  3. A cutter knife
  4. A long ruler, preferably a metric ruler with cm/mm scales.

It will take some patience and 1-2 hours of your time.

So let’s get started!

Step 1

Cutting out the required components

You will need following components to build the unit:

a Top 1 pc. 14.5 cm x 18.5 cm
b Back wall 1 pc. 18.5 cm x 31 cm
c Side walls 2 pcs. 14 cm x 31 cm
d middle wall 1 pc. 14 cm x 31 cm
e shelves 5 pcs. 14 cm x 17.5 cm
f frontal covers (optional) 2 pcs. see Step 3

See also the explosion diagram below:

Tips 1: Use these dimensions to cut e.g. newspapers and then arrange them on the foam boards. Arrange them so that most area is utilized and not a lot of area will go to waste. If you are using A3 foam boards, you can arrange them like so:

Tips 2: Make sure the knife you are using is sharp. Try to keep a straight line when cutting. Try not to apply too much pressure when cutting. If you apply too much pressure, it would be possible that you will steer away from the line and ruin your component. It happens to me a lot so what I did was- I went over the line a few times but with slight pressure only. When the cut is deep and straight enough, I removed the ruler and cut the board through with one stroke. If you don’t have a cutting mat, lay down old cardboard paper underneath to protect your work station or floor!

Cutting the grooves

Next step is to cut grooves on the shelves (e) and also on the middle wall (d), so we could join them later by interlocking method. See below for the exact dimensions of the grooves.

Step 2

Gluing the components together

First, start with the middle wall (d) and the shelves (e). Apply some glue as you do it. You can either apply glue on the inner groove of the shelves or the inner groove of the middle wall. Or both, it will become more robust and hold better that way.

Join the shelves to the middle wall by interlocking them to each other (e–d). Make sure that the pieces are as flush as possible at the backside, since you will glue this side to the back wall (b) next.

Apply glue to the backside of the glued components. Position the glued components so that it will lie in the center of the back wall, while keeping 0.5 cm space to the right and to the left of the back wall free. You can just eyeball it. (ed–b)

Now apply glue to the sides of the shelves and to the sides of the side wall. Attach them together. (c–edb–c)

Next, apply glue to the tops of the back wall and of both side walls. Attach the top. (cedbc–a)

Step 3: (optional)

Finalize the look

Since we do not have a base for the unit, it will look a tad unappealing. You can cover the bottom compartment with foam boards (f). You can cut these according to your unit, and attach them to the inner frame of the most bottom shelf. (f-cedbca-f)

Step 4:

Let it dry sufficiently

I usually leave it sit for overnight with books as weight to let the glue to dry and hold properly. I don’t have experience working with this foam board material with hot glue gun so try it at your own risk, if you think it dries faster and holds better.

And you are finished!

Since we are working with foam boards, which isn’t the steadiest material out there, it’s natural that it is not going to be perfectly even. Also, a hand work isn’t going to be as precise as opposed to a cutting machine. So don’t be discouraged if your unit is a bit uneven or wobbles. Mines aren’t the best looking of all, but they look sleek enough for my workspace. In the end, you are saving a lot of money and you can be proud of what you created by yourself!

So I hope this guide will help you create your own unit and have a better, managable storage system. If you have questions just leave them in the comments below and i’ll be happy to answer them!

Here are some more tips from me:

If you are using UHU adhesive glue, make sure you wait for a few minutes after applying. It will hold better when it is half-way dry and not so liquidy. I’m not sure about other adhesives so read the instructions on the packaging of the adhesive of your own choosing.

Normally the sides aren’t always pretty and smooth. The inner foam of the board could be torn off while cutting. Make sure to pick the best sides for the front part.

Use weight at each step or apply pressure so the components are properly attached together before moving on to the next component.

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