With two little ones running around, there’s always a pile-up of coats and shoes near the front door. To solve this problem, I’m building a free-standing storage cabinet that has cubbies and hooks for storing coats, baskets for storing hats and gloves, and open storage for shoes underneath.
Steps for Building an Entryway Cabinet with Storage
Follow these steps to build a DIY entryway cabinet with storage cubbies. For a list of tools, materials, and the cut list, scroll to the bottom of this page.
- Using a miter saw, cut the pieces to length.
- Next, prep the plywood pieces with pocket holes noted on the cut list.
- To give the backing on this a little bit of detail, cut a shallow groove with a circular saw to create a shiplap look. To do this, set the blade of your saw to about a 1/8 inch. I’m using a guide attached to my circular saw, but any straightedge will do. Next, make the cuts, spacing them 4 inches apart.
- As a last bit of prep, I marked the outline of my baseboard on the legs and used a jigsaw to notch the back edge of each leg so that the cabinet would be sit flush against the wall.
- To assemble the base parts, attach the back between the outside legs, recessing it forward to make room for the baseboard. clamp one of the interior dividers to an outside leg with its front edges aligned to act as a spacer to position the backer. Repeat this process to attach the remaining outside leg.
- Use the shelves as spacers to position the remaining legs with equal spacing—applying glue to their back edge and then screwing through the backer board and into the leg. Once all the legs are installed, insert the shelves, adjust their height, and secure them with screws.
- Now, it’s time to install the benchtop with glue and screws. Finish by securing the benchtop to the backer board.
- With the bench complete, it’s time to create the tall cubbies that set on top. With the groves facing down, glue and, screw the first outside wall to its edge, ensuring their bottom edges were flush.
- Next, stand the assembly up to install the second outside wall before laying the assembled parts down on their back.
- Install the top shelf flush with the top edge of the backer board and then use the vertical dividers to position the lower shelf, both with their pocket holes facing upward.
- To install the dividers, drill the countersunk pilot holes through the shelves and then into the top and bottom of the dividers, followed by screws. Repeat the process to install the center divider between the two tall cubbies.
- Finally, stand the cabinet top upright, center the divider, and then screw through the backer and into the divider to hold it in place.
- It is not time to create the face frames. Typically, you can nail the 1x2’s to the face of the assembly, but over time, the joints can separate and crack the finish, so it’s best to assemble with glue and pocket hole screws before nailing them in place.
- To do this, lay the 1x2s in place to mark and cut their length and then to mark the location of the joints.
- Next, flip the pieces and drill pocket holes at each joint. Finally, use glue and screws to connect the boards. Once complete, apply glue to the front edge of the plywood pieces and then lay the face frames in place before securing them with nails.
- For the base, repeat this process—marking the location of the joints, flipping the pieces to secure their joints with glue and pocket hole screws, placing it onto the front edge of the plywood pieces, and then gluing them in place.
- For the seat of the base, I wanted to finish the plywood edge but didn’t want to add any depth to the bench by capping it with a board, so I used veneer.
- To do this, lay the veneer banding onto the edge of the plywood and use an iron to heat up its adhesive backing. Then, trim the ends with scissors. Lastly, use a utility knife to trim the edges of the banding.
- To finish the top of the assembly, I planned to add crown molding, but because I bumped out the face frame, I needed first to add a filler strip using wood glue and nails. Next, I cut the crown with my miter saw and then applied glue and nailed it into place.
- With both the top and bottom parts of the project complete, apply a coat of primer followed by two coats of paint to the entire assembly.
- Once dry, move to its final location in two parts. Connect the top to the base with pocket hole screws driven through the dividers and the backer board and into the bench.
- As a safety precaution, screw through two cubbies—in the top and base—and into studs in the wall to ensure the heavy assembly would never tip. Lastly, install the hooks and add baskets to optimize your new entryway storage bench.
Below are the cut lists for the base, top, and crown of the bench.
- Backing – 1 @ 44 5/8” W x 19” H
- Legs (Ends) – 2 @ 12 ¼” W x 19” H
- Legs (Middle) – 2 @ 9 7/8” W x 19” H
- 1x2 Face Frame (Vertical) – 4 @ 19”
- 1x2 Face Frame (Horizontal) – 2 @ 13 5/8”
- Shelves – 3 @ 9 7/8”D x 14 3/8”W
- Bench Seat – 1 @ 14”D x 48”W
- Backing – 1 @ 62”H x 44 5/8”W
- Vertical Sides – 2 @ 10”D x 66”H
- Vertical Divider – 1 @ 9 ¼”D x 49”H
- Shelves – 2 @ 9 ¼”D x 44 5/8”W
- Shelf Dividers – 2 @ 9 ¼”D x 11 ½”H
- 1x2 Face Frame (Vertical Shelf Dividers) – 2 @ 11 ½”
- 1x2 Face Frame (Vertical Sides) – 2 @ 66”
- 1x2 Face Frame (Vertical Divider) – 1 @ 48 ¼”
- 1x2 Face Frame (Horizontal) – 2 @ 43 7/8”
- Crown Sides - 2 @ 10” miter one end
- Crown Front – 1 @ 46 7/8” miter both ends
- Filler strip – 2 @ thickness of face frame overhang x at least 2” H x 10” L
- (2) ¾”x 4’ x 8’ plywood
- (5) 1 x 2 x 8’ boards
- Crown molding – Get at least 7 feet
- Wood filler
- Wood glue
- 1 ½-inch finish nails
- 1 ¼” pocket hole screws
- 2-inch screws to attach the assembly to wall studs