How To Make A Cube Bookcase

A cube bookcase makes a beautiful addition to modern decor so you may be interested in learning how to make a cube bookcase. And without a bookcase back, the symmetry of the cubes becomes even more striking. Build a few cube bookcases and stack them like stairs to create stunning modern wall decor. Cut the measurements by half and create half-sized bookcases to increase the beauty of the arrangement. Cube bookcases are simple to build once you master the basic principle, and you can multiply the number of cubes to suit every purpose, every room.

To build a cube bookcase you will need:

  • 2 hardwood boards, 2” x 30” x 13” (sides).
  • 2 hardwood boards, 2” x 26” x 13” (top & bottom).
  • 2 hardwood boards, 1” x 26” x 13” (vertical cube split).
  • 6 hardwood boards, 1” x 8” x 13” (horizontal cube split).
  • 24 1/2 inch dowels (pegs), 1 inch long.
  • 4 1/2 inch dowels (pegs), 2 inch long.
  • Glue


All measurements are in inches, width x height x depth.

Follow these steps to create your cube bookcase:

  • Prepare the drill for building the cube bookcase. A cube bookcase is not built with nails. Instead, you will be using wood dowels that fit into pre-drilled holes in every section, thereby holding your cube bookcase together. You can buy dowels in the size you need, or you can buy a long dowel stick and cut the dowels out yourself. Begin by finding the right drill bit size to fit the diameter of your dowels (1/2 inch). It’s a good idea to test the drill bit size on a wasted piece of wood before you start drilling into the hardwood boards. Next, stick painter’s tape on the drill bit, 1/2 an inch from the end, to serve as a drill stop guide. This will prevent you from accidentally drilling all the way through your hardwood and spoiling the exterior of the cube bookcase you are building.
  • Build the center of the cube bookcase. Since a cube bookcase is assembled with wood dowels (pegs), the order of assembly is important. If you build the cube bookcase in the wrong order, you’ll be left with parts that you won’t be able to slip onto the wood dowels. Begin with the two vertical cube splits (1” x 26” x 13”). Drill 1/2 inch deep holes at the top and bottom corners in the 1” side, then insert wood dowels into the holes. Next, stand these sections over the bottom hardwood board (2” x 26” x 13”). Each should be positioned 10 inches from the side. Mark where the dowels touch the bottom of the cube bookcase, then drill 1/2 inch holes so as to insert the dowels through the board. Finally, drill holes at the top of the vertical cube splits to fix the top of the cube bookcase to them in the same manner that you used for the bottom. Tip: It’s a good idea to strengthen the grip of the dowels with a little glue.
  • Build the horizontal cube shelves. Eight inches from the top and bottom of the vertical cube splits, on the 13 inch side, drill pairs of holes all the way through, then insert the long dowels (2 inch) and attach the horizontal cube shelves (1” x 8” x 13”), after drilling dowel holes in them. This will create a tic-tac-toe like pattern.
  • Build the sides of the cube shelves. Finish drilling dowel holes in all the side sections of the cube bookcase you are building. Insert the dowels with glue, then attach the side walls of the bookcase by drilling corresponding dowel holes.
  • Sand and finish the cube bookcase. Wipe any glue residue that was squirted out as you built your cube bookcase. Then sand the whole piece thoroughly with P-220 grit sandpaper, to eliminate any elevation differences. If you intend to paint your cube bookcase, go ahead and do so now. If you wish to stain or finish it, sand the bookcase with P-320 grit sandpaper first, to give the surface a final, smooth finish.
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