DIY Tutorials Home Decor Thrifting

Thrift & Flip – Cubby Wall Shelf


Cubby Wall Shelf Makeover – It’s time for another “Thrift & Flip,” where I take items purchased during my Thrift With Me Thursday segments and flip them into beautiful home decor I actually want to use in my house!!

In today’s Thrift & Flip, I am going to be taking this handmade cubby from last week’s Thrift With Me Thursday, picked up for a mere $3.99 and turn it into a cute cubby shelf similar to those found at Pottery Barn for $159!

Cubby Wall Shelf – BEFORE

It’s a pretty sad little cubby shelf isn’t it? But for $3.99 this little guy has so much potential! Plus, my youngest daughter has been asking for a cubby for her knick knacks so this seemed to fit the bill just perfectly!

(Side Note: The cubby isn’t actually being used by her in our home, as her shared room literally hasn’t an extra ounce of space… HOWEVER, once we re-do the house and she has her own room, she will reclaim this cutie and fill it with knick knacks galore! Think hatchimals, seashells, and lego creations lol!)

Cubby Wall Shelf Step #1 – Sanding!

Since I am painted this piece it did not need to much in the way of sanding. However, the little flowers at the bottom protruded a bit from the surface and required a bit more grit to get them down. Once you put paint over them the elevated surface becomes pretty noticeable, so it was important to get this part smooth!

goodwill cubby wall shelf for $3.99
wall shelf and sander

Cubby Wall Shelf – Step #2

Most of the examples that I saw of retail cubby wall shelfs had a back to them and I really like the look of that. I think the back gives it a little bit more of a polished/finished look and also adds a nice bit or texture and visual interest to the piece.

I had some scrap bead board panels in the garage so I marked off where the bead board needed to be cut and used my jigsaw to cut it out.


Cubby Wall Shelf – Step #3

Now that my bead board backing was cut, I grabbed a bit of wood glue and glued it to the back of the wall cubby shelf.

wood glue

Cubby Wall Shelf Step #4 – Paint!

Once my cubby wall shelf had dried I grabbed some spare paint (General Finishes Antique White) and gave the entire piece 2 coats of fresh paint.

painting the cubby wall shelf

Cubby Wall Shelf Step #5 – Hardware

The final step to completing this Thrift & Flip Cubby Wall Shelf was to screw in the cute little library label holders that I purchased (40 for $8.50).

library labels

Since this shelf appears to be hand-made it is not perfectly even. Therefor, I decided to eyeball where each of the label holders would sit and made sure that they optically lined up.

Once I had them all lined up, I grabbed my pencil and made a mark where the screws would go.

tools for the diy project
marking screw holes for cubby wall shelf

Next, I grabbed our drill and drilled 1/16″ pilot holes, which makes it a super easy process to insert the small screws. In fact, my sweet girl took over while I helped with homeschool and did most of the labels herself! (Insert proud momma high fives!)

Child helping with screwing the library labels

Cubby Wall Shelf Is Ready For Hanging And Styling!

Once my new and improved cubby wall shelf was complete, I hung it in our hallway and filled it with fun seasonal decor and sentimental items, such as my husbands’ grandfather’s war journal and family photos.

close up cubby wall shelf with vintage photos and white pumpkin
hallway with cubby wall shelf , paintings, antlers

I love how this little cubby wall shelf turned out and until it makes its way back into my sweet little girl’s room, it will be fun to style with each passing season and holiday!

hallway with cubby wall shelf and antlers and paintings
hallway with cubby wall shelf and antlers and paintings

Eventually I might tea-stain and print out some vintage looking labels, but for now I am just enjoying the simplicity of my new thrifted cubby wall shelf!

close up shot with small white pumpkins and a vintage trophy and picture
close up shot of cubby wall shelf with small white pumpkins and a vintage trophy and picture
Cubby Wall Shelf far away view 2
distant view

PIN This For Later

pinnacle image

Like this Post? Check out more Thrift & Flip posts below:

Get My FREE E-Book!

5 Things You Should Stop Buying Retail and Start Buying Second Hand!