Build a tall narrow DIY shoe cubby shelf, inspired by a vintage wood mail sorter! Detailed woodworking plans make this a great beginner project you can finish in a weekend.
Vintage Mail Sorter Shoe Cubby
Get the woodworking plans here
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Hi guys, I’m Sara from Sincerely, Sara D. I am overjoyed to be here with you all today on Remodelaholic!
Although I believe I’m a misplaced southern girl (I love the sun and heat), I was born, raised and (still) live in the midwest. I’m mom to three cute kids, and a wife to an amazing man who puts up with my never ending projects and ideas.
We moved into our current home a couple years ago, and one of the first areas I tackled was our mudroom. It’s a long, narrow space, and it’s our family’s main entrance into our home since it’s right off the garage.
Our kids are pretty good at remembering to remove their shoes when they enter the house, but that can leave an ugly pile of shoes by the doorway.
Luckily we hadn’t lived in our home long before I randomly came across an old post office mail sorter. It was love at first site at a local antique mall and a steal for $80! I had to have it and was crossing my fingers it would be the right size for my kids’ shoes.
The guy I bought it from was gracious enough to drive it home to me, but I had a lot of explaining to my husband when I drove up the driveway with a panel van sporting the words “mystery machine” in tow.
He watched as the muddy, wasp infested mail sorter was unloaded – not quite seeing my vision. However, a little elbow grease, and the piece was cleaned up and a perfect fit in our space.
With three kids, we’re always running off somewhere – school, sports, piano or church. A DIY chalkboard calendar was a great finishing piece for this space to keep us going in the right direction and the perfect companion to the mail sorter. Two years later, and we’re still loving and using the mail sorter turned shoe cubby!
When Remodelaholic asked if they could create plans so you could build one, too, I was happy to share dimensions.
I also suggested that the cubbies would fit shoes better (especially larger kid and adult shoes) if they were a little bit deeper and a little bit wider than the original mail sorter shelves.
How to Build a DIY Shoe Cubby Organizer
We asked Amy from Hertoolbelt to draw up some modified plans to build a vintage shoe sorter shoe cubby shelf like Sara’s.
The 12-page woodworking plan is beginner-friendly and ready to build in a weekend! The complete plan includes detailed diagrams and dimensions, and assembly instructions.
Shoe Cubby Dimensions
This tall shoe cubby can be easily adjusted to fit your space (like Kristi did below). The plans include detailed measurements to build a mail sorter cubby featuring 35 cubbies:
- Overall dimensions: 55” W x 48” H x 11 ¼” D (9 ¼” at the base)
- Individual cubby dimensions (interior): 7” W x 6” H x 9 ¼” D
You’ll also need
- 1 1/4″ pocket hole screws
- 1 1/4″ – 1 1/2″ brad nails
- wood glue
- wood filler – optional
- polyurethane/top coat
You could make this shelf using just a hand saw and miter box with screws and glue/nails for assembly… but for joint strength and ease of cutting and accuracy (plus saving time!) we recommend these tools:
- Compound Miter Saw
- Jig Saw (or small hand saw)
- Brad Nailer
- Table Saw (optional)
- Rafter Square
- Kreg Jig (pocket hole jig)
- Tape Measure
Reader-Built Mail Sorter Shoe Cubby Shelves
We love seeing readers use our plans to create great storage solutions and beautiful furniture for their homes!
If you’ve built something using our plans or inspired by something you’ve seen here on Remodelaholic, send us a brag post here.
Dan’s Shoe Cubby
Our reader, Dan, used our plans to build a shoe cubby for his daughter. Turned out great! (January 2017)
Here’s what Dan had to say:
I built the shoe cubby for my daughter’s house and she loves it in her redecorated entry way. I used Kreg pocket screws and biscuits to join the shelves and partitions. She stained the pine with white stain and 5 coats of polyurethane.
What a great gift, Dan. No wonder your daughter loves it! Thanks for sharing.
Kristi’s Narrow Shoe Cubby Organizer
Kristi was so inspired by Sara’s shoe organizer, that she headed to Home Depot for supplies and made her own!
Check out more building plans from Hertoolbelt
More shoe storage ideas:
- Build a rotating shoe rack
- Easy entryway storage bench
- DIY wood shoe storage ladder
- Build a shoe cubby bench
- 10 more ways to store and organize shoes
Published 21 Dec 2015 // Updated 07 Jan 2021