DVD Shelves That Are Out of Your Way

My project of making the dvd shelves started was my cousin needed a place to store her dvds. She had outgrown the cabinet where she was keeping them.

She now has shelves that are behind closed doors and out of the way. They are great! She also has room for all her cds, with room to spare. At the top, there is storage for items she does not use that often such as flower vases.

At first, she was looking at some shelves to put in her living room. But, she could not find anything she liked. Plus, it would take up some valuable room.

Then, I started looking around and noticed a room right off the front door. The foyer if you will. In the picture above, it is to the left of the cabinet. The room measures 4 ft X 8 ft and there are 60 inches of door opening into the living room and a 36 inch wide front door.

There were 18 inches of vacant space behind each door doing nothing. Since the ceiling in that room is 11 ft high, she had a large amount of wasted space that I could use to build her shelves.

The majority of media she has is dvds and some vhs tapes. She has somewhere around 500 dvds. Therefore, after measuring exactly how much space a dvd takes up, I calculated I could put 76 across on one shelf.

There was space for 6+ shelves high. She could have easy access to 456 per wall or 912 total storage capacity.

Of course, I could not go to the big box and buy lumber that was exactly the dimensions I needed. Therefore, I bought the material that was larger and cut it to exactly the sizes I wanted.

This with having the correct tools becomes paramount. Here is a list of the tools used in the making of these shelves:

  • a 10 inch table saw;
  • a 12 inch miter saw; and
  • a pneumatic finish nail gun.

That is all the power tools necessary for this project.

Levels, framing squares, clamps, measuring tapes, pulling bars, etc. are all that remains to complete this project.

These built-in dvd shelves fit so accurately that the door hinges had to be removed to get the unit in place. The shims were only 1/4 inch thick on one side of the unit. This is because of careful measuring.

The old adage of measure twice and cut once is good, but measure many times and cut once is even better. You will be amazed that every time you measure, the reference points will change. Measure very carefully and the project will fit.

TIP: Measure the opening you want to fill with shelves and cut a stick 1/4 to 1/2 inch less and use it as a gauge to make sure the measurement is correct.

In almost all homes, you will find that the walls are not straight. They taper in or out, top to bottom and front to back. Make sure the stick fits in the area you want to use.

This is how I determined that the door hinges and the molding around the doors had to come off before I put the shelves in place. I could have simply made the shelving 1 inch narrower, but I wanted the maximum storage space.

pictures of shelves

I did not include the measurements for the dvd shelves I made for my cousin as your shelves will not be the same size. Remember to measure often!

The foyer where we put the dvd shelves was not the same size at both ends. One wall was 1/2 inch less than the other. If you want a good tight fit, take your time and measure everything carefully. I cannot stress this enough.

The cost to build the shelves was $130 or $65 per shelf. The wood I used was spruce with some knots. Since the shelves were to be painted white, the knots were okay.

Below is the link to see the cabinet doors I made for these shelves. Check it out!

Dave Altman

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