You might be thinking to yourself, “Aren’t magazine files already easy to find and pretty cheap?” It gets even easier and cheaper, my friend. One sheet of plywood = EIGHTEEN files! And at $3.50 a pop, no less. The bookshelf in my study just got re-organised in a sturdy, stylish way.
I was inspired by Ana White’s plans for the same, and I followed her cut list on a 4’ x 4’ sheet of plywood (half of a full-size sheet). One full sheet makes 18 files!! I made 9 and even that felt generous.
I used a half-sheet (4′ x 4′) of plywood, 1/4″ thick. (I sprang for hardwood ply, because I’m worth it.) I also used a 1×4 length of timber, 8ft long, some PVA and painter’s tape. You can read about my cut list and the full step-by-step tutorial in my recent article on Homedit.
I assembled the pieces with glue and painter’s tape to hold them together overnight. The next day, I added a touch of wood putty in some of the cracks for a flush finish. I lightly sanded off the excess glue and putty.
I went for a very simple finish on these files, in a similar vein to my Scandi dresser makeover, using semi-gloss white paint and danish oil. I even applied little felt feet to the bases, just for that extra surface protection.
I let the magazine files cure for a few days, and then brought them to my study and filled ’em up. I like the severe profile of my files, all straight lines and solid-coloured panels. If I’m going to the trouble to make files out of plywood and not cardboard or whatever, I want the wood to be obvious.
There are so many ideas for customising them with your own designs: stripes, stencils, crosses, polka dots, decoupage… it’s endless. You can also find label plates at a craft store and add those on if you wish.
(The bookshelf is another DIY project, which we made out of cut steel. Yay welding!)
This bookshelf is looking tidier than ever. Even IKEA couldn’t sell me wooden magazine files this cheaply — if you need loads of these, definitely give it a shot making your own!
This project first appeared on an article I wrote for Homedit. I hope it’s not tacky if I share a few DIY ideas that I’ve written about for other sites on my main blog as well.
Check out my other updates in the study: Initial plans; flat file storage; DIY linen-weave roller blinds, giving the disused fireplace a makeover; setting up a dedicated tea station; refurbishing the timber desk; assembling a workbench and inspiration board.
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Very nice & very sturdy-looking. Don’t have the tools here or I would try making some.
what a great idea!, thank you for sharing
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good idea could be even better if your capable and have the necessary tools to do finger joints