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.
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.