Paper Rack {mini-tutorial}

Featured on: Craft Gossip

Months after completion we are finally going to start rolling out our various post on our craft room make over. If you remember back in October, I gave a sneak peak of the desk that Mr. Woodsy built. 

Today, we are going to unveil the amazing (8 foot 3 inch tall) paper rack that Mr. Woodsy built for the craft room. Prior to the completion of the craft room I had boxes and boxes of paper, and most of the times I would go out and by new paper rather than sift through the endless boxes of paper. This was until I had an awesome storage solution. One of my goals with building the craft room was to have a paper storage area. I needed to be able to easily see all the paper I have. This is not going to be the most complete tutorial–more like a bare bones this is what you need to do to construct a paper rack kind of tutorial (since it’s taken me months to get Mr. Woodsy to write a paragraph about how he built this monstrosity). If you have questions, please feel free to email us, and we will attempt to answer your questions! We did not find plans for this paper rack online. Mr. Woodsy drew them up himself and created this masterpiece himself! 

I used ½” MDF to create the cabinet section, the size of my cabinet was 13” w x 13”d x 93” h. I then clamped the two pieces together to create one consistent board (so I could dado cut into the mdf so that the shelves can be removed if needed).
I took a scrap piece of MDF to practice my dado cuts prior to starting on the real thing. 
I used scrap wood as my guide to keep straight lines. I spaced the shelves so I would get 2” spacings. Remember to account for the thickness of the shelves, I used a 5mm backing laun for my shelves. I dado cut the sides of the cabinet, so the shelves can be removed. I clamped both sides together measured down 3” for the face plate and 3” up for the kick plate.
Then I made marks every 2 ¼” put my straight edge across the sides and used my router with a ¼” upspiral bit to dado the ½” MDF to accomidate for the shelves. Each dado cut was ¼” in depth for the shelf to sit. *Remember to add a ½” to your 13” shelves.
After all the shelves are cut, just glue then nail the sides and top together. I also glued one of the center shelves to give the cabinet some support. Then added a 1/2″ MDF board for the  backing of the cabinet. (*Yes the paper rack went all the way up to our attics door!)
 A close up picture of the rack prior to being painted. 

Since we wanted all the furniture built for the craft room white, we decided to paint the paper rack. I used a basic white water-based paint followed by a coat water-based semi-gloss polyacryclic finish. *I did 2 coats of both white and polyacrylic. You can roll the white paint on but in order to get a smooth finish you must brush the polyacrylic on. 
Mr. Woodsy rolling on white paint. 
Once the paint dried, move in your paper rack, and slide in all the shelves. 
*These pictures were taken right after moving in the paper rack from the garage. Mr. Woodsy did not think I’d be able to fill the paper rack–I easily proved him wrong! 
Every shelf is filled to the brim with paper and I’m now banned from buying any new paper!




  1. Wow! This is the paper storage to beat all paper storage! I'd love me one of these,will need to speak to hubby about making one!

    Thanks for the tut!

  2. While They Snooze says:

    Looks awesome! Great job Jon! Can't wait to have a craft space one day! : )

  3. laxsupermom says:

    The Mr. did an amazing job! Love it! Terrific tutorial, too. Thanks for sharing.

  4. This is very cool and I am very jelous and now you have given yourself away to Mr Woodsy and are no longer allowed to buy paper! LOL Enjoy your new shelving, you should be very proud, it really looks great!

  5. Candice says:

    Very impressive! That is such a cool paper tower!! Here from House of Hepworths.

  6. doodlebuddies says:


  7. Johnnie says:

    Hi. I am a new follower. Stopping by to invite you to join Thrifty Thursday, because your blog is great.. Have a wonderful day. Blessings!


  8. Rhinestone Beagle says:

    Love it! This project was featured over at this week's Doggone Dirty Craftin link party. Come by and grab a button.

  9. Alia Dalwai says:

    Hi, Im ur new follower! I really loved ur blog.
    Do check mine at

  10. says:

    OMG this is amazing! we are house shopping now and i am looking forward to moving from the garage to an actual craft room 🙂 will have to flag this tutorial!!

  11. Very Very Cool….

  12. lauren @ West Furniture Revival says:

    great job. thats a nice piece to have for organization

  13. nicole / Twitter: BTHM1 says:

    Just curious- I would have to make a unit a touch smaller, but what did hubby think was the overall cost to make it?

  14. I, too, am curious about the approximate cost of making such a shelving unit…

    • We had most of the supplies on hand; tools, white paint & polyacrylic. With that being said we just needed to purchase the MDF. We only spent $30-40 but if you don’t have any of the supplies I would imagine it could cost in upwards of $100+. Hope that helps.

  15. I love it. I’m definitely going to build one for my new craft room.

  16. Kerry Bodenhausen says:

    Awesome! What did you make the shelves themselves out of? And how advanced is dado cutting? I don’t have a router, but if I did, could I figure it out?

    • HI Kerry. We made the shelves out of a 1/4inch plywood. I think you could teach yourself how to use a router and dado cutting if you watches some videos and of course by trial and error! Good luck and please let me know if you end up making the paper rack! I’d love to see pictures and share with other readers! -Katie

  17. Melissa says:

    I want one of him and shelf too. Hee Hee. You have a Handy Manny. Feel blessed. Awesome job. I think I am going to cry now…..

  18. Saw this and loved it, showed my handy hubby who is building my scrap room now. Sadly I forgot to bookmark it and had lost it for a long time. I am so thankful my daughter found it again for me. He kept asking me for the directions. Now he can build it for me and I am very excited!

    • Awe how awesome Beth! Yah for handy husbands! Please send me a finished photo of your scrap room and of your paper rack! I would love to feature it here on Sew Woodsy!

  19. I’d love to know where you git that caddy sitting on your project table? I love it!

  20. BrendaLea says:

    Great instructions. Now if I can get a friend to build one for me. Keeping my fingers crossed.

  21. Please tell your hubby that I (and obviously many others) appreciate him sharing the design for the sb paper storage. I haven’t been able to find one to buy that isn’t either outrageously expensive or unstable. It really was very generous. I can’t wait to hope for one of these in my hobby room!
    Your room looks awesome. I haven’t gotten mine to the point of being able to take pictures for the web; hope to get to that point soon.

    • Thanks Alicia. It’s funny because he made this years ago when he wasn’t as experienced as a wood worker. Now he says he would change almost the entire design. I think it’s perfect and am so blessed to have a room to call my own!

  22. Hi Katie-
    Thanks for posting the paper rack…we have been searching for designs and looking to see what is going to work best. Just curious since you said your husband said he is now more experienced..what would he change? Any rules and tips? My hubs is handy but not a experienced wood maker …but we have played around enough… I think he can make anything…lol Esp with directions! My craft room is complete but my closet is a work in progress…all my vinyl is rolled and need it to be flat…it snot fun using rolled vinyl…big mistake…oh well… moving on !
    Thanks so much for any help !

    • Hi Amy–sorry I’m just getting to this now. He says he would have made it in two parts because it’s a PITA to move since it’s so large. Since we moved a few years ago he actually chopped it in half and made a counter to put on top of it. He also would never lacquer all the shelves. I found the paper would stick to it. Oh and adjustable shelves. Most shelves don’t move at all!

  23. Correcting last post: says he’ll get around to it…Nancy Schuler


  1. […] shelf that looks like it belongs in your local scrapbook store by the Husband and Wife team at Sew Woodsy. this one includes some great step by step […]

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