DVD Video Storage Cabinet

The plans for this DVD video storage cabinet actually started out a little more interesting than the result you see here. My mother-in-law had asked me to design a shelf to store DVD’s, CD’s, and VHS tapes.

I came up with a clever shelf that was adjustable to fit various combinations of CD's and DVD's perfectly. It turns out all she really wanted was a set of simple DVD storage shelves. So I headed back to the drawing board and turned out these plans for a pretty basic DVD storage cabinet.

At first, I considered making the shelves fixed rather than adjustable. A DVD case is about 7-1/2” tall by 5-3/8” deep so the 8-1/2” tall clearance would have been fine. However, by making the shelves adjustable it will be useful for storing other things as future needs change.

I’m quite sure that you’re all getting pretty sick and tired of me building things out of 3/4” white melamine. But this time in particular, that’s what she asked for! My in-laws just had some new cabinets installed as part of a dining room addition and everything is white. So in this case, white melamine really did fit in okay.

I should take a moment to mention that there are significant differences in the quality of various brands and grades of melamine panels. This is probably why it often gets such a bad rap. I picked up some melamine at the local “home improvement warehouse” and it turned out to be complete garbage. The core was a very poor grade of particle board, making it completely unsuitable for building cabinets.

For the DVD video storage cabinet I bought a reputable brand of melamine from a lumber yard that often deals in factory seconds. The core was a dense, good quality particle board, but the face had several blemishes in it that really caused problems when I laid out the sheet for cutting. Also, the price was very little different than what I would have paid for a high quality panel at a commercial lumber supplier. The bottom line is that it pays to shop carefully when choosing your materials.


The DVD storage cabinet is really just an open wall cabinet with a couple of minor adjustments. First, since I wanted a specific clear distance between the shelves, I placed the shelf support holes at intervals other than the standard 32mm. Keeping 8-1/2” between shelves allows enough room for a DVD (or VHS tape…they’re the same height) plus a bit of room to reach in and pull the disc or tape off the shelf.

As I was designing the original DVD video storage plans, I needed to center the adjustable shelves on the support holes. Normally the shelf sits slightly above the hole, depending on the shelf pin or support used. To achieve the look and spacing I wanted, I opted for an angled steel shelf support. They’re available for use in both 5mm and 1/4" holes and they allow the shelf to sit approximately centered on the hole.

Wall Mounting

One of the things that makes this DVD video storage cabinet unique is the method used for mounting it to the wall. Rather than screw the cabinet directly to the wall, it is hung on a pair of beveled rails called a French cleat. One cleat is attached to the cabinet and the other is attached to the wall. The cabinet is then hooked onto the wall cleat. A screw can then be used through the bottom nailer to prevent the cabinet from being lifted up off the cleat.

Hanging wall cabinets using a French cleat is actually pretty common. In fact, there are several commercially produced metal variations on the wooden French cleat that I’ve employed here. A couple significant advantages of using a French cleat are increased strength and a better ability to hang your cabinets level and plumb.

Strength is improved, especially in a long run of cabinets, because the wall cleat runs the full length of all the cabinets and is screwed to every stud. Sometimes with long runs of narrow cabinets you’re only able to fasten a cabinet to one stud. By using a French cleat, the weight of the cabinets is evenly distributed between all the studs.

Leveling your cabinets is also easier with a French cleat. You only need to level and plumb a 4” wide board. This is so much easier to handle than four or five cabinets ganged together. It’s also possible to shim the wall cleat away from the wall if the wall isn’t perfectly straight.

In my particular case I was most interested in the French cleat because it allowed me a very simple, concealed method of fastening the DVD video storage cabinet to the wall. Since both cleats are completely enclosed between the cabinet back and the wall, you can hang it without any exposed fasteners. This cabinet is so small that I wouldn’t even add the screw through the bottom nailer.

DVD Video Storage Cabinet PDF

I suppose this has digressed from how to build a DVD storage shelf into a discussion on avoiding poor quality sheet goods and a mini primer on the use of French cleats for hanging cabinets. If after all that you still want to see some plans for DVD storage, then just click here. If you'd like to download a copy to your computer, right click then "save-as". Either way, you'll need the Adobe reader to view the file.

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