How to Build Your Own Cubicles

By Erin Moseley

A cubicle is a semi-private area commonly used as an office space and usually linked together to form single or back-to-back rows. Cubicles have no doors or windows and share a ceiling with the larger surrounding structure. Cubicle walls are made of framed partitions that are padded and fabric-lined to absorb sound and to help keep the space quiet. Walls are shaped by connecting partitions to create the desired layout and to accommodate office furniture. You can tailor your cubicle arrangement by making your own panels without much effort. Add your own styling with fabric that you choose.

Cut lumber into two 6-foot lengths and one 3-foot length to form each panel frame. Additionally, cut four half-foot lengths to serve as bracing at the base of each frame. Cut as many poles as you need for the quantity of cubicles desired. Sand down rough edges and round the corners until smooth, using a sander.

Paint or stain each cut piece of wood. Allow to dry at recommended drying times stated by product manufacturers.

Set down two of the 6-foot lengths of lumber on a flat work surface. Move them apart wide enough to allow one of the 3-foot poles to fit in between to create a U-shape. Position the poles so they are all flush at one end. Use a power drill to screw in the 3-inch bolts to connect each 6-foot pole with the shorter one. Use bolts to attach the four half-foot braces onto the outer portion of the 3-foot base. Bolt one block to the exterior side at each corner.

Bolt adjacent panels together along the sides of the long poles. Place bolts about 4 inches from the tops and bottoms to connect. Stand the frames upright and create the cubicle shape and size you want by forming a square or rectangle with the frames. Leave an opening for a doorway.

Get 2-inch-thick foam pads with dimensions of 3-by-6-feet. Allow one pad for each panel that you make. Lay out fabric on a clean, flat surface and place a foam pad on top. Wrap fabric completely around the pad lengthwise and then cut. Allow enough excess fabric to overlap for a hem, about 3 inches. Fold down all edges neatly and glue down with fabric glue.

Glue strips of 1 ½- inch Velcro along the inside-facing sides and bottom of the U-shaped frame. Attach the counter part of the Velcro onto the sides and bottom of the fabric-covered foam pad, leaving the unhemmed part of the pad facing upwards. Fit the foam pad into position so the Velcro adheres snugly.

About the Author

Erin Moseley is an advocate for science education. Since 1985, she has written numerous technical, user and training manuals for major corporations, public agencies and universities. She holds a Bachelor of Science in geology.