Over the past few years, I have made a few variations of this super easy DIY shelf– the tutorial today is for one I made recently in our living room. I made it slightly wider than the ones I usually make, as I wanted it to be able to hold more than just books or picture frames. Previous to this, I made sets for my boys’ current playroom and also in my oldest son’s bedroom in our old house.
Materials used for this easy DIY Shelf: (Affiliate links are provided in this post. I receive commission on the sale of the products, but this does not result in additional charges to you or cost you anything extra. For more information, see my full disclosure here.)
- 1x8x6 piece of wood (cut down to 34in)
- 1x4x6 piece of wood (cut down to 34in)
- 1x2x6 piece of wood (cut down to 34in)
- wood glue
- 6- 1-1/2-Inch finishing nails & a hammer
- 2- decorative nailheads (mine came in a nail assortment kit we’ve had forever, but they look just like these)
- Rust-Oleum Wood Stain in Kona & foam brush
- 2- 10 X 3 1/2-Inch wood screws & a drill
- Wood Stain Marker (this is optional, but it really helps with touchups. I use this one also on our kitchen cabinets for the ‘uh-oh my 2 year just ramed his plasma car into the kitchen island.. again’ moments. I have 2 rowdy boys, remember?)
I had all of these pieces cut down to 34 inches at Lowe’s. Once home, I aligned the pieces up like below to make a ‘L’ shape. The 1×8 is the bottom piece, the 1×4 is the back (& the piece that will attach to the wall), and the 1×2 is the front. I used a small amount of wood glue to first attach the 1×8(bottom) and 1×4(back) then nailed it in place with 3 finishing nails. I did the same thing with the 1×8(bottom) and 1×2(front). After letting the glue set, I came back the next day and stained it with Kona wood stain. (I’m so impatient. The waiting is hard!)
In order to hang the shelves, I used (2) 10×3-1/2in screws and drilled each into the studs(After using the stud finder to find the studs). I then used a wood stain marker to color in the screws. I knew I would have objects on the shelf and the screws would hardly ever be visible, so I wasn’t worried about 100% hiding them. I need to have things braced down as tightly as possible because my boys climb on EVERYTHING. I also used the wood stain marker to fix any uh-ohs in the stain around the edges.
Using 2 decorative nails that came in a random nail kit, I nailed one into each end of the 1×2 to add to the rustic industrial-ish look.
After this, I was ready to decorate my shelf! This one shelf came in at under $10! Here are 2 other DIY shelf sets I made to hold my kids’ books, each ‘set’ was between $20 & $30 to make. As mentioned earlier, for these I used 1x4s or smaller for the bottom instead of the 1x8s I used above. I used wood for the blue one, and the white one is made from MDF. It all depends on the look you are going for. Both cost under $30 to make. My kids like being able to see all their books and are more willing to help clean them up than when I just had them all stacked in a basket.