These wooden shelves with brackets make the perfect open shelving for any room of your home. They are inexpensive and take very little time to make. Shelving is always great for using the vertical space in your home for storage and décor.
I made these shelves with my daughter’s nursery in mind. I wanted a place to display her keepsakes, framed photos and some of the wooden toys I’ve built her. Her bedroom is seriously tiny so I need to use all the vertical space I can!
These shelves would also be perfect in a bathroom, living room, or even a kitchen. I think I will build some for above my toilet for decor and storage. These shelves are so easy to build and are very versatile.
I purposefully used all dimensional lumber to make this easy for anyone with a miter saw to build.
Let’s Jump Into the Tutorial
- 2’ – 1×6 pine board – I used 4’ to make two shelves, but you can use any length needed for your space
- 2’ – 1×2 pine – I used about 3 1/2’ to make two shelves
- Wood Glue – I use Titebond II
- Sandpaper – I used a sanding block, a 120 grit sanding disk and a medium grit sanding belt
- Paint or stain – I used Behr semi gloss enamel in white
- 8 – 1” wood screws – 4 per bracket
- 4 – 1 1/4” wood screws – 2 per bracket
- 4 screws with drywall mounts – 2 per bracket for hanging the shelves
- Safety equipment – eye protection, hearing protection, respiratory protection
- Measuring tape
- Speed square
- Miter saw
- Sander – I used a random orbital sander and a bench top belt sander, you can use whatever you have
- 1/8” drill bit
- Counter sink bit
- Clamps (optional)
- Paint roller or paintbrush
- Paint tray
Step 1 – Make a cut list or download my Sketchup file below
Determine how long you want your shelves to be and make a cut list accordingly. You could also use wider boards and adjust the 5” pieces of the brackets accordingly.
Step 2 – Cut the pieces to length
Using a miter saw cut your shelf or shelves to length from the 1×6 lumber. I cut my two shelves to 2’ in length.
Next cut your bracket pieces out of 1×2 lumber. I cut 4 – 5” pieces as I was making 4 brackets. If you’re only making one shelf just cut 2.
Next I cut 4 – 7 1/2” pieces (1 per bracket)
Finally I cut 4 pieces with 45 degree angles on either side for the middle piece of the brackets. The long edge of these pieces measures 6 3/8”.
Make sure you face the angles towards each other like this.
I made a jig to cut these. To do this, you’ll need a stop block that has a 45 degree angle one end. I cut mine from the 1×2. It was about 4″ long.
Then I measured from the angle to get 6 3/8”, and used my speed square to draw the angle. I put the stop block against the fence of the saw, with the piece I just measured on the right of it. I lined the saw up with the line I just drew.
When the piece is in the right spot, push the little stop block against it while keeping the good piece lined up with the saw.
Clamp the stop block to the fence (make sure you use a clamp that won’t move around) and make sure the line on your good piece still lines up with the saw when it’s pushed against the stop block. you may need to adjust a bit. This is what you’re looking for.
Now cut your pieces with the edge against the stop block. The stop block allows you to just flip your working piece over to line up the angle and repeat the cut for all your other brackets. This is especially helpful if you’re making several brackets.
Now you should have 1 of each length per bracket: 5”, 7 1/2”, and 6 3/8” with 45 degree angles on either side. I made 4 of each for 4 brackets.
Step 3 – Sanding
Sand the faces and sides of all the bracket pieces. I did this with my bench top belt sander, but you can use whatever you have for sanding. It doesn’t take much sanding.
Next sand the shelves. I used a random orbit sander with a 120 grit disk and a sanding block. I didn’t sand them too fine as I’m painting these shelves.
Step 4 – Assemble the brackets
First draw a line 3/4” from the top of the 7 1/2” pieces. This is where the 5” pieces will be attached. I attached them 3/4” down so that my 3/4” shelves will hide the tops of the brackets.
Glue the 5” long pieces to the 7 1/2” pieces. I recommend applying the glue, letting it soak in to the end grain then adding more.
I put those on, lining them up with the line I just drew and let them dry for a bit before screwing them on.
In the meantime you can glue together the other bracket pieces so they are all ready to screw at the same time.
Once they have dried for a bit, add screws for strength.
To do this I flipped the pieces over carefully (so that the 7 1/2” piece was on top) and used another 5” block to support the other side of the 7 1/2 board so I could clamp them onto my bench. This is what it looked like for clarity.
I predrilled 2 holes for my 1 1/4” screws. I did this with a 1/8” bit. And countersunk the holes so the screws don’t stick out. You won’t want to skip pre drilling. If you do the wood might crack.
I drove in my screws and repeated this for all my brackets.
Next attach the angled pieces. Draw a line 3/4” from the top of the 5” piece and a 1 1/2” line from the bottom of the 7 1/2” pieces. Those will act as guides for placement of the angled pieces.
Add wood glue to each end of the angled pieces and let it soak in a bit before adding more. Place them into position using the 2 lines as guides.
Then pre drill 2 holes with the 1/8” bit per side. Be careful not to drill right through. You make want to mark depth on the bit with a piece of tape to ensure you don’t go too far.
Wipe off any excess glue and repeat with other brackets.
Step 5 – Drill holes for attaching the brackets to the wall
Drill one hole on the top and one on the bottom portion of each bracket. Choose the bot size based on the screws you’re using to mount these to the wall. I countersunk the bottom ones as well, but my bit couldn’t fit on the top, which won’t be visible anyways.
Step 6 – More sanding
You may need to sand your brackets again to make sure the sides are flush. I did this with my random orbit sander.
I also used a sanding block to sand off any remaining glue.
Step 7 – Finishing
Paint, stain, or finish your pieces how ever you like to fit your decor.
I painted the shelves white using Behr semi-gloss interior enamel.
I chose to leave the brackets natural without any finish to add a contrast.
Step 8 – Hang them up
Mark where you want your shelves to go, use drywall mounts if desired (otherwise you should probably screw into a stud as you wouldn’t want these falling on someone).
Make sure the two brackets are going to be level. Do the same with the second bracket for each shelf. I just wanted to line the shelves up vertically as well.
Hang them up and put the shelves on. You may want to screw the shelves onto the brackets to make sure they stay in place.
Step 9 – Get creative
These shelves are perfect for not only storage but also décor, so get creative and set them up as if you’re about to take a shelfie! If you do, send it to me on Instagram or Pinterest. I’d love to see what you come up with.
Other Tutorials That Compliment This Project
If you want to see how I made some of the items on the shelves, including the wooden stacker, those wooden balancing gems, or the crocheted dolls the posts are linked below.
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