How to Build Shelves

Is building your own shelf your next DIY project? Here you can get ideas for different kinds of shelves and building hacks on how to best build them. Take a look at our discussion boards, video tutorials, top projects, and slideshows. You can even go ask a question that's been puzzling you about how to build shelves. Make yourself at home.

Create Storage with Shelves
Cut and assemble parts
Your shelf may only have one part, or it may have several. Cut the pieces needed and assemble them.
Sand and stain materials
Use 100- or 150-grit sandpaper to sand each piece of the shelf and stain it in your desired color before installation.
Build and install a wall cleat
A wall cleat is a piece of wood that your shelf will adhere to. This ensures it’s securely on the wall.
Keep a level handy
Use a level when installing a wall cleat to a wall in order to ensure the shelf is installed straight.
Attach the shelf to the wall
Fit the shelf to the wall using the wall cleat and voila, you now have extra storage space.
Top Shelf Building Projects

We've compiled the top DIY projects for building shelves. Prepare to be inspired.

DIY Shelf Building Videos

Looking for video tutorials to get you started with your first DIY shelving unit?

Filing Cabinet-Turned-Garage Organization

For the last few years, Rob and I have had this ugly, old filing cabinet down in our basement. He got it from his uncle and we used it to store his old business files, tax documents, and other paperwork that we didn't need on a daily basis but when we decided to overhaul the basement, we decided we were going to put it to the curb. However, I came across a really cool idea that ended up not being as much work as I had thought it would be, and now this ugly, clunky hunk of metal looks a whole lot nicer and is serving a purpose!

How to Build a Hula Hoop Shelf – A Stylish Storage Solution

You probably wouldn't traditionally associate hula hoops with storage space, but this project will show you that it's time to start thinking of making a hula hoop shelf whenever you're short of storage space. This is a versatile item, as the hula hoop shelf can either be free standing or attached to the wall.By reusing old hula hoops or purchasing new hoops for $1, you don't have to break the bank for this project. I used copper spray and stained wood to produce a rustic shelving unit, but you can change the colors to match the decor of your home.

DIY Pull-Out Cabinet Shelves for Under $30 Each

Do you ever forget about kitchen items you own because they ended up buried in the back of one of your cabinets? Deep base cabinets are great for the storage of large pots and pans, but things often get pushed to the back and forgotten about or left there to avoid having to bend down and dig them out. Pull-out cabinet shelves are the perfect solution to that problem and make the best use of all available storage by making it easily and instantly accessible!I built pull-out cabinet shelves for my kitchen base cabinets and could not be happier with how much function they add to our kitchen. Even though the storage space was there all along, it was virtually hidden and the pull-out shelves brought our stored items back into use. This project was not difficult but if you are unfamiliar with using pocket hole screws, it may take a bit of practice and therefore, I would describe it as a medium difficulty project.

Your Easy Guide to Making DIY Floating Shelves Shaped Like Mountains

In this tutorial, I’ll be helping you through my step-by-step guide to creating DIY shelves. I focus on one of my finest creations in this guide, my mountain DIY floating shelves, but the stages can be applied to any DIY shelves design that you want to make a reality.As I have sectioned out each phase of this potentially tricky job, you’ll find it easy to follow the steps and end up with a great-looking shelf.The glory of my mountain DIY floating shelves is that I can hang them up anywhere and they won’t look out of place. As the design is simple but impactful, all that you’ll want to do is change the paint color scheme to suit the room that you want to hang up your DIY shelves in.My DIY shelves are hanging proudly in my son’s bedroom, adding some style to the room as well as providing a place for him to put some of his stuff.

New DIY Shelf Building Projects

Need some inspiration for your DIY shelf project? We have all the new projects.

Browse Shelf Building Projects
Linen Closet Build
Narrow Storage Table for Laundry Room
Easy Open Shelving
Floating Shelves | Diagonal Heavy Duty for Garage Corner
Live Edge Floating Shelf With Invisible Hardware
DIY Farm Wall
Wire Shelving Makeover
DIY Cutting Board Shelves
Upgraded Ikea Billy Bookcase
Fast & Easy DIY Pallet Coat Rack {20 Min. Project!}
DIY Hula Hoop Wood Shelf
DIY Rolling Pantry
30-Minute Cutting Board Storage
Transformation of a Microwave Cabinet
A Rustic Shelf You Can Afford to Make!
Cornered Into a Shelf
DIY Library Wall - Billy Built-in Bookcases
Removable Window Shelf for Plants
A Quick Shelf for My Kitchen Window
Color Block Wall—Quick and Simple Way to Add a Big Punch!
Handmade Hockey Puck Display
DIY Cutting Board Storage Hack
How to Build Tie Fighter Floating Shelves for Kids Bedroom
DIY Rope Hanging Shelves
Self Supporting Shelves | Heavy Duty for Garage / Shed / Workshop
Slanted Wall Built-in's With Hidden Storage
Car (Ute/Truck) Bookshelf
Linen Closet Renovation: DIY Closet Shelving The Lazy Girl Way
15 Minute DIY Pot Lid Storage Rack
DIY Skateboard Shelfs
How to Turn Your Favorite Art Into Secret Hidden Wall Storage
DIY Kids Clothing Rack
Your Easy Guide to Making DIY Floating Shelves Shaped Like Mountains
Easy DIY Garage Shelving!
Roll Out Broom Storage and Small Update to My Laundry Room.
Organizing Books and TV With Built-In Alcove Shelving
Adding Built Ins Around Our Fireplace
Ski Shelf
Replacing My Barnwood Shelf With 2 Open Shelves Above My Kitchen Sink
Side of Cabinet Storage: How to DIY an Easy Cookbook & Utensil Holder!
Arch Shelf DIY
Mudroom Makeover Using an IKEA Hack
Built in Floating Pantry Shelves
Our DIY Built-in Media Center Reveal (Material List & Cost Included)
How to Build an Easy Clothing Rack
DIY Wooden Window Frame Shelf
In-the-wall Shelves for a Tiny Half Bath
DIY Wooden Shelf Covers (with Router Tool Hack!)
Ikea Billy Shoe Shelf Dupe....
DIY Corner Shelves
Built-in Kitchen Wall Shelves!
Hide-Away Pantry / Kitchen Storage
Three Peaks Mountain Shelf
Five Little Items Makes a Wonderful Shelf
2x12 Floating Shelves
Dollar Tree Shelf
Make Two Amazing Projects Out Of A Cheese Box
Yoga Mat Wall Holder
DIY Moon Shelf
DIY Floating Corner Shelves