Cedar Shower Shelf

3 Materials
2 Days

I’m not sure why it is so common for showers and bathtub combos to have zero (or almost no) storage space, but it has been an issue in every house or apartment I’ve lived in.

Here is the built in storage in my shower. My dreams were to one day replace the whole base and insert, but until that day comes, I had to come up with a different solution.

Voila! A hanging shower shelf. Here’s how to make your own, using ONE cedar 1x2!

You will also need:

  • exterior wood glue
  • polyurethane
  • exterior rope or cable (and hardware if needed)
  • hook screws

Cut your board: a 10” piece to make spacers, and three equal long sections.

I have a ton of cedar scraps, so my long pieces are 30”, cut from the same board, and the spacers are from scraps.

If you want everything from the same board, the shelf can be a maximum of 28”.

fFor the spacers, cut the 10” in half length wise (into two 3/4” strips), then into 2” sections. This will give you 10, but you only need 9.

Using exterior wood glue, glue a spacer to the back side of each long piece at both ends and in the middle. The front board will be sitting upright, while the other two are laying flat (see next photo).

Cedar is milled with a rough-sawn side, and a smooth side. The rough side should be facing up on the spacers and long flat pieces, towards the back for the upright front piece.

After glueing three spacers to each long piece, glue the spacers to the next board and clamp each part together.

This shelf is not meant to hold a ton of weight, so just the glue should be enough to keep it together. If you plan on putting more weight, I recommend adding a long outdoor-grade screw through the back spacers and into the rest of the boards. I did not do this.

Apply at least three coats of polyurethane according to the directions on the can.

Drill holes for your rope (and hooks if you want).

I debated using wire rope and aluminum ferrules, but in the end decided to use nylon cord.

Drill your holes slightly larger than your rope/cord in the back spacer and front board, spout 1” from the side edges. After you drill, you can use a q-tip or small craft brush to apply some polyurethane to the drilled edges.

I find it easier to drill after applying poly and then touch up, rather than drilling first, because it is four fewer spots to watch for drips.

If you want hooks on the underside, pre drill to prevent splitting, then add the hooks.

Add hooks into your wall. My wall studs were not where I wanted the hooks to be, so I put the hooks all the way at the ceiling to go into the top horizontal stud.

Insert cording through the topside and tie underneath. Hang the shelf up on the hooks to see how long your cords need to be. Tie both knots on one side, but only one knot on the other side.

Level your shelf, then tie the last knot.

Enjoy your extra shower storage!

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Frequently asked questions
Have a question about this project?
  2 questions
  • Carolyn Carolyn on Mar 03, 2021

    Would it be possible to add another shelf using stronger hooks?

  • Anna Anna on Mar 05, 2021

    Why is it that builders are not realizing that one needs soap (could be on a rope), shampoo, conditioner, and a razor AT THE VERY LEAST??? I really want to see their own bathrooms (or not)! Great job with that shelf! Amhcrochet

Join the conversation
2 of 9 comments
  • Katherine Somma Katherine Somma on Mar 05, 2022

    DIY Love it,great job

  • Mary Russell Mary Russell on Mar 07, 2022

    I'm also a plumber,pipefitter,certified high pressure/high temperature welder.Have extensive schooling in metallurgy/structural design.If you need that much weighty stuff in your shower to get clean,you certainly are welcome to your shelf.