Diy Artist Shelf

4 Materials
2 Hours

Living in a rental house has presented us with a few design challenges. We want to be respectful of the home and try not to put too many or too big of holes in the walls. One fix we have found that allows us to still display our photos and decor is an artist shelf. You can make them all different sizes and stain or paint them for your desired color choice and you’re not changing the integrity of the wall. Keep reading to see how we made these simple 3 piece shelves.

First, let’s gather up the materials we’ll be using.

*1”x4”x8’ pine board

*1”x2”x8’ board

* miter saw

* wood glue

* mineral spirits

*Danish Oil (dark walnut)

*finishing nails & nailer

Next you’ll want to measure your wall space and determine how long you would like the shelf to be. For the space this shelf is going, we needed 36” for the length.

Cut List:

2 @ 36” from the 1x4x8 board

1 @ 36” from the 1x2x8 board

Measure, mark and cut!

You need a base, back and front. The 2 1x4’s are the base and the back. The 1 1x2 is the front ledge. We used premium pine boards. They are great for these types of projects as they are free from warping and other blemishes.

After sanding smooth the cut edges and any rough surfaces, determine how you want the pieces to go together. Apply a line of glue along the backside of the base piece and along the backside of the front piece.

Then place the pieces as shown in the photo. The back on top of the base and the front along the edge of the base. Using clamps if you like to keep the pieces tight and in place while the glue dries.

Using a finish nailer, we secured the back to the base with 1” finishing nails. We did this for added support and strength to the shelf. The front side doesn’t need the support, that is why we only nailed the backside.

Now that the glue was dry we wiped down the entire piece with Odorless Mineral Spirits to remove the dust. Allow to dry completely.

Next, using a piece of lint free cloth we applied one coat of Danish Oil (in dark walnut color). Allow the oil to dry completely before moving it inside.

When the oil is dry, gather a level, stud sensor, drill and 1 1/2” screws. We used 2 screws to attach it to the wall. Depending on the length of your shelf you may need more.

Use the stud finder to determine where to attack and mark with a pencil. Line the shelf up with your marks and where you want the shelf positioned; mark the shelf. Pre-still small holes in the shelf to prevent the wood from splitting (this is especially helpful if your hole will be close to the edge of the wood).

Place the shelf on the wall, lining up the stud marks with the pre-drilled holes, using the level to check that it’s level. Now using the drill, screw in the screws.

The last thing to do is place your art work, pictures, chalkboards or other decorative pieces in the shelf and you’re finished. We will be making more of these as we like the clean simple lines and look. How about you? Do you like clean and simple?

***We only had to buy boards as we had all other supplies on hand.

You can check out more of our projects and how we style our home on our Instagram @beaus_and_belles

Resources for this project:

See all materials
Any price and availability information displayed on [relevant Amazon Site(s), as applicable] at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.
Hometalk may collect a small share of sales from the links on this page.More info

Frequently asked questions

Have a question about this project?


Join the conversation