Design Your Own Wood Shelves

Design Your Own Wood Shelves

The Endless Possibilities of DIY Wood Shelves

If you know anything about me, you know I love a good set of wood shelves. From the bathroom to the kitchen, kids’ rooms to the living room – if there’s a blank wall, I’ll find a way to put some shelves on it. Over the last 9 years, I’ve learned a thing or two about how to make DIY wood shelves, and I’m excited to share my tips and tricks with you.

I recently installed these beautiful DIY wood shelves in my new home, and let me tell you, they’ve been a game-changer. Not only do they add a lovely touch of rustic charm, but they also provide ample storage and display space. And the best part? They’re surprisingly easy to make, even for a novice DIYer like myself.

Allisa Jacobs has some great home styling tips that I’ve found incredibly useful, and I’m excited to incorporate them into my own DIY wood shelf project. From choosing the right size and depth to treating the wood and installing the brackets, she’s got you covered.

Determining the Perfect Shelf Size

The first step in creating your own DIY wood shelves is to decide on the size. You’ll want to choose the depth and length that best suits the space you have in mind. For my kitchen shelves, I opted for a depth of 11.25 inches, a thickness of 1.5 inches, and a length of 42 inches.

But the options are endless! Allisa suggests common sizing for different areas of the home:

  • Kitchen Shelves: 11.25 – 12 inches deep
  • Bathroom Shelves: 5.5 – 8 inches deep
  • Living Room or Display Shelves: 5.5 – 9.25 inches deep
  • Photo Ledge: 3.5 – 5.5 inches deep
  • Pantry Shelves: 15 – 18 inches deep

The great thing about building your own shelves is that you can customize the size to perfectly fit your space. And if you’re worried about finding the right materials, don’t fret! Hardware stores like Timber Building often have a wide selection of lumber and can even cut it to your desired length for free.

Choosing the Perfect Wood

When it comes to the wood for your DIY shelves, you have a few options. You could go with common lumber from the hardware store, which is easy and relatively inexpensive. Or, if you’re feeling a bit more adventurous, you could use reclaimed wood or even a pre-finished option like the beautiful white oak shelves I used.

Allisa mentions that she was able to find white oak lumber from a fallen tree, which is a great sustainable option. But depending on your location, you may have access to different types of wood. The key is to choose something that not only fits your style but also your budget.

Protecting Your Shelves

Once you’ve got your wood, the next step is to protect it. Instead of staining, I prefer to use a beeswax finish to keep a natural look. This helps the wood maintain its beautiful, rustic charm without worrying about it getting marked up over time.

If you’re looking for a bit more of a finished look, you can certainly stain or paint the wood. But just keep in mind that a beeswax finish is a great way to preserve the natural beauty of the material.

Sturdy Shelf Brackets

No DIY wood shelf project would be complete without the perfect brackets. And let me tell you, the brackets can make or break your shelves. I always use brackets from my brother’s company, Cascade Iron Co., because they are made in the USA and are incredibly strong.

Allisa recommends going with heavy-duty brackets that will properly support the weight of your shelves. And the great thing about these brackets is that they don’t attach directly to the wood, so you don’t have to worry about any unsightly screw holes.

Visualizing the Layout

When it comes to installing the brackets, I like to use painters tape to plan and visualize the layout. This helps me ensure that the shelves are evenly spaced and at the perfect height. For my kitchen shelves, I placed the bottom shelf about 17 inches up from the countertop, with 13 inches between the bottom and top shelf.

Allisa suggests that the standard cabinet height above the counter is around 18 inches, so I made sure to keep my shelves within a comfortable reach.

Securing the Shelves

Once the brackets are installed, it’s time to place your shelves. The great thing about the brackets I use is that they don’t actually attach to the wood, so you can simply set the shelves on top. However, if you’re using brackets that do connect to the boards, you’ll want to screw them in at this step.

I always take a few minutes to adjust the shelves and ensure they’re level. And if you’re dealing with uneven walls, don’t worry – you can still get a perfectly level shelf by using wall anchors like Allisa suggests.

The Finished Product

I’m absolutely thrilled with how these DIY wood shelves turned out. Not only do they add a beautiful and functional element to my kitchen, but they’ve also become a favorite spot for styling and displaying my favorite decor pieces.

And the best part? I know that with a little bit of planning and the right materials, you can create your own custom wood shelves that perfectly fit your space and your style. So what are you waiting for? It’s time to get to work and Design Your Own Wood Shelves!

Timber Building has everything you need to make your DIY wood shelf dreams a reality. From high-quality lumber to the perfect brackets, they’ve got you covered. So why not head over to their website and start planning your next project today?


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