How to build wall shelves?

How to build wall shelves

Table of Contents

Wall shelves are an essential piece of furniture for your home. They don’t just increase the beauty of your walls, but serve a major role in the space management for your house. However, sometimes it becomes difficult to find an ideal wall shelf for your house and going with a custom built shelf can cost a lot of money. In that case going with DIY is always a budget option and allows you to create your own creative shelves. Here’s how to build wall shelves DIY.

Step 1: Measure and Cut Wood Pieces

The first step on how to build wall shelves is to accurately measure and cut the wood pieces that will form the foundation of your project. Precision is key here, as even the slightest error can affect the final result. Use a tape measure, pencil, and a reliable saw to carefully cut the wood according to your desired dimensions. Remember to account for the depth, length, and width of your shelves to ensure a perfect fit.

We suppose you’re not a professional carpenter and so you might not have access to all the professional measuring hardware, or proper cost estimating services. For that purpose, you can use smartphone measuring apps as an alternative. They are free and upon our testing, their accuracy is upto 94%. Search measuring applications on Play Store or App Store and download the one you like.

Step 2: Cut Holes for Shelf Support

To create sturdy and stable wall shelves, it’s essential to cut holes for shelf supports. Determine the desired height and spacing for your shelves, mark the positions on the wood pieces, and use a drill or appropriate cutting tool to create the holes. This will allow for easy installation and adjustment of the shelves in the future.

Unfortunately, you can’t replace the drill from its alternative. Drill is compulsory for precise and neat holes in the wood or plywood. You can take the wood piece to your nearest carpenter and might ask them to make drills for your shelves.

However, you can buy a small size drill machine for your ease and convenience. They are usually cheap and not that expensive like a professional drill machine.

Step 3: Lay Out the Wood Pieces for Your DIY Wall Shelves

Once you have your wood pieces cut and the holes for shelf support ready. The next step is to lay them out in the desired configuration for your wall shelf. Now, you need to check the size and style gaps. For that, you can check the aesthetics and functionality of the arrangement of the shelves. It will help you to ensure that the pieces fit together seamlessly.

This step gives you an opportunity to visualise the final look and make any necessary adjustments before proceeding. Also, you can do relevant changes during this phase if something does not seem attractive.

One tip is to always attach your shelves on the corners of your wall. In this way, they’ll have more surface area for the support and can be pinned from two sides. This gives them support and lets them hold more weight without any issue.

Step 4: Assemble Shelf Unit

With the wood pieces laid out, it’s time to assemble the shelf unit. Start by inserting the shelf supports into the precut holes, ensuring they are securely in place. Then, carefully attach the remaining wood pieces, using screws or other suitable fasteners. Take care to align the pieces properly and check for stability at each step of the assembly process.

Make sure that your wall is strong enough to hold the shelf. If there’s a thin or moisturised area, it’ll not hold the weight of the shelf and will fall down soon. The area of the wall where you’re attaching the shelf must be non-moisturized and strong like concrete. If it’s a concrete wall, then it can hold any weight without any issue. If your wall is a wooden wall, then you may have a limited weight capacity of the shelf.

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Step 5: Sand and Finish Shelf Unit

To achieve a smooth and polished look for your wall shelves, sand the surfaces of the assembled unit. Use sandpaper with varying grits to remove any rough edges or imperfections. Pay special attention to the visible areas, such as the edges and corners. Once sanded, wipe away any dust or debris before moving on to the finishing stage. THis step is essential when working on how to build wall shelves guide, as you don’t want to have a rough wall shelf on the wall. You can additionally use spray paint to make the work done quick and easy.

Step 6: Paint or Stain the Shelves and Let Them Dry

This step adds a personal touch to your wall shelves. Choose a paint or stain that matches your style and complements the overall aesthetic of your space. Apply the paint or stain evenly, following the manufacturer’s instructions. Allow the shelves to dry completely before handling or installing them on the wall. This ensures a professional-looking finish that will enhance the visual appeal of your shelves.

Step 7: Attach to Wall

The final step on how to build wall shelves is to securely attach your newly built shelves to the wall. Use a level and measuring tape to position the shelves at the desired height and ensure they are straight. Depending on the type of wall and weight of the shelves, you may need to use appropriate anchors, brackets, or screws to provide reliable support. Take your time to ensure a secure installation that will withstand the test of time.

We suppose you don’t have any levelling ball balance. Not a problem, smartphones can work as a good alternative to that. Smartphones have a gyroscope or accelerometer, they are angling sensors that measure the tilt angle from the angle. Just install any levelling app from Play Store or App Store and it’ll give you a balance of the shelf.


The materials you’ll need to build wall shelves will depend on the design you choose, but some common materials include wood (such as pine, oak, or plywood), screws, brackets, and paint or stain. You may also need sandpaper, wood glue, and a level.

To measure and cut the wood for your shelves, you’ll want to start by measuring the space where the shelves will go, taking into account the height, width, and depth of the shelves. Then, you can use a saw (such as a circular saw or jigsaw) to cut the wood to the appropriate size.

The tools you’ll need to assemble your wall shelves will depend on the design you choose, but some common tools include a drill, screwdriver, hammer, and level. You may also need a stud finder to locate the studs in your wall for mounting the shelves. If you still can’t find the solution, you can hire a construction estimating services for your ease to get accurates estimations.

To mount your shelves securely to the wall, you’ll want to use brackets or cleats to support the weight of the shelves. You can attach the brackets or cleats to the wall using screws, making sure to locate and drill into the studs for maximum stability.

Absolutely! One of the great things about building your own wall shelves is the ability to customise the design to fit your space and style. You can choose the type of wood, the colour or stain, the size and shape of the shelves, and the way they’re mounted to the wall.