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Inexpensive DIY Wood Shelves – A Tutorial

I’m so amazed at home much ‘stuff’ I was able to put into this little nook! Seriously, my DIY custom wood shelves are now housing all of my painting, crafting & sewing supplies. And all that for about $50 and 2 hours of work!

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All you need is:

2×3’s boards as brackets

2×6’s or any other 2 by’s boards as shelves

Screwdriver, Drill, Screws, Studfinder (optional), some type of a saw, Level + Measuring Tape


Step by Step Tutorial:

First you want to measure out the area to figure out what you need in supplies. Our nook was just a couple inches over 4 feet long. We wanted to install five shelves, all of them roughly 16 inches in depth.

Now, here’s a lesson in wood boards. Even if they’re called 2×6’s or whatever, they are in fact smaller. More like 1 1/2 x 5 1/2. That’s because the wood shrinks during the drying process.

Wanting roughly 16 inches for the depth of the shelves, we went with 3 2×6’s stacked next to each other. That gave us just the right depth and was much cheaper than buying solid wood boards.

Inexpensive DIY Wood Shelves Tutorial by

Instead of using some kind of L-brackets, we decided to simply cut a few 2×3’s into 15 inch sections with a 45 degree angle on one side. Then Adrian found some studs in the walls with his fancy new studfinder and attached them simply by screwing them in. For that he drilled holes into the bracket first, so they wood doesn’t split while driving in the screw.

Since our house is off level in any possible way, he attached the first bracket on one side and used his level to get things straightened up. If your house is nice and level, you could also measure up from the floor instead of using the level.

Inexpensive DIY Wood Shelves Tutorial by

Some years ago, I had found the clear plastic boxes at Target while they were on sale. They’re super practical and being a highly visual person I love to be able to see what is in each box. We wanted to fit two boxes stacked on top of each other on most of the shelves, so the distance came out to 16 inches. Below you can see how we spaced out the shelves.


Lastly, the 2×6’s were cut into the right length and we simply laid them on top of our makeshift brackets. For now we opted to not attach the shelves to the brackets just yet. Even though they’re not screwed in yet, they’re super solid and aren’t moving anywhere. If you want super safe shelves (think climbing kiddos), simply screw the boards into the brackets from the top and you’re golden.

These shelves are housing my craft, sewing & painting supplies and some of the boxes are quite heavy. There’s absolutely no sag! These guys are solid as a rock and I couldn’t be happier with how they turned out! What used to be two book cases full of boxes (and some more), is now one wall, neatly organized with even some room to spare! LOVE!

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Hope you enjoy this easy tutorial! If you make anything like this, please share, we always like to see what our readers create ♥





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