Making do it yourself shelves for books, tools or objects can be a simple job to start making DIY projects.

By recycling materials that you would otherwise have thrown away, you will help the environment and you will be free to customize an environment, making it truly unique.

The secret to getting a great result is to play with your imagination.

The project will start from your needs, then, the packaging to be recovered will be found easily and subsequently, with the appropriate tools, in fact it will be possible to proceed with the DIY activity.

Let’s find out together what are the factors to be calculated to get the desired result!


First of all, the weight it will have to bear is an important project data.

Support a heavy encyclopedia rather than a jar with a flower will totally change the shape of the shelf.

Finally, the weight will influence the thickness and the type and number of wall fixings.


The choice of material is also of fundamental importance and we have various possibilities available.

If you choose to use wood, cheap and simple to work we can use solid wood planks or some plywood or chipboard panels.

We analyze the advantages and disadvantages of choosing each type of these materials.

  • first of all, solid wood planks: noble and lasting material to be enhanced, avoid painting with paints that hide the wood, simply use furniture wax, linseed oil, also excellent for pickled type finishes that highlight the grain of the wood. if you choose fir costs will be contained.
  • Plywood panels: very rigid in proportion to their thickness thanks to the arrangement of the wood fibers. However, do not underestimate the thickness of the panel in case of heavy weight. In this case, in fact, it will be necessary to abound. Attention to poplar plywood, very soft wood, not suitable for shelves.
  • Chipboard panels: they are very cheap and stable over time, they resist deformations quite well. Excellent in the case of opaque lacquered painting. For humid environments use phenolic panels.


In addition, we must also pay due attention to the finish of the shelf, which, also in this case, it can be chosen from various types.

  • first of all, wax or linseed oil finish: they will protect the wood by enhancing its natural finish. Over time it will be necessary to reapply the finish.
  • Pickled and impregnating finish: painted with highly diluted enamel of the desired color and smoothed to bring out the natural grain of the wood. Even the impregnated enhance the texture of the wood and allow you to give a color without hiding the material. The advice is to paint with a transparent protective afterwards. More complicated but highly effective technique.
  • Flatting finish: the shelf must be painted with continuous and homogeneous brush strokes, once dry, sanded with fine thin glass (at least grain 400) until a smooth surface is obtained. Sanding requires patience, a good sander helps!


Also, to build a DIY shelf, we need several tools. Let’s see which ones:

  • Wood;
  • Sander;
  • Wax or wood nourishing product;
  • Wood oil;
  • Wood enamel;
  • Fixing brackets;
  • Dowels.


Finally, to choose the size and type of fasteners to use based on the material you use and the weight you want to load on your new shelf, use this table.


Let’s see together the variety of shelves that can be created according to the environment in which you will decide to insert them.


Let’s start with a very simple but refined project: a DIY shelf to hang with belts.

First, get a wooden board of appropriate size. If necessary or if you want you can repaint it in the color that best suits the environment. Also consider that the color contrast between the belts and the shelf creates a much nicer effect.

Then get two old belts, in leather or suede. The latter type is definitely easier to handle because it is soft. Remove the metal buckles by cutting them off, and drill holes in both the middle of the belts and at the ends.

Of course it would be better to have two identical belts or try to halve one if it is long enough. Fasten the middle part of the belts to the wooden board with nails to give it more stability. Finish the job by attaching the ends of the belts to the wall.

You can also use simple screws to do this, but as long as you don’t overload the DIY shelf!


You know those wooden boxes in which certain types of cheese are packaged? They can be recovered to make very original DIY shelves.

In addition to the container you will need:

  • a small piece of wood;
  • a belt;
  • a hot glue gun.

Cut the wooden board (it needs to be light) to the right size to be attached to the center of the box with glue. Let it dry and then glue the old belt to the edges of the box. The shelf is ready, all you have to do is attach a nice nail to the wall and hang it up. Again, do not overload it as it will not hold too much weight.


Another great idea is to create DIY shelves out of tree trunks.

In this case you need to have the right tools and a lot of dexterity. Always remember that you can’t improvise as a craftsman, so if you are not familiar with hacksaws and chisels get help from someone more experienced.

Obtain a piece of tree trunk (it must be dry), cut it in half and then remove one side of it diagonally. At this point, apply brackets to the part that will be fixed to the wall. To ensure that it is perfectly straight, it is best to take precise measurements. Mark with a pencil the point where you will have to drill the trunk and proceed with the application of the brackets and screws.

That’s it, hang up your shelf, which is ready to be used.


You most likely have an old wooden tray in your home or basement that you no longer use. With the art of creative recycling you can turn it into one or more DIY shelves. First, cut it in half and then remove, again with a hacksaw, one of the two sides.

Next, sand the wood with sandpaper to smooth out the cut parts. Then, glue the two halves onto the rimless. For safe performance it is best to use hot glue or otherwise suitable for wood.

If you are happy with the color of the wood, you can leave it as it is, otherwise proceed to a repainting with the color you like the most and especially that best matches the environment in which you will insert the shelf. To hang the shelf you can opt for one of the classic solutions that are generally used. As this is a very light structure, simple screws or alternatively traditional dowels may be sufficient.


As we have just seen building a DIY shelf to be inserted into your interior, it is not an impossible task and everyone can do it.

Whatever style you have adopted for the home, classic, contemporary, shabby, minimal, industrial or Nordic, rustic, they will not close the doors to your imagination.

To build a shelf, as for any DIY activity, you have to arm yourself with a lot of patience (especially if you are a beginner), you must have a minimum of practicality with manual and optional, but fundamental, it is a minimum of creativity to make the work unique and inimitable.

Furthermore, the advice is to always work in the maximum possible safety, especially if you are in the presence of children with whom you are doing the work. In these cases, in fact, safety is never too much and a moment of distraction is enough to be able to do damage.

In general, it’s a fairly safe and fun activity, where you will discover that building an object with your own hands will bring you a very special sense of satisfaction and realization!

So, get busy and give free rein to your imagination of builders!


If you have tried to build your own person shelf, I hope you want to share it with us!

If you did, leave a comment with the photo of your beautiful DIY shelf!

Also, if the DIY articles are of interest to you and you feel like suggesting next ideas to work on, send an email to valeriadesign@casaomnia.it! Stop by our online portal CasaOmnia.it!

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