Build | Shelves & Storage


How to Build Simple Wall Shelves Post Preview: In this post, you’ll find out how to build easy DIY wall shelves. You can customize the measurements to your needs. These shelves perfectly fit 8 fabric storage bins. 

As part of our craft room organization, we turned a haphazard corner of space into a truly organized craft corner. Previously we installed the pegboard and built and mounted a cubby shelf. Last, we are added two simple shelves to go above the pegboard.

One of the things we love about doing DIY projects is that you can customize what you are making to be perfect for your needs. Just like how we made the cubbies to fit tons of scrap book paper, we were making these to fit four fabric storage bins per shelf. These easy DIY wall shelves are perfect for holding bins. You create customized storage out of just a little wall space and wood.

How to Make Simple DIY Storage Shelves

Here’s a before picture of the entire craft corner organization project.

Messy office before DIY shelves

And here’s the after of the beautifully organized craft corner:

How to Make Simple DIY Storage Shelves

Here’s how we made the final part of the project – the simple DIY wall shelves.


How to Build Easy DIY Wall Shelves

The first step in making these simple storage shelves was figuring out my supplies. First, I needed to find shelf brackets. Eileen wanted to use decorative wooden shelf brackets. The only one I could find in stock at Home Depot was decorative but had a max weight capacity of 10 lbs.

I knew Eileen would be putting more than 10 pounds of weight on shelves.

However, the wood itself felt pretty sturdy.

The low load capacity stemmed from the cheap keyhole hangers on the back. The shelves were going to be secured to the wall with lag bolts, so I could ditch those keyhole hangers and just reinforce the brackets.

Here’s a picture of the wooden bracket (also called a corbel):

Building wall shelves with decorative wooden brackets

There are lots of ways to put a simple shelf on the wall.

Depending on the design and load-bearing capacity of the shelf, you can either attach directly to drywall (with toggle bolts or other drywall fasteners), attach to wall studs (with lag bolts), or a combination of the two.

My homemade wall shelves needed to be able to hold a lot of weight, so pure drywall attachment was out of the question.

I had initially planned on bolting the wooden brackets directly to wall studs. However, the placement of the wall studs was not practical for the look of the shelves. Either the brackets would be really close together, or one side of the shelf would extend very oddly past one bracket. I could attach one bracket to a stud and the other to drywall, but I wanted a sturdier design.

A Shelf Design that Worked

So I came up with an elegant alternative for the craft room shelves. I would bolt a 2×4 directly to the wall studs, spanning the length of the shelf. This would hold most of the load. Then I could position the wooden brackets however I liked, as they would rest directly on the drywall (regardless of stud position).

This design was essentially replacing the cheap keyhole hangers (that came with the brackets) with a beam bolted to wall studs.

Here’s a picture showing the final design of one of the shelf mounts (it’s upside down right now):

Building the shelf mounts for the DIY wall shelving

Once turned right side up, the surfaces currently facing you would be pressed flatly against the wall, and lag bolts would secure the 2×4 to wall studs.

See how the vertical surface attached to the wooden bracket wasn’t flush with the 2×4?

It’s because this shelf mount was going to rest directly on the pegboard. So even though the 2×4 would be bolted to the wall, the wooden brackets would sit on the pegboard.

Eileen requested this design as it looked really good visually. So I had to offset the brackets for this mount to account for the depth of the pegboard. This wasn’t an issue with the second shelf mount, as it would rest entirely against the wall.

Assembling the Shelves

For the construction of the mount, I used construction adhesive and deck screws. It was critical to pre-drill all the screw holes with a countersinking bit.

Here’s the shelf mount turned right side up (you can see the shelf behind it waiting to be attached):

Building a DIY shelf mount for homemade wall shelves

I attached the shelf to the mount with more construction adhesive and deck screws:

Using construction adhesive and deck screws to build a DIY wall shelf

Here are the two shelves primed and painted (again I used the enamel-based cabinet paint for the shelf surface):

Painting DIY wall shelves to hold storage bins

I had used a ¾” Forstner bit to make a hole for the lag bolts. This would prevent the lag bolt heads from sticking out past the surface of the wood. For an even more aesthetic touch, I planned on covering the holes with some mushroom head screw hole plugs.

In no time, the last construction part of the craft room storage and organization project was completed with these homemade wall shelves.

Mounting the Shelves to the Wall

These simple storage shelves were very easy to attach. I rested the lower shelf directly on the pegboard and inserted the lag bolts. Since the pegboard was already level, I didn’t have to worry about this shelf being uneven.

Once in place, I used some 12” spacer 2x4s to hold the above shelf in place while I attached that one as well:

Mounting DIY shelves to the wall above the installed pegboard

Shelf Organization Tips

I purposely built the DIY shelves so that four storage bins could fit on each shelf. Below is how Eileen utilized these shelves.

She picked up eight fabric storage bins from the dollar store! The storage bins aren’t super sturdy but they were perfect otherwise and could easily be reinforced. She ended up only using six, but each bin has a purpose – kids’ crafts, sewing accessories, holiday crafts, felt scraps, and extra office supplies.

Eileen was in awe at just how much these bins held and how organized – and easily accessible her materials now were. Marie Konmari would be proud 🙂

Organizing the craft room with pegboard, simple wall shelves, and cubbies

A Finished Craft Corner

The pegboard, wall shelving, and cubby storage all came together really nicely, providing a plethora of DIY storage space in Eileen’s craft corner. What used to be otherwise wasted space was now turned into a massively organized craft corner – just with wall space!

And here, my friends, is the end result of all of this new craft room organization and storage:

Organizing a craft room with wall shelves, cubbies, and pegboard - perfect for craft rooms

Eileen emptied out tons of plastic storage containers and even a dresser, using this three-part craft room organization. The pegboard held a ton of desk and craft supplies. The fabric storage bins held many things that were previously stuffed in desk drawers and the closet. The cubby shelves emptied a craft cart. Here are all the things that were emptied onto the craft room organization pieces:

How to Make Simple DIY Storage Shelves

And, here are a few pictures of the finished craft room corner:

How to Make Simple DIY Storage Shelves
How to Make Simple DIY Storage Shelves
How to Make Simple DIY Storage Shelves

Don’t forget to get our free plans so you can fix up your craft space as well! If you are looking for more organization, this quick easy DIY shelves are simple to make and hold tons of storage. You can use these simple shelves anywhere you have wall space, not just in a craft room or office.


DIY Craft Room Storage - Lots of Ideas!

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