Brighten up your study with a DIY wall shelf

Three wall shelves with support strips for the unpainted shelf boards, with some containers and other decorative elements on them.
Transform your study with these clever DIY shelves

  • Difficulty
  • Cost
    40-85 £
  • Duration
    3 - 8 h

Mix and match. The DIY wall shelving helps create a tidy workspace in your study, so you can concentrate on your work. The supporting strips enable you to rearrange the shelves however you like so you can make the most out of your space. Who would have thought that keeping your study clean and tidy would be so much fun?

You need
  • try square
  • pocket rule
  • g-clamps
  • work gloves
  • safety glasses
  • ear protectors
  • face mask
  • floor protector or cover sheets
  • a stirrer to mix the paint
  • 1 sheet of plywood, e.g. beech: 250 x 120 cm (L x W), thickness: 1.8–2.1 cm
  • 2 smooth-edged, planed wooden planks, e.g. Douglas fir: 300 x 10 x 2.7 cm (L x W x H)
  • 7 wooden slats: 300 cm x 3.7 cm x 1.7 cm
  • 5 screws per slat (70 x 3.7 cm): 4 x 35 mm (D x L)
  • 12 screws and matching wall plugs (for mounting)
  • White 2-in-1 paint
L: Length, W: Width, H: Height, D: Diameter

Let's go - step by step

Step 1 9

Measure out the wooden boards and slats for your DIY wall shelf

A straight line is drawn using a steel square and a pencil.
Use a steel square to draw lines to cut along when sawing

You need: try square, pocket rule, plywood board, smooth-edged wooden planks, wooden slats for support strips

If, like us, you want to put up shelving across an entire wall, you'll need three large plywood boards, each of which will serve as backboards for your DIY wall shelves. The boards should be 105 x 70 cm (L x W).

You'll need 10 wooden slats (70 x 3.7 cm) per shelf. The slats need to be mounted with care to ensure that shelf boards can fit between them. You can create the shelf boards by sawing smooth-edged planks of Douglas fir, for example: their reddish tone will contrast nicely against the white background of the slats and backboard once they have been painted. You can cut the shelf boards to different sizes depending on what you need to use them for – for completely customised shelving.

For example, for our three wall shelves, we measured out three boards spanning the entire width of the backboard (70 cm). Then we cut out 50 cm, 35 cm, 20 cm sizes and we also made some shorter boards (15 cm).


Step 2 9

Saw the wood for your DIY shelf

A wooden slat is cut to the right length using a NanoBlade saw with a vacuum cleaner attachment.
After measuring the wood, cut it to the correct size

You need: NanoBlade saw, g-clamps, work gloves, safety glasses, ear protectors

Have you measured out the shelf boards and marked out the lines you want to saw along? Use screw clamps to hold the first piece of wood you want to cut firmly in place and put on your protective gear. Then cut along the marked lines.

Tip: The NanoBlade saw has an adapter for vacuum cleaners like the EasyVac 3 , which removes sawdust straight away.

Step 3 9

Smooth down the sawn edges using a sander

The sawn-off edges of a wooden slat are sanded down using a multi-sander with a rectangular sanding plate.
It's best to use a rectangular sanding plate to sand down the sawn-off edges

You need: multi-sander, rectangular sanding sheet set with grit K120, work gloves, safety glasses, ear protectors

To ensure the sawn-off edges of your pieces of wood are free from splinters, sand them down thoroughly. Attach the rectangular sanding plate and 120-grit sanding paper to your multi-sander. For best results, secure the wood using screw clamps. You can also sand down all of the plywood board and wooden slats to prepare them for painting.

Step 4 9

Paint your DIY wall shelf

Thin wooden slats are placed on a floor covering and sprayed white using a Bosch paint spray system.
To keep things simple, you can paint the large wooden boards and slats for your DIY wall shelf white using a paint spray system

You need: Paint spray system, work gloves, face mask, ear protectors, safety glasses, floor protector or cover sheets, a stirrer to mix the paint, white 2-in-1 paint

To make your shelves stand out, paint the plywood boards and wooden slats in a colour of your choice. Protect the floor while painting by using a protective sheet or floor covering. Put on work gloves, ear defenders, safety goggles and a face mask to avoid inhaling any paint dust. Apply the paint evenly in rows and let it dry.

Step 5 9

Pre-drill holes for the support strips of the DIY wall shelf

A a steel square is used to measure out a distance of 10 cm along an unpainted wooden slat.
Mark the points where you want to drill holes to secure the support strips against the backboard of the wall shelf. Ensure the holes are 10 cm away from the edge of each slat and 15 cm apart
A cordless combi drill is used to drill a hole into an unpainted wooden slat which is clamped to a white slat.
Drill holes in the white slats using the drilling template

You need: Cordless Drill, Brad point drill bit, g-clamps, safety glasses, try square, pocket rule

Now it's time to make the wooden support strips for the wall shelf. Pre-drill holes for the screws, to make sure the thin slats don't crack. To make sure you position the screws at exactly the same points on all the slats, you can make a drilling template from one slat. Mark holes along the slat, ensuring they are 10 cm away from the edge and 15 cm apart. Place the slat with the markings on a white slat and secure both against the wall shelf using screw clamps. Fit the wood drill bit on the cordless combi drill and drill the holes using the drilling template. Do the same with the remaining wooden slats.

Step 6 9

Mount the support strips on the wall shelf

A white wooden support strip is screwed onto the front of the DIY wall shelf using a cordless combi drill.
To work out the distance you need to leave between the two wooden slats, base it on the thickness of the shelf boards
The distance between two wooden slats is measured using a laser measure
You can easily measure the distance between the wooden slats using a laser measure

You need: Cordless Drill, Laser measure, g-clamps, 10 wooden slats per wall shelf: 70 x 3.7 cm, 50 screws per wall shelf: 4 x 35 mm (D x L)

Screw the wooden slats onto the white plywood board to build your wall shelf. Start at the bottom end of the board and tightly screw in the first slat using the pre-drilled holes and matching screws. To complete the support strip, position the second slat, taking into account the thickness of the shelf board (in our case, 2.7 cm). Hold the shelf board in place using screw clamps and screw in the second slat. Follow the same procedure to mount the other support strips on your wall shelf.

To make sure the support strips are the correct distance apart, you can use a laser rangefinder to measure the distance between the edges of the slats. Note that this only works when the slats are at least 15 cm apart.

Tip: if all the support strips are positioned at the same height, you can also stack all three shelves one on top of one other, if you like.

Step 7 9

Mark and drill holes for mounting the wall shelf

A point for mounting the DIY wall shelf is marked using a pencil and a steel square.
Mark the points for mounting the shelf between the support strips
A wood drill bit is used to make a hole in the wood.
Pre-drill holes for mounting the DIY shelf on the wall

You need: Cordless Drill, Brad point drill bit, g-clamps, try square, pocket rule

To make sure your shelf stays securely on the wall, mark the points where you want to insert the screws and pre-drill the holes accordingly. Measure 15 cm from the edge of the backboard, then work out the midpoint between the wooden slats – and then add a point for each screw. Once you've done this, place the cordless combi drill on the wood and pre-drill each hole.

Step 8 9

Mount your DIY shelf on the wall

A mounted cross-line laser projects a red laser beam on the wall. A woman in the background marks a point for mounting the DIY wall shelf on the wall.
Use a cross-line laser to mark the points for mounting your shelves, so they are aligned with one another
A Bosch digital detection device is held up against a white wall. It flashes green.
Before drilling, you should check whether there are any electricity cables or water pipes behind the wall
A red and grey Fischer wall plug is inserted into the wall
If you use the right wall plugs, your DIY shelf should stay securely on the wall

You need: Cross Line Laser, Detectors, Cordless combi drill, The Bosch Rotary hammers, crews and matching wall plugs (for mounting on the wall)

It's almost time to mount your DIY shelf on the wall. It's best to work out the points to mount the shelves at the very beginning using a cross-line laser. Using the Quigo Plus , you can measure the height of the wall shelf correctly and hang it up straight, and you can also ensure the distances are spaced evenly. The further away the cross-line laser is from the wall, the further apart the laser crosses will be. Drill the holes using an impact drill or a cordless rotary hammer (depending on the type of wall).

To ensure you can drill safely , use a digital detection device to check the points you want to drill for electricity cables or water pipes. Once you have drilled a hole, insert the matching wall plug. Then you can screw in the wall shelf. It's best if you can ask another person to help you at this point.

Step 9 9

Insert the shelf boards and decorate your shelf

An unpainted shelf board is inserted between the support strips of the DIY wall shelf.
Insert the shelf boards wherever you like
Build your own DIY wall shelf. A white stackable box sits on the top shelf, with a vase and a notepad on the next shelf down.
Now decorate your DIY wall shelf

You need: shelf boards, decorations

After all the hard work, here's the easy bit: decorating your DIY wall shelf. You can decorate each shelf however you like, depending on whether it's in your study or bedroom. You can use the shelves to display family photos, books or vases of flowers. Storage boxes for items like pens also work well on your DIY wall shelf. And the best thing about the support strip design is that you can rearrange the shelf boards as often as you like depending on how you want them to look.

Now that your wall shelf is complete, why not take a look at our 7 tips on how you can quickly and easily introduce more colour into your living room?