You may recall that I recently re-decorated my guest bathroom in a nautical theme (you can see the transformation here). While planning the transformation, I knew I wanted a long shelf to hang some towel hooks and provide a space to display things. I looked everywhere I could think of but everything I found was in some way deficient. So I decided to try my hand at making my own shelf.
Honestly, it was easier than I thought it would be. And so much cheaper than anything I could buy at a store. Here’s how I did it:
1. 1X4X4 pine craft board (the “shelf” board)
2. 1X8X4 pine craft board (the “base” board)
3. Decorative wood trim
4. Quarter round trim
5. Wood screws
6. Wood glue
7. Spray paint (I used a satin white paint I had on hand)
What I Did:
First I had my husband trim an inch off of the 1X8X4 board so that it would be slightly shorter than the “shelf” board. I also had him miter the decorative wood trim with our new miter saw. I still haven’t had time to have him teach me to use our new toy so for safety and efficiency’s sake, I had him do it.
Once all my pieces were cut I lined up the “base” board with the narrower “shelf” board and marked the middle on each of the pieces so that I knew where to put my screws. Then I put a bead of wood glue on the edge of the “shelf” board and glued the decorative wood trim to the front and the sides of the board. I used my handy pneumatic nail gun and added a few nails in the trim for reinforcement.
After the trim was on I moved into the garage to use my hubby’s work bench for a flatter work surface. I lined up the “shelf” board and the “base” board where I had marked the center on each. I drilled a pilot hole at the center point through both boards. Then I put glue on the edge of the “base” board, lined up the holes and drilled a wood screw into the center point. I added two more screws, one at each end.
Then I added a piece of quarter round under the “shelf” where it met the “base” board. There’s no functional reason for this piece; I just like the aesthetics of it. At this point, the shelf was built! I left it to dry for a couple of hours before adding the finishing touches.
After all the glue was dry I added paintable, white caulk where all the edges of the pieces met. The point of caulk is to make the finished product look seamless and it’s also really good at hiding imperfections and small gaps.
After allowing the caulk to dry I then spray painted the shelf (three coats), let it dry and then lightly sanded it. Then I added my anchor hooks and installed D-rings on the back. The finished product:
That’s it! Really very easy considering I’d never built anything from scratch before. It’s exactly what I wanted for that space and much cheaper than anything I was finding online or in the stores. If you’re looking for an easy, beginner building project, I highly recommend doing something like this. If I can do it, anyone can!