If you’re looking for a beginner-friendly DIY that requires minimal tools, you’re in the right place. These DIY hexagon shelves are beautiful and easy to build. Don’t let the angles intimidate you!
These hexagon shelves came about because I really needed a place to store extra toilet paper in our powder room. There’s nothing more awkward than running out of toilet paper at someone else’s house and there’s nothing I want less than to make someone feel uncomfortable at our home!
So when I had a day off of work, I decided it was as good a day as any to fix this problem once and for all. I inventoried our garage and we had everything I needed to make this happen, so no more excuses! It was time to DIY.
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- Miter Saw
- Optional: Nail gun
- Optional: Electric sander
New to DIY? Check out our post on beginner woodworking tools to determine which tools to get!
What You’ll Need
Steps to make DIY hexagon shelves
STEP 1: CUT ALL OF YOUR BOARDS
We cut each piece to be 5.5″ on the long side, making the total width of our finished hexagons 11″ from inside corner to inside corner.
Each board should be cut at a 30-degree angle on each end so that all of the pieces will fit together.
We used a 1×4 for the bulk of the shelves and then made an additional hexagon using a 1×6. The wood you use on your project will determine how deep your shelves are.
You can also adjust the length of your pieces if you would like your shelves to be wider across. If you want a custom size, check out this hexagon calculator. All you need to do is put in either the length of your sides or the long diagonal and it will auto-calculate what you need. Don’t get thrown off by all the numbers, all you need to look at is the long diagonal (this will be the width of your hexagon from the inside corners) and the sides, which is how long to cut your individual pieces.
Whatever size you choose, the key is to cut them to a consistent size at a 30-degree angle.
Since all of your pieces need to be the exact same length, clamp a board to your miter saw to act as a stop. With the guide in stop, you can quickly slide the board you are cutting up again the guide to get consistent cuts without measuring.
STEP 2: SAND
Our boards were pretty smooth to begin with and I wanted a rustic look, so I didn’t spend much time on this step. My main goal was to remove splinters from where I cut the wood, so I just quickly went over the edges with 80-grit sandpaper.
For a super smooth finish, be sure to check out our ultimate guide to sanding.
STEP 3: ASSEMBLE
Once your boards are sanded, place 6 of them side by side with the short side facing down. Tape your boards using 2-3 pieces of blue painter’s tape.
Typically, we’re big fans of Frogtape, but when it came to holding the wood together, blue tape worked better.
After making a few more types of hexagon shelves and hexagon planters, I’ve also decided that I prefer to apply two piece of tape across all of the pieces rather than between each board as pictured. Try both and let me know in the comments which worked best for you!
Flip your boards over so that the tape is now facing down.
Glue the edges of your boards. Be sure to get the glue all the way to the edge. I recommend putting a line of glue down the middle and then spreading it with your finger. This will prevent some of the glue from squeezing out as well.
Fold your edges together into a hexagon. Make sure that the seams between boards are tight and the tape is still intact. If necessary, you can add more tape.
STEP 4: REMOVE THE TAPE
Once the glue is dry, remove your tape. If there are any areas where glue dripped out, sand them down. It’s super important to get off any excess glue because glue does not accept stain.
If you want to add extra support, you can pop some brad nails where boards meet, but it shouldn’t be necessary. Did you know that when applied properly, glue actually creates a bond stronger than the wood itself?
STEP 5: STAIN OR PAINT
If any glue dripped out, sand it off and then stain or paint your wood. We stained ours with Minwax Dark Walnut stain.
If you choose, you can also seal them your shelves, following the instructions for your specific sealer.
Note: If you choose to stain your boards before gluing, you will need to wait until they are fully dry or the tape will not properly adhere to the boards.
Another fun design idea is to stain the outside and paint the inside with something fun and bright!
STEP 6: HANG YOUR SHELVES
To hang our shelves, we first attached them to each other using glue and 1.25″ nails. Note: it’s pretty difficult to get your nail gun inside of the small hexagons, so you’ll just shoot the nails need the edge of the hexagons.
If you don’t have a nail gun, no worries! Just apply a nice layer of glue between the two hexagons and clamp them together overnight to dry.
Then we added D-rings along the middle plane in each place that two shelves met. The D-rings each straddled two shelves.
If you’re not doing multiple shelves or you’re keeping them detached, you could also use sawtooth hangers to hang your shelves.
That’s it! Now it’s time to style them. That’s what really makes them special 😉
If you’re looking the hexagon style, be sure to check out these other DIY tutorials:
- DIY hexagon cedar planters
- DIY hexagon plant shelves – 2 ways! (it might be cool to add one or two of these into your design for some added variation!)
Want even more DIY shelf ideas? Check out our roundup of over 40+ DIY shelf ideas!