Make a DIY Mountain Shelf Key Holder in a Few Hours


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February 18, 2021
Zoe Hunt




< 1 Day



This mountain shelf key holder combo is the perfect gift or project for any mountain lover. Not only is it pretty and practical, it’s also pretty simple to make! It doesn’t require too many power tools and is beginner-friendly.

DIY mountain shelf key holder

This project is also a perfect way to use up some scrap wood you may have laying around.

Alright, let’s start DIYing!

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  • Miter Saw
  • Nail Gun 
  • Hammer or Screw Driver (depends on which sawtooth hangers you get)
  • Speed Square

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What You’ll Need

How to Make a Mountain Shelf Key Holder

New to DIY? Download our free 5 Steps to Getting Start with DIY guide!

DIY mountain key holder and shelf with candle and watch on it


Start by cutting the middle pieces of the mountain, you want it to be as close to a triangle as possible. The bottom should be cut at 40-degrees and the other side will be 50-degrees.

Once you cut the first one, use it as a guide to cut a mirror image piece.

Next you’ll cut your remaining pieces for the main mountain. A picture is going to explain this a lot better than my words will.

measuring for cuts using speed square

Line the 1×2 you’re cutting to size up with the correct side of your current pieces. Line your speed square up with your current pieces and make your mark.

If you prefer video, check out our Instagram story highlight that walks you through this step at real-time speed!

Repeat this process until you have a total of 8 pieces cut for the first mountain.

Once you have the first mountain done, you can cut the pieces for your second mountain. The first two pieces will be cut at the same angles as your current mountain (50 and 40-degrees). The two pieces for the other side of the mountain will be cut at 50-degrees and 10-degrees.

Finally, cut a 1×4 down to 23″. This will be your shelf.


Apply a generous amount of glue to each piece and glue all of the mountain pieces together. Make sure to work quickly to get everything in place before the glue starts to dry. You want everything positioned and clamped within 5-10 minutes.

Just glue together the mountains for now, don’t worry about the shelf just yet.

Pro tip: put parchment paper underneath your project so that you don’t have to worry about gluing it to the table.


After waiting for your glue to set (ideally 24 hours), you can sand it smooth. I started with 80 grit sandpaper to quickly remove excess glue. Then sand with 120, 180, and 220 grit sandpaper until you are content with the finish.

sanding mountain wall art


Stain your mountains and shelf. I opted to stain my larger mountain with Dark Walnut, my smaller mountain with Special Walnut, and my shelf with True Black Stain.

Get tips on how to stain to get the best finish

staining mountain wood art with Minwax True Black, Dark Walnut, and Special Walnut stains


Love the look of snowy mountain peaks? Grab some tape and some paint or spray paint and add snow caps to your mountains.

I’ll be honest. I totally meant to do this, but was in a rush to get it shipped out before Christmas and forgot in the hustle and bustle of the holiday season.

Free download wood sizing cheatsheet


Line the back of the shelf up with the back of the mountains and attach is using glue and 1.25″ nails.

We grabbed a spare 1×4 and clamped in against the peak of the mountain to keep everything in place while we shot the nails in.

nailing bottom shelf to mountain wood art

You can center the shelf up like we did, or you can have the shelf line up with one end of the mountains and extend further on one side.


Now that the shelf is attached, you can seal your mountain shelf. We used this one and followed the instructions on the can to apply.


Decide how many hooks you want and where you want them positioned. We used 5 hooks. We placed the first one 3.5″ from the end and then left 4″ between each hook.

screwing cup hooks to bottom shelf using hands

Since we were screwing these into such a soft wood, we didn’t worry about pre-drilling first. Pre-drilling for your cup hooks will help reduce the risk of the wood splitting as you screw them in.


You’ll need to add two separate sawtooth hangers to keep your mountain shelf key holder hanging straight, even if it’s unbalanced with keys or other items.

Start by attaching a sawtooth hanger near the top of the smaller mountain. Then measure the distance from the bottom and position your second hanger at the same height, but on the larger mountain.

nailing sawtooth hanger to back of mountain art

This should keep your mountain straight and in place regardless of what you decide to hang and store on it.

mountain shelf made from wood with hooks for keys

There you have it! Now you know how to make your very own mountain shelf/key holder! I love that this one is a combination of the two. You get a shelf to add some cute decor and small items, but you also get the practicality of a key holder.

Related projects: The easiest DIY hexagon shelves | DIY entryway bench | DIY entryway table

mountain key holder from scrap wood with mini trees sitting on shelf
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  1. Paul Frank says:

    I love this mountain shelf.
    I have a simple question, why do you cut the wood at 50′ & 40′ instead of 45′ ?
    Doesn’t this keep the edges at centerline to not line up ?

    • Zoe Hunt says:

      We just wanted the mountains to be a little steeper than 45. You could definitely do that instead though! You’ll put the 50-degree sides of each piece together so that they line up.

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