The Easiest DIY Shelves Tutorial for $10


Hi, I'm Zoe

My mission is to teach you to confidently build magazine-worthy DIYs. I used to be terrified of power tools, which is why I'm a firm believer that ANYONE can DIY.

Search the Blog

Join Thousands of Others Getting Weekly DIY Tips and Tutorials

June 18, 2019
Zoe Hunt

Today we’re coming at you with what might be one of the easiest DIYs we’ve ever done. Not only is this tutorial extremely easy, but it’s practical too. Who doesn’t need more shelves and storage??

After weeks of going back and forth on what kind of shelving we wanted in our living room, we finally decided on thin wood shelves with metal brackets. I searched the internet and was shocked at the prices of such simple shelves. I stumbled upon some mix and match shelving at World Market and it was going to cost between $40-100 for ONE shelf.

Want to DIY buy don\'t know where to start? Click here to grab your free guide!

Um no. No one has money for that. So we decided DIY was once again the best way to go. And once we completed the project, we realized DIY was the no-brainer. It’s so simple, doesn’t take much time, and saves so much money! 

Let’s start DIYing!

the easiest DIY shelves with metal brackets for $10

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience (which means if you make a purchase after clicking a link, I earn a small commission, but it wonโ€™t cost you a penny more)!


What You’ll Need

How to make easy DIY shelves

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

Step 1: determine your shelf size.

 We chose 1×8 boards because I wanted a thin, clean look and 8″ was wide enough to fit my decor, but doesn’t stick out too much. We cut our shelves to be 34″ long. If you choose 2″ boards, the edges will be rounded. You can cut a little off each side to make the edges and corners square, but it will make your shelves slightly less deep. If you are going to use your shelves for dishes, I would recommend at least 10″ deep to give you room to fit a plate. But whatever size you decide, make sure you select brackets that will work for that size.

Step 2: cut your shelves

STEP 3: sand, stain, and seal

Stain your boards whatever color you prefer. We used Dark Walnut. I like a deep color, so I brush the stain on with a paintbrush, let it sit for 15 minutes, and then wipe it off with a rag. If you prefer a lighter color, you can simply wipe the stain on with a rag and then wipe it right off.

Seal your shelves with polyurethane, following the instructions on the can.

Step 4: determine spacing

While your boards are drying, determine where you want to hang your shelves. Mark the location and studs with a pencil. We placed our shelves 15″ from one another.

Determine where you want to place your brackets. We strategically positioned our brackets so that they would all drill into studs. That ended up being 8.75″ from each end. If drilling into studs won’t accomplish the look that you were hoping for, you can use drywall anchors.

Free download wood sizing cheatsheet

step 5: attach brackets to shelves

Drill your brackets into your shelves. You want the bracket to be flush with the back edge of your shelf, so you can place another shelf or a piece of scrap wood up against the back of the shelf to mimic the 90-degree angle of the wall. If you have multiple shelves, line the first shelf that you attached brackets to against a new shelf. Mark the location of the brackets on the new shelf so that they all align. You can also measure, but measuring precisely is hard ๐Ÿ˜‰

Step 6: attach the brackets to the wall

Drill your brackets into your wall. Place the level on your shelf to make sure that it is level when you are drilling it in. If you are drilling into studs, no additional steps are required. If you are using drywall anchors, make sure to follow the instructions on the package.

step 7: style your shelves and enjoy!

Want even more DIY shelf ideas? Check out our roundup of over 40+ DIY shelf ideas!

wood shelves with metal brackets
wood shelves with metal brackets close-up
Add a comment
+ show Comments
- Hide Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Join the List

Our mission: give you the resources to build magazine-worthy furniture.

First up? Sharing the 5 key steps to getting started with DIY.

 Get  the best DIY tutorials, project inspiration, and  DIY tips sent straight to your inbox weekly.

Get My Getting Started with DIY Guide as a free gift!

Find your next project

Premium, printable plans

3D renderings, detailed shopping lists, cut lists displayed two ways (both in chart form and visually), AND a bonus SketchUp file. Printable plans don't get better than this.

See the plans
diy with confidence

Our Courses

Whether you're just getting started or you're a seasoned DIYer who's ready to unlock the full potential of DIY, our courses are here to help.



Join us for project tutorials, behind-the-scenes, and quick DIY tips and tricks.