These DIY Wood Shelves Add Vertical Storage and Visual Interest

This custom shelving provides architectural interest and ample storage for accessories.

bedroom teal blue wall gold accents floor-to-ceiling DIY wood shelf
Photo: Blaine Moats
Project Overview
  • Working Time: 3 hours
  • Total Time: 12 hours
  • Skill Level: Kid-friendly

Set against a colorful wall, natural wood shelving provides architectural interest and ample storage for books, art, plants, and other accessories. You can even install a light source by screwing a wall-mount fixture to the side of the unit. Although it looks complicated, this DIY vertical shelf is an easy beginner project and a good introduction to using a table saw and nail gun. Rent tools if storage and cost are concerns.

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • 1 Table saw
  • 1 Nail gun
  • 1 Cordless drill


  • 1 1-inch-thick birch plywood
  • 1 Fine sandpaper
  • 1 Nails
  • 1 Wood filler
  • 1 Semigloss polyurethane
  • 1 Screws
  • 1 Wall anchors


  1. Measure and Cut Wood

    Measure and cut wood to size. Cut three vertical pieces 15x96 inches. (These instructions are standard for 8-foot ceilings; if your height is different, adjust the length.) Cut seven pieces measuring 15x15 inches and three face frames measuring 1-1/2x96 inches (or your alternative height).

  2. Sand Wood and Install Shelves

    Sand all wood pieces using fine sandpaper. Lay out left-side shelf components, placing three shelves to form four equal spaces. Install shelves by nailing from the outer sides of the vertical pieces.

  3. Nail Center Vertical Support

    Lay out the other components, dividing them into five equal distances. Nail through the center vertical support and the outside of the right-hand piece.

  4. Nail Face-Frame Pieces

    Nail the face-frame pieces into place on the front of the vertical boards. Fill nail holes with wood filler; when dry, sand smooth.

  5. Seal with Polyurethane

    diy wood shelving corner with books
    Blaine Moats

    Working in a protected, well-ventilated area, seal with polyurethane; let dry.

  6. Install Shelving

    vertical wood shelves with home decor phone stand
    Blaine Moats

    Install by driving screws into the side wall and using wall anchors for the back wall; secure anchors to wall studs to support the weight of the shelf.

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