How to Build Rustic DIY Branch Shelves

Put fallen branches to work. This simple DIY project uses budget-friendly tree branches to dress up store-bought shelves.

If you've been looking for motivation to clean up your yard, this is it. Plain floating shelves get a budget-friendly update with the help of fallen tree branches. The result is a modern-rustic look. Make your own DIY shelves and hang them in the bathroom, bedroom, hallway—or any room that needs a chic storage solution.

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What You Need

  • Tree branches
  • Measuring tape
  • Handsaw
  • Shelf boards
  • Pencil
  • Drill
  • Wood screws
  • Mounting hardware
  • Stud finder
  • Wall anchors

Step 1: Select the Branches

Acquire tree branches that are 2 to 4 inches in diameter—any less and you'll have trouble screwing them in, any more and they'll be too heavy for the shelves to support. The number of branches you need depends on the number of shelves you're installing. We used four branches for three shelves. 

Step 2: Trim the Branches

With the measuring tape, mark the desired distance between shelves onto the branches. Ours are 12 inches apart. Then use a handsaw to cut through the marks on branches.

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Step 3: Attach Bottom Shelf

Beginning with the bottom shelf, mark a spot 2 inches from one end of the shelf and centered front to back. Using the mark as a guide, drill through the shelf into the bottom of one of the branches with a wood screw. Repeat on the other end of the shelf. 

Step 4: Attach Middle Shelves

Position the second shelf, then drill and screw down into the attached branches from the top. If you're making a two-step unit, you're done. But if you would like to add more shelves, repeat steps 3 and 4.

Step 5: Mount the Shelves

Add mounting hardware to the shelves. Locate studs in the wall with a stud finder. Attach shelves with screws at the studs. Or, if no studs are available, insert wall anchors before mounting. 

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