$20 Shelves Anyone Can Build!

That’s right… ANYONE!  These are super simple to build!  This is by far my favorite $20 project to date.

Shelves Anyone Can Build

Shelves Anyone Can Build

Shelves Anyone Can Build

I have been in the process of redoing my oldest son’s room over the last few weeks.  I shared his bed HERE and the headboard HERE.

I know one of the next things on my to do list will be a desk, and I knew I wanted some shelving for above it.  I found THIS plan on Ana’s site and jumped on it.

If you own a drill (every woman should!) you can build these shelves.  I made 2 for my son, and I also made 2 for my younger sister.  Each shelf cost $10 to build.  Here are a few tips and progress shots…

You will need 2 – 1×4’s and 1 – 1×2 for each shelf.  That’s it!

I made 8′ shelves so no need to use a saw.  I also used my Kreg Jig, but if you don’t own one you can just pre-drill your holes and use wood screws to attach everything. I prefer drywall screws, but both will work.  You will also need wood glue.  I started by adding a line of glue where my 1×4’s meet.

Shelves Anyone Can Build

Join your boards together like this.  Just pre-drill from the back and attach your screws.

Shelves Anyone Can Build

Now add some more glue to edge of your bottom 1×4…

Shelves Anyone Can Build

And use some finish nails to attach your 1×2!

Shelves Anyone Can Build

That’s it! Not even kidding!

I didn’t even worry about filling nail holes because I stained mine and I like the imperfections… So shanty! 😉

I used my new favorite stain on mine…

Shelves Anyone Can Build

Rust-Oleum Ultimate Wood Stain in Dark Walnut

I  LOVE this stuff… It dries beautifully within an hour… Whoop!  You can get it at Lowe’s.

These are super easy to attach to your wall too!  I used 2″ drywall screws directly into the studs of the wall.  I didn’t even have to cover the screws because the things I put on the shelves covered them easily.

I got them up and took some pictures for you!

Shelves Anyone Can Build

Shelves Anyone Can Build

Shelves Anyone Can Build

Shelves Anyone Can Build

Shelves Anyone Can Build

Shelves Anyone Can Build

Shelves Anyone Can Build

And if you aren’t quite convinced please look at this picture…

Shelves Anyone Can Build

Yes.  Looks familiar! You can find this lovely at Pottery Barn, except it costs $85 for 4′! That’s half the length and 8 times the price.  No thank you!

What do you think???

You OFFICIALLY have no excuse to not build!  These are easier than putting together anything you can find in a store.  I LOVE them.

You can see the detailed plans HERE on Ana’s site!


Did you like it???  Would you be a dear and PIN IT please?!?  I would appreciate it greatly 😉

Thanks so much and happy Tuesday!



  1. Huong Pham on January 1, 2013 at 12:26 am

    Thanks for the instructions. I’ve just made one for my son’s room.
    Please visit my blog to have a look at the pictures 😉

  2. Tiff on October 21, 2012 at 11:37 am

    Working on these this weekend for our home library for books. So far it’s been a breeze and can’t wait to see the finished product. Did you use a polyurethane finish or a seal after the stain or just the stain?

  3. Breezy Pink Daisies on October 14, 2012 at 6:18 pm

    Thanks so much for this tutorial! I just made my own shelf and am in LOVE! I can’t believe how easy it was too. Thanks again!! You can check it out here it you want –

  4. Jill Rueb Lukins on August 23, 2012 at 10:40 am

    This is a great idea! I wanted to do EXACTLY this in my hallway above my newly re-painted hall cabinet and for some reason could not conceptualize it. Thanks for the idea!! Running to Lowe’s right now 😉 Oh, and I bought the “dark walnut” stain a while back to build the “FAMILY” sign you designed, so I have a ton left over! I have so many ideas to use it for now! I even build some “pallet” type boxes to use as drawers in my hall cabinet- 16″ wide by 22″ deep, and used the dark walnut stain. I am attaching a picture of the progress… your blog inspired me! The cabinet used to be a light maple color- I painted and antiqued it and swapped out the middle cabinet for the pallet type drawers. Loving it now!

  5. Olivia on August 19, 2012 at 6:05 pm

    your projects are so inspiring. i actually have been looking for something simple and stylish such as this for a shelf im building above the inside of my shower. something to store my shower bottles yet using what little space i have to work with. im over pre made wire caddys and really wanted to get creative. my only concern is it holding up to shower steam and what wood would be appropriate for water.

    • Shanty2Chic on August 20, 2012 at 5:55 am

      Honestly, I don’t know the best wood for that! It’s a great idea! If it were me, I would just go with the pine and know you may have to replace it in a year or 2. Just my call 😉 Good luck!!

  6. Kari on July 5, 2012 at 11:26 pm

    When I saw this post I was THRILLED. I have been looking at Pottery Barn shelves for the past month wanting to buy 4 of the 3′ Holman shelves for a total of $150. However, I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. $150!!! Happily my story ends with me finding your site, follow your instructions, and building my shelves for a total of $35! Thank you SO very much for sharing!!
    *My husband also wanted me to make sure I sent his thanks as well seeing how you saved him so much money…LOL!

  7. Jana Hikichi on July 2, 2012 at 8:21 pm

    Love these! I’m gonna make these for my son this summer. Did you use pine?

  8. liz on June 24, 2012 at 1:28 pm

    I was wondering, what do you use to sand down the boards? and at what step do you sand? After putting it together?


    • Shanty2Chic on July 2, 2012 at 9:53 pm

      Hi Liz,

      I usually just use a little hand sanding block with a 120 grit sand paper. I sand the corners and ends of the boards quickly before attaching everything. Hope this helps!!

  9. Natalie on May 9, 2012 at 4:01 pm

    Making these today !!! Love this !!

  10. Sonya on March 14, 2012 at 12:57 pm

    These are awesome! Just the thing I need for my latest project, our multi-task room. How did you attach to the wall. With hangers it more securely attached to the wall?

  11. Lisa on March 14, 2012 at 11:40 am

    yes inquiring minds want to know where the awesome plane prints came from! 🙂

    • Shanty2Chic on March 14, 2012 at 12:12 pm

      Those were a gift from a friend who was actually going to throw them away! Crazy! Wish I could share where he got them but I don’t know… Sorry! 😉

      • Mary on July 18, 2012 at 8:49 pm

        darn! I was going to ask too! My husband is an air force pilot!

        • Shanty2Chic on July 19, 2012 at 6:15 am

          Boo! I get lots of questions on them! Wish I could tell you how to DIY them ;-)!!

  12. Jan on March 3, 2012 at 8:38 am

    This is exactly what I am going to put in my breakfast area. I have been looking for the perfect, but EASY DIY shelving….THIS IS IT!!! I found you from Tator Tots and Jello….Happy Dance 🙂 Hugs, Jan

  13. Kel on February 23, 2012 at 11:20 am

    I featured you today for my Pinterest Thursday post.

  14. Six Sisters on January 30, 2012 at 7:37 pm

    This is such a great idea! So cute! We would love to have you come share this at our weekly link party every Saturday! -The Sisters

  15. Danielle M on January 30, 2012 at 2:03 pm

    Just made some today, very easy! Thanks for the great idea!

  16. Abby on January 30, 2012 at 11:25 am

    I love them! I’m going to try it. How did you attach them to the wall? I have plaster walls so I’d probably have to use sink hooks, but just wondering….

  17. Tootsie on January 29, 2012 at 5:56 pm

    Wow! that is super easy to make! thanks for sharing this tip!


  18. Pamela on January 29, 2012 at 8:53 am

    BEAUTIFUL! Love them and love they’re so easy .. question being that you just used glue do you have any idea of how much weight they could bare?

    Pinned these too! 🙂

  19. Danielle Warren on January 28, 2012 at 4:26 pm

    You’re right, these shelves do look so simple! I love them! Thanks for sharing the great tips!

  20. Eriks on January 28, 2012 at 2:58 pm

    I just made these and saved so much money thanks to you!! your advise was amazing and helped me so much!!

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