DIY Modern Farmhouse Plate Rack

I am FINALLY sharing free plans for this DIY Modern Farmhouse Plate Rack! It has been up in my dining room for over a year now and I am still so in love with it! It was an easy build, it gave me an entire wall of storage/decor AND it cost about $100 in lumber! That’s a lot of BANG for your BUCK!

So, lets get to building it!

Make sure to download the FREE Printable Plans HERE and follow along with the how-to below!

The first step of this build was to rip the edges of all of the 2x boards. This made the 2×12’s 11″ wide and the 2×4’s 3″ wide. This is not a necessary step but if you choose not to rip your edges, adjust your plans accordingly.

Check out our video to learn how we rip the round edges off of our boards HERE!

The idea behind the design of this piece was to give the look that, 3 separate, vintage ladders are holding shelves on the rungs. So, let’s begin with building the ladders!

We cut the “ladder rail” pieces to size. Then, we marked for each hole and drilled 1″ holes, with a 1″ forstner bit down each rail. Place a board under the rail to keep from damaging your table or floor. Refer to the diagram for exact spacing.

Here is one ladder rail with the holes drilled. Do this for all six ladder rails.

Next, we cut the rungs to size,

added a little glue inside the holes and slide a rung into each hole. You can find our favorite glue bottle dispenser HERE on Amazon!

Once the rungs were in one ladder rail, we attached them to another ladder rail, the same way. This will create a ladder. If the rungs are a tight fit, a mallet will come in handy! You can find the mallets we use HERE! Build three ladders.

We cut the back, cleat pieces to size and used our Kreg Jig to drill 1 1/2″ pocket holes into the ends of each cleat. You can find our favorite Kreg Jig model HERE on Amazon!

You can find our favorite Kreg Jig model HERE!

We attached the cleats to the back of each ladder, with 2 1/2 ” pocket hole screws and wood glue.

Start with one ladder and then attach the next.

Here is one side of the plate rack frame, assembled. Now it’s time to attach the other side.

Now, all three ladders should be attached. Refer to the free plans for the exact spacing of the cleats.

We cut the top, support piece to size and attached it to the back, side of the front of the ladders. We used 2 1/2″ wood screws and wood glue to attach. The top of the support board should be flush with the top of the ladders.

Now is a good time to add a finish and bring the plate rack frame inside to attach it to the wall. We gave ours two coats of gray spray paint. You can find the spray paint we used HERE!

To make this plate rack as secure as possible, I attached the entire piece to the studs behind the wall.

The first step was to use my stud finder to locate the studs behind the wall. I put a wall treatment on this wall and this stud finder still located the studs! You can find our favorite stud finder HERE on Amazon!

However, I realized one minor issue when bringing the plate rack inside. My base trim sticks out from the wall about 3/4″. Therefore, the plate rack could not be flush with the wall, to secure it properly.

To compensate for the base trim, I used 3/4″ scrap shims. I placed one shim behind the plate rack cleats at every stud behind the wall. To secure the shim, I used wood glue (on the cleat side) and a few 2″ finish nails. Hammer and nails would work here too.

Once the shims were attached, I drilled 3 1/2″ wood screws from the cleats, into the shims and into the studs behind the wall. I made sure to hit as many studs, per cleat, as possible.

With the frame attached to the wall, it was time to bring in the shelves!

I started with the bottom shelf and continued my way up.

Once all of the shelves were in place, I measured to make sure they were all spaced evenly. Then, I added a 2″ wood screw from the bottom of each rung and into the shelves. On the bottom shelf, I drilled from the top of the shelf and into the rung.

I loaded it with plates and pretty things and called it a day!

Almost 8′ x 8′ of storage that also serves as large wall decor for about $100! Can’t beat that! It feels like the perfect combination of form and function!

Get info on the rest of the items in this room by following the links below!

Free Table Plans: HERE

Free Bench Plans: HERE

DIY Coffee Cabinet: HERE

DIY Chunky Shelves: HERE

Chairs: HERE

Table Runner: HERE



Bread Bowl: Vintage shop in Tennessee

Chandelier: HERE


Herringbone Wall Treatment: HERE

Curtains: HERE

Flooring: HERE

Paint Colors: Wall – Soft Stones by Valspar; Trim – Ivory Lace by Valspar so much for stopping by!

Happy Building!


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  1. Handy Squad on December 12, 2018 at 5:11 am

    Fantastic guide! The final outcome looks awesome.

  2. Janice Savage on December 5, 2018 at 9:14 pm

    Thank you so much!! One question.. when we cut the dowel rods, how wide do we make the ladder. I know the shelf board is 11 inches. So would the ladder be 11 1/4 or 11 1/2? Sorry if it’s a silly question, just double checking.. thank you ladies so much!!!

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