Wall Shelf – How to make a wall shelf with hooks. Easy-to-follow tutorial for a DIY project you can build in a weekend using scrap wood.
A wall shelf is a fantastic DIY project for a beginner builder, but also makes an easy build you can complete in a weekend if you’re looking for a quick project! Read for an easy-to-follow tutorial to learn how to make your own wall shelf with hooks. You can easily customize the size to suit your space and needs.
This DIY wall shelf with hooks was fun to build, though some of the logistics threw us for a few loops (more on that in the step-by-step directions below). But the results are pretty fantastic! I did most of the build work on this myself (huzzah!) so that means if I can do it, you can, too!
The little wall behind the door to our garage has looked lonely for some time. And instead of finding or creating some sort of art to hang there, I thought something with a bit more function would be nice. Enter the idea of a wall shelf. I found a few different tutorials via Pinterest (in particular, here and here), and the hubs and I modified them for our space and the materials we had on hand. One of my big objectives was to use up some of our scrap wood and leftover trim and moulding, and I’m pleased to say we only needed to purchase the hooks and one board for the top shelf.
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How to Make a Wall Shelf with Hooks:
- Half-round piece of trim
- Crown moulding
- 1″ x 6″ board
- 1″ x 8″ board
- Titebond Wood Glue
- Kreg Crown Jig (optional)
- Compound Miter Saw
- Elmer’s Wood Filler
- Alex Flex Caulk
- D-Ring picture hangers
Step 1: Start by measuring your wall space and cutting the 1″x6″ board to size. We cut ours to 23″. This piece will be the top of the wall shelf.
Step 2: We decide to get a little fancy and “indent” the bottom board, so for the next cuts we created a 1″ inset, cutting the crown moulding piece to 21″ long and at a 31.6-degree angle. If you have a Kreg Crown Jig, you could use it for cutting the angles.
Step 3: Cut two crown pieces for the sides of the shelf, measuring the thickness of the back board. In our case, this was about 1″ for our 1″x8″ board. Sand the edges.
Step 4: Cut the 1″x8″ board to the length of the bottom section of crown. For us, this was 17 and 3/4″. This will be the back of the shelf and the board that you’ll attach your hooks to.
Step 5: Cut half-round to the length of the top shelf (23″). This provides a nice edge so frames and such won’t slide off the front of your shelf once it’s hung.
Step 6: Glue all of the crown pieces together and let dry several hours or even overnight. This was a trick we tried with our window trim project and it worked really well. Secure with painter’s tape so you get a nice, snug seam.
Step 7: Glue half-round to the edge of the top board and let dry.
Step 8: Now you’re ready to attach all of shelf’s pieces together! First, measure the insets to be sure the crown and back board will be centered underneath the top board. Pre-drill holes for screws, then screw the top board to the back board. Then nail in the crown.
Step 9: Go over all the pieces with a piece of sandpaper to smooth out any uneven spots. Then fill in the nail holes with wood filler and caulk the seams where the crown meets the top and back boards.
Step 10: Paint the shelf any color you desire. We chose the same white that our trimwork is painted in. Or you could stain it, but then you’d need un-primed moulding.
Step 11: Attach hooks. We originally bought four, but only needed three. We played with placement, then traced the screw holes before actually screwing them in.*
*Where we got thrown for a loop: The screws that came with the hooks are deeper than the 1″x8″ board. We thought about trying to saw off the ends of the screws or adding a buffer to the back of the board so we wouldn’t wind up with 6 punctures in our wall. But we ultimately decided that a few punctures were less of a hassle than MacGyver-ing a solution (much to Tom’s chagrin; he loves to MacGyver things). If and when we ever take this shelf down, we’ll probably be patching and repainting the wall anyway.
Here’s what our wall shelf looks like all put together:
Step 12: The shelf is ready to be hung! Huzzah!*
*Where we got thrown for a loop the second time: The issue of how to attach this sucker to the wall. We should have figured this out as part of Step 1, because we probably would have pre-drilled some holes in the back. The tutorials I’d read glossed over the whole how-to-hang issue, which is actually pretty darn important. We used relatively lightweight materials compared to some of the other tutorials I found, so you’ll want to determine whether or not your shelf should be screwed into studs, etc. Our solution: two D-Ring picture hangers screwed to the back of our shelf and hung from two screws anchored into the wall.
I’m pretty pleased with how our wall shelf turned out. And it’ll be the perfect spot to stash Molly’s leash or hang our guests’ jackets.
The building process also reminded us that it’s a good idea to think through all of the project steps before diving in. Though what’s a good DIY project without a few extra trips to the hardware store??
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I could really used one of these in my front entryway. I think I should email this post to hubby! 🙂
Kelly Hedgespeth of Simply Kelly Designs recently posted…Harry Potter Onesie Using Heat Transfer Vinyl
I bet your hubby would be happy to make you some 😉 This one has already come in handy for holding our dog’s leash. I don’t know why we didn’t build one sooner!
Love this idea!! I could really use something like this in out entryway. Maybe hubby will be getting something else on his to-do list…
Meredith @ unOriginalMom recently posted…Free Printable Flexible Meal Planning Guide
Thank you, Meredith! Hopefully your hubby won’t mind adding this to the list 😉
I’m trying to make this but can’t figure out how to get the crown molding on the sides like you did. Could you tell me what it’s called or something so I can google instructions on how to do it? THanks!
Hi Viv, we mitered corners on the crown moulding to get them to fit the sides of the shelf. To do this, cut the crown at a 45-degree angle, using either a compound miter saw or a manual hand saw miter box. Look up how to cut outside corner crown moulding and you should be able to find some good instructions!
Thank you, I think I’m getting it!
You’re welcome, Viv!
I’ve got photos if you’d like them, I get lots of compliments I my entry way!! Thank you for the tutorial!
That is awesome! I would love to see photos, Viv!! Could you email them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org?
This looks very high end . I really like it and plan on building myself one. Thanks a bunch for the clear tutorial. I just found you on Pinterest .
Thank you Janis! And you’re very welcome 🙂 Send me a photo if you make one – I’d love to share it with my readers!
Where are these hooks from? Im looking for something exactly like that. Thanks!
Hi Marin, we found these hooks at Lowe’s.
I was looking for the perfect diy solution to my entry way and came across your tutorial. It was very easy to follow and looked very high end. Would love to share my results with you when in finished. Thanks.
I’m so glad to hear this Shu! I’d love to see how it turns out!
I made mine 5 ft long with 5 hooks. When hanging, I made mine permanent by covering the screws and Kregg jig holes with the crown molding.
That’s a great idea, Derek! Thanks for sharing!
This is a great, detailed tutorial and so beautiful! I wanted to let you know I’ll be featuring you in a round up at tonight’s Funtastic Friday Link Party! Thank you for sharing!
Angie ~ ambient wares recently posted…Chair Makeover with added storage compartment under the seat
Thank you so much Angie!
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Nice design! HUbby and I are going to build a longer version for our entryway.
Thank you Nancy! I’d love to see a photo of yours when you are finished! I bet it will look great!
I find it really great! I was trying to find a good wall shelf idea for my living room, which could hold books, DVDs and also has a key holder. I think I should do a much bigger one. Do you think a cube or rectangular floating wall shelf is a good idea?
My living room has a big wall without any window. I need some suggestions
Hello! Yes, I think a larger shelf or cube shelf would be great for storage and display!
We built a slightly different version, here’s ours! We hid the mounting screws behind the hooks as well. http://littlehomesteadinboise.blogspot.com/2017/04/diy-shelf-with-hooks-reveal-we-lost.html Thanks for the idea!!! Nancy
nancy recently posted…DIY Shelf With Hooks Reveal, We Lost A Tree, Carpeting Cleaning Choices? Garage Cleanup
Thank you so much for sharing this with me, Nancy! Your shelf looks great!
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what method do you use to hang/nail the whole thing to the wall?
We attached two D-Ring picture hangers to the back of the shelf and hung it from two screws anchored into the wall.
is it strong enough? sorry I doubt it little bit. how many pounds it can take?
I live in canada, winter coat can get really heavy. or I have to seek some other way if it comes to winter coats.
We’ve been using this shelf for over 2 years without issue. I am not sure of exactly how many pounds it can take – I don’t remember the weight limit of the D-ring hangers we purchased, but we hang up our heavy winter coats, bags, hats, etc, throughout the year. I also display picture frames and small vases on the shelf. I would recommend looking for hangers with a high weight limit to be sure.
I believe we also put anchors in the wall before we hung it.
We made a larger 5 hook version of this shelf and anchored it with six inch screws that we installed through each hook into the walls. I live in Jamaica and we have concrete walls. The shelf was really heavy when constructed so we needed super sturdy support for the shelf and and all that it would hold. We are very pleased with the result. Its solid.
where did you get your crown moulding? I can’t find it at home depot.
Hi Oliver, I’m pretty sure we got our moulding from Lowes.
Hi, I was wondering if you could also recommend a good height to hand the wall shelf. I am trying to figure out a good height for in my front hall. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
To be honest, we kind of eye-balled where we hung it. I’d say it’s hung about 4 to 4.5 feet high. We use the hooks to hold coats and bags, so we wanted the hooks to be at a convenient height for frequently grabbing these items as we head out the door. I hope this helps!
Thank you for the tutorial! The crown molding corners stumped me for a while but I think I know how to do it now! Can’t wait to get home and give it a try!
You’re welcome Keri! Hope the crown molding worked out!