Thinking about building your own DIY shelving? Check out this easy DIY project where I built my own simple shelves!
So a friend sent me the below photo and asked if these shelves were something I could make her. She wanted three and planned to put them in her nursery.

…Well. I’ve never built a shelf before, but it seemed like a fun project, so I said yes and proceeded as follows:

 1) The first thing I did was grab two 1x8x8 pieces of pine and cut the three following lengths: 2.5′, 3′, and 3.5′. Then, using my table saw, I made each board 6′ 3/4″ wide.
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2) I put the bases aside and started making the end pieces. I grabbed the scrap piece of 1×8 pine and sketched a shape of how I wanted the end to look, then played with it some until I liked it. Then I took my jigsaw and cut it out. I tried really hard to make this first one perfect because I planned on making it my template for the remaining five.
3) Once it was cut out, I used it as a stencil and drew five more.
Note: if you are planning on staining your wood instead of painting it, then be sure to pay attention to the direction of the wood grain. If you want a nice uniformed look then pick a direction and keep it the same.
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4) Now that all the ends were drawn on, I cut them out with my jigsaw. At this point, I was just doing a rough cut close to my line instead of trying to make it absolutely perfect. Since I want all of these ends to be exactly the same, I recruited my hand router to help me out instead of relying on my skill with the jigsaw.

In case you are not familiar with using a router, different bits do different things. Whenever you are trying to make copies of something, one particularly handy bit to have around is called a flush trim bit. if you want to know about a flush trim bit then read the below paragraph. If you already know or don’t care, then feel free to skip it.

So right now I have one end piece that I used as a template for the other five. I cut that one exactly how I wanted them all to eventually turn out, and the other five I just cut close to the line but not exact. Well now I take my perfect piece, the template, and line it up to a roughed in one then clamp them together. Use your two flat sides to line them up. Now I can go through with my flush trim bit and cut the roughed in one to match the template exactly. You see, the end of the flush trim bit has a bearing on it and when you set the depth of the bit you want to make sure that bearing is resting against the piece of wood that you are using as your template. Once you turn your router on, it will then follow along the twists and turns of your template and the cutting portion of the bit (which is right above the bearing that is guiding it) will cut whatever board you have clamped onto it, to match those twists and turns.

….oh boy, I hope that makes sense.  Here! Photos always help. That circular silver part near my pinkie is the bearing that acts as the guide then the red portion is the part that does the cutting.
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If you don’t have a router or this bit, then just take your time and use a jigsaw to cut all the ends out. Go back with sand paper afterwards to get rid of any imperfections.

Since I have all six cut, I set them in place just to see how they look….

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….so far so good. : )

6) Alright, another step, another router bit. This time I want one that will round out the edges just like the inspiration photo; this bit is called a rounding over bit and all it does is take the corner from a 90 to a nice curved surface.

Before rounding over….
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7) Next I used the same bit and rounded over the edges on the bases.
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WilkerDon’t: So when I was making the ends, I measured how deep the shelves were and that of course, dictated how deep my ends were. Well now that I rounded the edges on the base, the ends look to be a shy too long (see photo below). So learn from my mistake and round your edges first, then take the measurement for your end pieces. I ended up running each end through my table saw, taking off a little bit on the backend so that I could scoot it back until things were lined up the way I wanted them.
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Now that the bases and ends were done, I needed to figure out how to make that front rod that keeps things from falling off the shelf. I decided to use a few 3/8″ dowel rods I bought from Home Depot.

8) For the placement of the rod, I came in 5″ from the back, then 2″ from the bottom. I made a small mark with a pencil then grabbed a 3/8″ drill bit and made a hole.

Note: I did not go all the way through my ends. I wanted the outside of the shelf to look flawless so I only drilled halfway through the material.

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Note: When you are drilling your holes, be sure that you are drilling into the correct side. They need to be a mirror image of each other.
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9) Ok, before sticking the ends and the rod together I drilled the pocket holes I would use to attach the ends to the base. I did this by using my Kreg Pocket jig. Again, make sure you are drilling on the correct side. You want them to be a mirror image.

If you do not have a Kreg then you can attach the ends by using the butt joint. Just align the end piece to the base then use glue and nails to join them together.

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10) Great! Now that all the holes are prepped, I measured and cut each dowel rod to the needed length, then used a smidge of wood glue before inserting the rods.

11) Next I came in 5/8″ from the sides of the base and made a mark, then lined up the ends and drilled the screws into their pockets to attach it all together.

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And viola! I love when I get to the point in the project where it actually starts looking like something!
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12) The last thing I wanted to do was attach a strip on the back to give my friend a way to attach it to her wall. So I grabbed some 1/2 wood and cut 3″ strips, each to the needed length, then made two pocket holes in the back then attached them.
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13) Well, nothing left to do but throw some stain and poly on it!
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Then here they are up on the wall with books!
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Total Time: 6 Hours
Total Cost: $23

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