How To Make A Built In Shelf In A Wall

Shelves are a great way to decorate a house. They can also be expensive. If you want to make your own custom shelf, you’ll need to do some planning and measuring, but it’s an easy process once you get started. You can create your own built-in shelf with the help of a few simple tools and materials. The shelf will be designed specifically for your space, which means no pre-made shelves from the store will work for this project. The first step is to find the spot where you would like your shelf to go on walls where shelving might exist already such as behind doors or under windows etc so that there is enough depth inside of walls for shelving unit as well as enough support from studs/joists running vertically through wall which would mean that there would not have anything else protruding into room at point where we want our unit placed – then measure out how big should our cubbyhole dimensions be based off those measurements using measuring tape or laser level tool before marking off those points onto drywall using painter’s tape or other removable adhesive label paper (this part might require some extra prep work if it turns out particular area isn’t structurally sound enough.)

Tape off the area with painter’s tape.

If you’re creating a shelving system in a new wall, it’s important to first protect the wall with painter’s tape. Painter’s tape will help prevent any damage to your walls as well as making sure that everything lines up perfectly.

If you can access the studs behind your drywall, use a stud finder to locate them before starting to build your shelf. The goal here is to make sure that when you place your screws into those studs and mount your shelf into place, everything will be level and straight. You can also use a laser level if you have one handy—this will allow for much greater precision than just eyeballing things from underneath or above the shelf (which is what I did).

Line up the brackets on your laser level and mark all four walls.

You can use a laser level to make sure the brackets are level. If you don’t have one of those, you can still do this by using a plain old level.

Marking the four walls is really easy, but it’s important to make sure that they are all marked in exactly the same spot on each wall. You want your shelves to be perfectly parallel with each other and with the floor.

Drill the screw holes in each stud, making sure to keep them level.

  • Use a stud finder to locate and mark the positions of all the studs in the wall.
  • The brackets should go into the middle of two studs, so make sure that your holes are level and located roughly 2 inches from each side of each bracket.
  • Drill holes for screws at every location where there is a stud, taking care not to drill through any drywall or other things you want left un-damaged. Make sure your drill bit is long enough for screws to go through it and into a wall stud (probably about 3/4″).

Once the brackets are secure, you can put up the shelf.

When you have the brackets secure, it’s time to put up the shelf. First, make sure that the shelf is level. This can be done by placing a level on top of it and checking that it is horizontal with both ends of the wall that you are attaching it to. Once this has been done, attach one end of your board to each bracket using screws or nails (depending on what type of attachment method you chose). Then simply attach the remaining sides in a similar manner until all four sides are attached and finished off with trim if necessary

Keep in mind that if you’re going to be storing anything heavy on this shelf you’ll need to reinforce it with extra brackets or supports.

  • Use a stud finder to locate the studs in your wall.
  • Use a level to make sure that your shelf is also level.
  • Pre-drill holes for each bracket using a drill bit that’s slightly smaller than the screws you’re using to attach them (it’s important not to over-tighten these screws, so you want them just snug). If you don’t have a drill bit small enough, use one of those attachments that fits onto your electric drill and then pre-drill with that. No matter which method you use though, make sure it’s done correctly so there aren’t any splits in your wood or damage from over tightening!
  • Attach brackets with hammer drills—these are especially useful because they don’t require as much strength on top of being safer than regular screwdrivers or hand drills when attaching brackets through wall studs inside your home. Make sure though before using one that there aren’t any wires near where you’re working

Attach your decorative molding on top of the support boards to make it look built-in.

To attach your decorative molding, you will need to attach it to your support boards. You can use wood glue and nails, or screws (I recommend using screws). If you are using nails, make sure that you pre-drill holes in the support boards so that the nails don’t split the wood.

Once you have attached all of your decorative molding on top of each support board and let them dry (24 hours), it’s time to paint

Use some 2x4s and a laser level to build a custom-looking shelf in an afternoon.

  • Measure the length and width of your wall. Add an inch to each measurement for overhang, so if your wall is 10 feet wide, add 11 inches to both sides for a total of 21 inches (8 feet + 2″ on either side = 10 feet).
  • Measure the distance from where you want your shelf to sit on the floor to where it will be sitting on the wall (this is called its height).
  • Measure how far apart from each other two studs are in that area of the wall (this is called stud spacing). A stud finder can help with this step. Most studs are 16 or 24 inches apart in most homes, but check with someone who knows about houses before you start making holes in them—you don’t want to accidentally drill through an electrical conduit or plumbing pipe
  • Once you have these measurements, use them in conjunction with a laser level or plumb bob as well as chalk lines drawn across any vertical surfaces like baseboards so that all three points align perfectly with one another when viewed straight down from above


Once you’ve finished this tutorial, you should be able to easily make a built-in shelf for your home or office. You will want to start by finding the right space and then determining what size is appropriate. The next step will involve measuring where you want it to go before cutting out some wood pieces that fit neatly into that space. Then make sure they line up perfectly with each other so as not to have any gaps between pieces of wood when putting them together. Lastly, use screws or nails on your new shelf so they stay securely in place forever

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