How To Make And Hang A Chunky Wood Wall Shelf
Hey Foxy Friends! This one has been while in coming but I finally got a few spare minutes to share how to make and hang a chunky wood wall shelf! I’m gauging that this DIY project just crosses over from beginner to intermediate. But I have every confidence y’all can do it with a little time and patience!
We made the first chunky shelf out of some vintage wood mouldings we scored at an estate sale a few years ago. We knew we wanted to do something special with it, but we were not sure exactly what that would be. When we gave our combination laundry room & powder bathroom a refresh, I knew I wanted to change the shelf over our washer and dryer to something more our style.
I think this design has a very Pottery Barn vibe, and it feels to me like a perfect blend between cottage & farmhouse! The previous one worked, but it was very sleek and utilitarian. Thankfully, Jimmy was game and was able to whip up exactly what I envisioned!
We decided to use some of our precious stash, and together we came up with a design that used both the crown moulding, as well as some additional moulding we bought with it, to create a seriously fat & chunky shelf. And when I say we… I mean, Jimmy mocked it up, and I said YES it’s perfect I love the design!
The great thing about it being custom is we were able to make it the exact length we needed and the perfect depth too, so that we could easily and fully open the washing machin lid! You’ll most likely want to make your shelf to fit your space, with both a custom length and depth. And it’s really easy to customize! For example, we made our shelf 55 inches long and 9 inches deep.
YOU WILL NEED:
Nail gun, lumber: crown moulding & favored trim, board for top shelf and bottom, compound miter saw (if you don’t have one of these, you may want to do some research into finding the best miter saws to help with future diy projects), tape measure, construction pencil, stud finder, level, drill & bits, screws, scrap lumber (for wall hanging), wood putty, sand paper, paint, paint brush.
- One board for the top shelf (we used Douglas Fir)
- Crown Moulding (ours was vintage, the wood species was Douglas Fir)
- Additional decorative moulding (again, ours was vintage, the wood species was Douglas Fir) ā often this wood piece is coordinating, sometimes called a double stack crown moulding
- Lumber, cut to fit for closing up/finishing the bottom
- Scrap for creating the brace and wall hanging portion
- Tape measure, construction pencil
- Compound miter saw/miter box
- Miter saw stand (makes it easier to use the saw, Read rolling miter saw stand Buying Guide on thesawlab for more information)
- Sand paper
- wood putty
- paint & brush
- stud finder
- drill and bits
- scrap lumber
TO MAKE YOUR SHELF:
Measure your main, large crown moulding piece to your desired length and make your 45* cuts to fit the one front and two side pieces together. Nail in place. You can glue and nail if desired. Set aside.
Next, repeat the same process with your smaller moulding pieces, cutting exactly the same length & depth as your larger crown pieces, and join them together.
Next, cut a board to fit along to bottom of the smaller moulding section. Nail this to the lower trim section. This will give the shelf a finished look.
Lastly, you will add what should be your largest board (this will be the top of your shelf) to fit atop the upper part of the crown moulding. Nail into place. This can exactly match the crown moulding, or you can go larger and extend it to create a lip or more of a profile for your shelf.
Fill any nail holes with putty, sand, sand rough edges, paint, stain or finish to your taste.
This next part is just something Jim completely made up. It will help you securely hang your shelf on the wall.
Jim added three sections of 2 inch thick scrap wood to the inside of the shelf, and screwed a length of 2 x 2 (checked for level) to it. Make sure you’ve got the 2 x 2 level! It’s very important.
Find the studs in your desired hanging location. Attach a pre-drilled 2 x 2 to the wall, again, check for level.
TIP: Pre-drill to prevent splitting your wood, and add screws about halfway in to make it easier to attach to the wall, all while keeping it level!
Lift the shelf to the wall and fit the 2 x 2 between the top of the shelf, and the 2 x 2 on the inside. Check for level if desired and make any adjustments. Drill through the top of the shelf (up close to the wall) right down into the 2 x 2 you screwed into the wall. That shelf shouldn’t be going anywhere now! Fill and touch-up over the screw holes. (You can counter sink them if you want to get fancy)
Our combination laundry/powder bath isn’t fancy, but it’s neat, clean & tidy and I love my chunky shelf! It’s the little bit of cute, in my mostly functional space!
While we were at it… Jim created a way to cover the exposed water & hose section by the washer. It’s simple and we used what we had on hand. Wood.
And afterwards, I painted it the same exact color as the wall.
We used wood as I said, and he made a box to cover the space, but still allow the hoses to exit the bottom.
To mount it, he made a little notch in the top of the box.
And added a screw & washer underneath the shelf.
The box slips onto the screw and slides snug up against the wall, but it’s really fast to remove if we need to!
Some of these photos were quickies with my cell phone but I think they give the general idea. If I missed or skipped anything, please leave a message and I’ll get back to you as fast as I can!
Back a few months ago we used the same general build-guidelines when we created a shelf for our living room. This time, I opted to leave the very chippy original paint color as-is.
Without painting to marry it all together, you can really see the top shelf addition.
I didn’t have the heart to paint over the thick old chippy paint though…