Easy Wooden Wall Shelf
Can Be Built in 1 Hour.

This Wall Shelf Creates Behind Door Storage!

Difficulty Level:  Beginner

This easy wooden wall shelf plan is a fantastic project for the beginner woodworker!

It only has 5 pieces, and all of the pieces are cut from standard size wood easily available at any home center.

It goes together easily, and gives the beginner both a sense of satisfaction and feeling of confidence.

Only a Few Hand Tools Are Needed.

Because this easy wooden wall shelf plan was designed for the  beginner, there are only a minimal amount of tools needed.

The woodworking hand tools used are:

Only Power Tools
Needed are
a Saw and a Drill.

The woodworking power tools used to make these pocket hole jig plans are: 

  • saw; and
  • drill.

The saw could be a jig saw, circular saw or table saw.  All of the cuts will be straight lines.

The List of Materials For This Easy Wooden Wall Shelf.

To make a 30" wide shelf, you will need the following:

  • (1) 1x4  4' long;
  • (1) 1x3 4' long; and
  • (1) 1x2 4' long.

You may not be able to buy 4' lengths at your local home center, but if you have 4' lengths in the scrap pile, they would work.  Our local store sells 6' lengths.

Only Hardware Needed is Pocket Hole Screws.

Because we made this of 3/4" thick pine, we used 1 1/4" coarse pocket hole screws.  This is the most often used screw, and should be available at your local hardware store.

If you can't find them there, click on the links here to get them from Amazon.

Approximate Cost to Build This Wall Shelf.

The cost of materials for this easy wooden wall shelf, when made out of pine, is approximately $20.  If you have any scrap 1x4s, 1x3s or 1x2s, it could be made for much less.

This cost estimation does not include the cost of finishing, nor the cost of any hangers.

All the Pocket Hole Joinery is Right Angle.

The only pocket hole joinery used for these wall shelf plans is right angle joinery.

The Kreg right angle clamp is very helpful with those joints.


Cut the Two Ends of The Wall Shelf.

The end pieces are cut from 1x4s, which are actually 3/4" thick and 3 1/2" wide.  These ends will not have pocket holes.

CAUTION:  The side pieces kept splitting when we drove the pocket hole screws into them.  At first, I thought it was because we switched drills, and the second one was more powerful.  But it happened again.  So we made side pieces from 2x4s.  They split, too.  We ended up using some scrap 3/4" plywood, which did not split.

I had read about this problem before:  When the pieces are joined right at the edge - rather than having an offset - the second piece often splits at the corner.  This is the first time it happened to me, though.

This plan, designed to fit behind a door, did not allow for an offset because the shelf space is so narrow.

Cut the Shelf From 1x4s.

Your next step is determine how wide you want this easy wooden wall shelf to be.

Our first one was 30" wide and made to fit behind a bedroom door.  Our second one was 26" wide and made to fit behind a garage door.

Whatever width you decide on, subtract 1 1/2", and that will be the length of the shelf to cut in this step.

That will also be the length to cut the back and the rail.

Cut the Back from 1x3s.

A 1x3 is actually 3/4" thick and 2 1/2" wide, so all you have to do to make the back is cut it to the same length as you cut the shelf.

Next Cut 1 Rail from 1x2s.

Cut one rail the same length as you cut your shelf and your back, except that this piece is cut from a 1x2.

As before, a 1x2 is actually 3/4" thick and 1 1/2" wide.

You Are Ready to Set Up Your Kreg Jig.

Your next step is to drill the pocket holes using the 3/8" Kreg drill bit.  Set the pocket hole drill to 3/4", which is the thickness of all of the material used in this wall shelf plan.

You will also need to set the pocket hole drill guide to 3/4".

If you are not sure how to do these settings, review the Kreg jig K4 set-up process.

If you have a Kreg Jig K5, click here for the set up process.

This Diagram Shows Where to Drill The Pocket Holes.

This diagram shows the back of this easy wooden wall shelf.   It shows where "all" of the pocket holes will be drilled, with the exception of the ones going up from the back into the bottom of the shelf.

As discussed below, how many pocket holes you will drill along the top of the back piece depends on the length you have chosen.

Drill 2 Pocket Holes On Each End of the 3 Long Pieces.

Normally, you don't have to be concerned about getting the pocket holes evenly spaced.  But there are a couple of considerations with these easy wooden wall shelf plans.

The first is that the 1x2 is narrow.  The pocket holes will have to be close together, so use the A and B positions on your Kreg drill guide.

The second is that you want the pocket holes on the ends of your shelf piece to be at least an inch from the back, so that there is no conflict with the screws attaching the back to the shelf.

Drill More Pocket Holes in The Back.

Your next step is to drill pocket holes that will attach the back to the shelf.  Drill one on each end, about 3 inches away from the edge.

How many more you need depends upon how wide you made your shelf.  On our 30" wide shelf, we used 3 more pocket holes, for a total of 5.  On the 26" wide shelf, we only used 2 more.

The general rule of thumb is to use one every 5 to 7 inches.

The photo shows the back being attached to the shelf.

This is a Good Time to Sand!

Sanding this easy wooden wall shelf is much easier if the bulk of the sanding is done before assembly.

You will still need to do some sanding after the pocket holes in the shelf are filled with pocket hole plugs.

Next Step is to Attach the Back to One Side.

The back is easily lined up with the bottom and back of one side.

If you have a right angle clamp, holding the two pieces together is much easier.

We did this step about 6 times because the wood was splitting.  Once we switched to 3/4" plywood for the side pieces, this easy wooden wall shelf went together very quickly!  See Caution above.

Set the Shelf on Top of the Back.

Determine if you want your pocket holes on the top or bottom of your shelf.  On our first one, we put them on the bottom, but they are more likely to be seen on the bottom.

On our second shelf, we placed them on the top. With items sitting on the shelf, they will not be noticeable.

When your shelf is aligned with both the back and the side, clamp in place, and drive the pocket hole screws from the shelf into the side.

Attach the Shelf to the Back.

This photo shows checking that the joint was square.

You can now drive the pocket hole screws from the back into the shelf.

Next Attach the Rail at the Front of the Shelf.

Align the front rail with the front top of the first side, and drive the pocket hole screws.

The Last Piece to Attach is the Second Side.

With just a couple of more pocket hole screws, the wall shelf is fully assembled!

The Scrap Plywood Had An Ugly Gap.

Since we planned to paint this wall shelf white we just used drywall mud to fill the gap. (Oh, yeah, and because the wood filler tube was all dried up.)

Our Easy Wooden Wall Shelf is Ready to Paint.

When it is painted and hung on the wall, I will add another photo.

We Have More Wall Shelf Plans!

To see all of the wall shelf plans we have available, click here, or on the photo.

The wall shelf in the photo was a custom order.

We Also have Shaker Furniture Plans for the Beginner Woodworker!

Check out the benches, hamper, blanket chest and more at this link.

Or click on the photo.

Most of these plans are suitable for the beginner woodworker.

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