Building a shelf is a beginner woodworking project and these free shelf plans include everything you need to get the job done. There are step-by-step directions, diagrams, photos, and tips on how to build a shelf. You'll have a quality shelf that looks great when you're finished.
There are all different styles of shelves here so be sure to look through all of them so you can find a shelf plan that will look great in your home, or make an excellent gift. There's everything from book cubbies to hanging towel bars for your bathroom.
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DIY Wood Wall Shelves
With just a few basic power tools and basic supplies, you can make these shelves from The Merrythought's free shelf plan. Beautiful pine board is used and is kept natural, giving it a modern feel. They're just deep enough for a medium-sized book and a few knick-knacks. There are sides on the shelves, so there's no need for bookends. These shelves are meant for a child's room but you could place them anywhere. A fresh coat of stain or paint would change the whole look.
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Modeled after a West Elm $179 pine cubby shelf is this free (given you already have the wood) knockoff from Jen Woodhouse, and it does a great job at looking identical. The shelf has three holding areas perfect for storing mail and magazines. It's 36" tall by 12" wide and 6.5" deep. It should take less than one day to complete this project. All the materials, tools and some more information about the shelf are included in a PDF file you can find at the Jen Woodhouse website.
Cubby Shelf from Jen Woodhouse
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This shelf is more an organizer because it can sit on another shelf or tabletop, but it can also be hung on a wall like a traditional shelf. The shelf is just over 28" wide and 8" tall. In addition to the main area, this plan details building a smaller area at the front of the truck for things like pencils. Every little detail for building this truck shelf like the cut list, materials that are needed, and more, are available at Ana White's website. That's My Letter has some more photos and details of this shelf that you can check out.
Truck Shelf from Ana White
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Scrap Wood Shelf
This shelf is a bit different than the others on this list because it's a more casual shelf, which may be exactly what you're looking for. Though it's not ideal that the instructions for building this DIY shelf aren't as detailed as some of the other plans from this list, it's simple enough to put together with the details that are given. All of the tools required to build this shelf are given in the plan, even with links to where to purchase them if you don't already have them.Continue to 5 of 12 below.
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Recycled Wood Pallet Shelf
There are plenty of things you can do with wood pallets, like build a simple wall-mounted shelf. The idea behind this shelf is very simple: cut out a section of a pallet, smooth down the edges, and attach a bottom to hold your things. There are lots of up-close pictures in this plan, so understanding how to make the shelf shouldn't be too hard at all.
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DIY Slat Wall Shelf
Get that casual coastal style with this DIY slat wall shelf. Its unique design leaves room for two shelves, four hooks, and even room for a small mirror if you'd like. A materials list is included so you can get started right away. There are no written directions, but a video helps you through each step of the process of building the shelf.
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Christmas Tree Shelf
This tree-shaped shelf is perfect for Christmas but also useful for any time of year. When finished, you'll have four shelves that, together, make the entire shelf 32" tall and just over 20" wide. You'll need 12 feet of 1x4 boards, some plywood, and other materials to build this shelf. The full list of materials and tools needed are listed out just before the instructions. Each step of the building process is documented in detail on Ana White's website and more pictures of the finished shelf can be seen at That's My Letter.
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Dog Bone Wall Shelf
A dog bone shelf is perfect for holding a leash, dog treats, and anything else you may use with your dog. The instructions in this free shelf plan come with real construction pictures, so it's pretty easy to make sure you're doing this right as you move through the steps. As you can see in the picture, this shelf includes hooks on the bottom and 15" to 16" shelf space on top.Continue to 9 of 12 below.
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DIY Wooden Snowflake Shelf
Also great for the holiday's is this snowflake shelf from Woodshop Diaries. The entire shelf is around 35" in diameter. Though this shelf seems complicated at first glance, we think you'll find it easy to work with if you walk through the steps carefully.
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Secret Floating Shelf
This free shelf plan is also from Rogue Engineer, but it's much different in design. While it functions as a normal shelf to hold pictures and other things, there's also a hidden compartment just below it that you can pull down to store items you don't really want to be lying around. Dimensions for this shelf are around 31" wide, 3.5" tall, and 10" deep. There's a short video you can watch that explains how the secret shelf opens.
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DIY Garage Shelves
Ana White's shelves are much larger than any of the others on this list but that's because they're to be used for storing large containers and other big items in your garage. The shelf as a whole stands 6 feet tall and 20 feet wide, with all 12 individual shelves measuring 20" tall by 55" wide. This garage shelving should be pretty easy to put together given that there's a common structure across the whole thing.
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Potted Herb Shelf Plan
Like some of the shelves in this list that are built for a specific purpose in mind, Home Hardware's plan is for a shelf that holds pots, like ones used for fresh herbs. The shelf is 34.5" wide and can hold five pots. Follow the steps and diagrams to build this shelf.