I love making custom shelves and organizational racks! It effectively increases the storage of any cabinet, room, or closet, and makes organization a cinch!
You can easily and inexpensively make your own shelves and storage racks with one simple (and really cool) hack. Corbels with existing key hole fittings. It makes this DIY a breeze that even a beginner can handle! The corbels are pretty (and you didn’t have to make them), the key hole fittings make hanging the shelves a breeze (and you didn’t have to create them either!). Ready to learn how to build your own DIY Corbel Shelves?
Custom shelves and organizational racks effectively increases the storage of any cabinet, room, or closet, and makes organization a cinch!
HERE’S WHAT YOU’LL NEED
- Saw (jig or miter)
- Screw driver
- Hammer + punches and nail setter
- Optional: sander
- Wood Corbels 6 x 8″ (or size of your choice): ($1.98 ea @ Home Depot)
- Craft Wood: 1/4 x 2 x 2 Poplar board ($1.16 ea @ Lowes)
- Furring Strip: 1 x 4 x 6 (cut to 2′ length or length of choice)
- Wood Screws: #8 x 1 x 1/2″
- Small finishing nails
- Sand paper
- Wood glue
STEPS TO BUILD CUSTOM CORBEL SHELVES
- Cut your furring strip and your craft wood to the desired length to be fit your door (for me that is 24″). Next you will measure and cut the base of your corbel to the the same size as the furring strip width (mine is 4″). Sand all your pieces well.
- Assemble all your pieces to the way it will look when finished to ensure a proper fit. Now, using wood glue, adhere the 2 corbels to the furring strip and let it dry fully. Glue will make the rest of the project simple to execute.
- Once the glue is dry, drill pilot holes from the bottom of the furring strip into the corbel (which is your shelf sides). To do this, hang the shelf off the edge of a bench. Then insert your screws.
- Add your craft wood to the front using small finishing nails. Lay the shelf down on the side and nail down, starting with a single nail on one side, then adjusting the wood if necessary and adding a single nail to the other side. Now you can add the second nail to either side without it shifting and lining up incorrectly.
- If there are any gaps from slight wood warps (or less than straight cutting), fill the any gaps with caulk (or wood filler if you plan to stain it). Once that dries, paint (or stain) your shelves however you’d like!
TIP FOR CORBEL CUTTING
Often as a beginner or someone with limited tools, it’s hard to figure out the right way to cut something. To cut the wood pieces and corbels you could use a jig saw, but if you have own a miter saw it is SO much easier. You’re cutting a small part of the corbel, and we don’t want you putting your hands near the blade, so place a piece of furring strip next to the corbel, and one overlapping on top, be sure your blade is lined up to the marked line, then secure in place before cutting.
BEFORE BUILDING, TAKE NOTE
Sometimes the keyhole will be installed on the wrong side of the corbel for your needs. I mean, you don’t want to glue the keyhole down to the shelf you know? Just unscrew it and move it to the opposite face if that is the case. Just be sure that the small end of the keyhole faces the top. Trust me, I’m grateful for a keyhole fitting I don’t have to create myself, it makes hanging these shelves simple!
HOW TO ATTACH YOUR SHELVES
You now have a beautiful set of shelves, but how do you attach them to your door (or wall)? No worries, I’ve got you covered with those instructions as well!
- Place your shelf on a piece of craft paper. A roll is best. Cut with some room around it.
- Trace the sides and bottom. Stay as flush to the wood as possible.
- Without moving the paper, pull the two sides up and adhere to the shelf with some painters tape.
- Gently flip over the shelf, face down with the paper still attached. With a pencil do a rubbing over the keyhole on either side.
- Remove the paper, flip it over and trace the imprint outline of the keyhole exactly.
- Now you have a template with an outline of the bottom, the sides, and the keyhold to use. Stick on your door (or wall) with painters tape on either side, then use a level on the bottom line drawing to ensure it is straight and level.
- Now you can drill directly through the paper ( make sure you are consistent with exactly where you drill). Then you can add your screws, and install the shelf!
And there you have it! Gorgeous new shelves, all dressed up with nowhere to go. So go add some stuff and get your spaces organized!