DIY Shelf Brackets

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DIY Wooden Brackets create your own.jpg



Shelf brackets can be SO expensive, and we didn’t want to go with the same old look that we’ve had in so many of homes (We’ve moved 12 times in the last two decades!)- those metal brackets that you mount onto those long metal pole things. That’s an official title there: “long metal pole things.” I’m sure my husband is laughing right now at my choice of words, but I’m sure you all know the type of shelving I’m discussing. It’s really meant for closets, but many people go this route because it’s relatively cheap, and truthfully, they might not consider a different alternative.

We wanted a super inexpensive way to mount the shelves in our playroom, and I saw some amazing brackets on Christina’s Adventures pictured below:


Christina’s home is so lovely, and I adore her blog! So I saw those brackets, and I knew that she had a tutorial for them somewhere, but much to my surprise, she purchased them from IKEA. But it spawned an idea for my DIY Wooden Brackets. It’s just a couple of cuts and bam, you have some brackets.

And really that is all there is to it. 

Achievable. Easy. Inexpensive. 

1. Gather your wood. Forage for it in your leftover pieces.

I used some extra 1×2’s that we had in our shed. I used two brackets per shelf, but you might want to consider more if your shelf will be holding substantial weight, or if you use MDF boards. We’ve been down the road with MDF boards, and we’re so over it. I promise you that they will all eventually bow in the middle, and they’re more expensive than pine boards. That’s just a side note for you. 😉

2. Cut your top and bottom pieces. Our top piece is 6 inches, and the bottom piece is 9 inches. Your measurements will depend on the size of your shelf, and how much weight will be held on your shelf. You can always make your brackets much longer than ours.

DIY Wooden Brackets measuements.jpg

3. Cut your connecting piece using 45 degree angles. This part can be a little bit tricky, but once you get the hang of the angles, you’ll have it down perfectly. The length of this piece isn’t super important if you get your angles at 45 degrees. It will fit in perfectly if your saw is lined up to the correct mark. You can make a 25-45 degree cut on the bottom piece if you’re feeling fancy!

4. Assemble your brackets. The tall man in the house would like for it be known at this point that he would have used a nail gun. I used a counter sink bit, a drill, and 1 inch screws. His way would probably be easier if you have a nail gun. But you can continue on and screw those suckers together just like I did!

DIY Wooden Brackets assembly.jpg

You’ll be making a connection at the top, and at the points where the inner piece connects the top and side piece. Countersink before you drill your screw in because 1) your wood will split if you do not, and 2) you don’t want your screw sticking out because it will make your shelf wonky and dis-leveled. I then used my pre-drill bit just for extra help before I screwed in my 1 inch screws. Pine is a soft wood, and it splits ALL OF THE TIME. So don’t skip this step. Use your drill and screw in your wood screws. 

5. Mount your brackets onto your wall. I also used my countersink bit at this point because I did not want my wood screws to show. This is entirely optional. We screwed our brackets into a wall stud.

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6. Fill in your holes with wood putty if you so desire, and paint! 







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You might love these other projects if you liked the DIY Wooden Bracket post: 

These shelves are in our playroom, and if you need help with your dress up clothes organization, check out this post here. 

Organize the Playroom
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  1. DIY Playroom Organization – Magnolia Simple | 25th Jan 17

    […] Love the brackets? I do! Here is the full tutorial for them:  […]

  2. Creating a Farmhouse Style Sign – Magnolia Simple | 6th Feb 17

    […] DIY Shelf Brackets […]

  3. aroma |tilecentre | 22nd Feb 17

    Thank you for sharing tips.You detailed everything in your post.I am thinking to do this in my room.I need more space for book.

  4. Travis | 18th Jan 18

    How exactly do you put a screw through the top of the board against the wall? The support board is blocking the way. One screw really isn’t enough to support any amount a weight even through a stud.

    • Michelle | 15th Feb 18

      I used a smaller drill that didn’t get banged around too much. Bigger brackets are easier to build using this method than smaller brackets. I did put these into a stud, and you’re right in that they’re definitely not as sturdy as traditional brackets with multiple screws. I have two screws holding each bracket, and we use the shelves as more of a decorative touch. If you like the particular look of these type brackets and would prefer something that holds more weight, you could use the hidden mount on the back. I was trying to keep this DIY cheap, easy, and without any special mounting devices. If you look on the hardware aisles, you’ll see the hidden mount brackets that would help you out.

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