How To: Build a Closet Shelf

Somewhere along the line of planning out my closet, and in a desire to put my husband’s carpentry skills test, I decided I wanted to build a shelf. The shelf was a smaller part of what you’ll later see turns into a wall of jewelry.

That’s right, a wall of jewelry.

Before I get to any of that, here’s how we built a shelf for the corner of my closet. I wanted something strong enough for me to put a few trays for earrings, as well as give me lots of room underneath for added storage. Luckily, Justin was on board so we got to building!

We started with a piece of plywood that they cut to size for us at Home Depot and a couple of 1×6 boards.

The first step was finding the studs and nailing the first board into the wall. The top of the board was going to hold the shelf, so we made sure to measure the height to exactly where we wanted it. Next, we did the same thing with the remaining board.

Once both boards were up on the wall, we double-checked that our brackets would fit snugly underneath the shelf. One bracket got screwed on the right side of the shelf and one in the middle. The picture below shows the bracket after it was screwed into the back board, but before we screwed it into the front of the shelf.

Meanwhile, I prepped the plywood and trim pieces. They each got a coat of glossy white paint. There’s nothing a coat of glossy white paint can’t fix. Amen.

Here it is after the brackets have been affixed and the trim has been nailed in place. For some reason the right side looks like it wasn’t painted, but it’s actually just a shadow. We chose trim that would create a lip around the edge of the shelf in case I knocked over a bowl of jewelry. It’s not like I’m clumsy or anything *cough,cough*.

Once everything was up on the wall, I took some white caulk and filled in any seams like you can see in the picture below. A friend told me to tape either side of the crack before you caulk and pull it up right after. It worked perfectly!

The last step for making this shelf was to create a fabric skirt to add a little more closed storage. I laid the fabric on the table and cut it to the correct length.

Next, I broke out one of my favorite inventions ever, no-sew tape. This stuff is great! It gave me crisp, clean edges without ever having to break out the thread.

And finally, the finished product! You can even see a sneak peak of the rest of the jewelry wall. I love the bright white paired with the dark fabric. It has such a fun texture, but since it’s black it doesn’t compete with the rest of the colors and patterns in the room.

Not too shabby for two people with very limited building experience. What about you guys? Build anything lately?



5 Responses to “How To: Build a Closet Shelf”

  1. Meghan March 1, 2012 at 2:03 PM #

    Love it! And Yay- glad the caulk/tape thing worked for you. Ben taught me that trick, and it saved us a lot of headaches in Josey’s nursery! =)

  2. Jeanine March 4, 2012 at 3:16 PM #

    So perfect!! I love what you guys have done with your house, and this closet and jewelry shelf is amazing. It’s so creatively beautiful, and I can’t wait to see what you do next! :)

    • Jennifer March 4, 2012 at 6:08 PM #

      Thanks Jeanine, we were so glad y’all got to come by! You guys are THE cutest family!

  3. sarah max February 28, 2013 at 2:42 PM #

    Thank you SO much for inspiration for my own jewelry organizer!!! I used the same concept but sunk it into the wall and covered the whole thing with a mirror that swings out. (thanks to my Dad for the backup on that part!) Just wanted to share an idea I just came up with while hanging up the jewelry on the rods. I have been using this idea on clothes hangers to make them non-slip. At Home depot, in the plumbing dept. there is some clear flexible tubing. Get a size that is the same or smaller size than your dowel. it needs to be snug, of course. I ended up just cutting each piece lengthwise and sliding it on the dowel. if you cut the length so it fits between the hooks, it will keep the stick from sliding back and forth and also keep the jewelry from sliding around, and possible off the stick when it’s removed. Enjoy!!!

    • Jennifer March 8, 2013 at 11:13 AM #

      Sarah- That sounds like it turned out great! I’d love to see a picture!

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