Project: Wall-Mounted Boxy Shelves

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By Sonya Nimri
Living in cramped quarters, every inch of one’s walls become precious real estate, where storage must be maximized and stylized to get the most for your space. These shelves are a great solution if you have wood from another project or random pieces lying around. I happened to find some oak table leaves in the alley that came in handy for this project.


3/4″-thick wood, 4 pieces at 11 3/4″ (L) x 9 1/2″ (W) x 3/4″, and a fifth piece at 11 3/4″ (L) x 2″ (W) x 3/4″
Measuring tape
Drill with the following attachments: Phillips head screw bit and countersink (if you are using a hardwood like oak or teak. For pine or MDF, no countersink attachment is needed.)
It is helpful but not necessary to have two drills so you don’t have to keep rotating the bits.
15 2″ screws


Step 1: Take your 4 pieces of 11 3/4″ (L) x 9 1/2″ (W) x 3/4″ wood and assemble them into a sideways box so that the two sides are on the top and bottom (it’s your choice on which length of the box will be the sides).
Step 2: Now it is time to set your screws into your first side, which is facing up. (You will be drilling down into the box.) Take a pencil and your measuring tape and mark your side in 3 places that are each 3/8″ down from the edge of your first side. 2 marks should be spaced 1″ from each end and then your third mark should be exactly in the middle.
Step 3: If you are using a soft wood like pine or MDF, you can drill your screws in right away starting at the ends, then drill the middle screw in. I used reclaimed oak, so in order for the screws to penetrate the wood, I needed to pre-drill holes. I used a countersink drill attachment, which leaves a perfectly shaped hole for the screw as well as room for the head of the screw to sink into the wood, leaving the surface of the box perfectly flat.
Step 4: Repeat steps 2-3 on the opposite end of the same piece of wood.
Step 5: Turn the box over and repeat Steps 2-4 on the other side. The fourth (last) edge might be the trickiest because the wood might stick out a little. This will happen if your screws aren’t perfectly straight on the other 3 edges. Not a problem – just hold it to form a right angle and drill away.
Step 6: Now for your long, slim piece of wood to mount your box to the wall. On the back of your box, mark the center, 3/8″ down from the top edge. Then hold the piece of wood in place, underneath the edge that you just marked (as shown in photo), and pre-drill a screw into your mark. Put a screw in.
Step 7: Measure out 2 more places to add 2 more screws. I put them 1″ from each side.
Step 8: Drill a couple of holes through the back of the long, slim piece of wood. I put mine 2″ from each side.
Step 9: Find your studs and attach your box to the wall by sinking the screws into the studs through your pre-drilled holes.
About the Author:
Sonya Nimri lives and crafts in a little house in Venice Beach, Calif. She is the author of two books: Beadalicious and Just for the Frill of It. Visit her at for lots of project ideas.

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