Since my wife’s perfume collection was literally taking up the bathroom, I built a lighted shelf in the bedroom to accommodate the many bottles she has. It also gives off a very nice glow at night.

Project Steps

Take one piece of your 1 x 4 and cut some square pieces (3/4″ by 3/4″ because the wood is not a true 1-inch width) the length your shelf is going to be. My shelf is 10 feet long, so I need 2 pieces of 3/4″ x 3/4″ x 10 feet. Also, you’ll need 2 smaller pieces for the ends. I put these in last to make a perfect fit.

Next, mark your 3/4″ x 3/4″ pieces on your 1 x 4 and put down glue. Put your 3/4″ x 3/4″ pieces and your end pieces on the glue strips, then clamp down and let dry.

Next, grab your Christmas lights (whatever color you choose; I liked the blue) and line up a drill bit for the size of the hole, then drill a hole in the end piece where you want the cord to come out. Next, use a router to cut a 1/8″-deep inner step to hold the plexiglass.

Now, sand the wood down nice and smooth, then apply your finish to it.

Next, measure the width of plexiglass you need to fit into your shelf groove, (because all router bits are different). Round the two ends of the plexiglass for each end of your shelf to fit in nicely to the routered ends.

Next, attach your Christmas lights with the provided securing method. Mine came with glue and screw-on tabs with tie wraps. I cleaned up the tie wrap ends once secured. Insert your power cord into the previously-drilled hole to the other connector.

Now, attach your brackets to the wall, minding where the studs are. To locate the first one I measured from the ceiling, and after locating the far right one I tied a string to both and used a level to gauge where my other brackets would be. In a pinch, you could measure from the ceiling down for every bracket. Please feel free to make use of indentured slave labor. Of course, do check if it is level and don’t be too discouraged if true level is not the same as your ceiling line. I also left a 3/8″ space between my shelf and the wall.

Next, plug it in and see if it works. I added a switch after the plug-in and before the AC to DC converter for ease of turning it off and on instead of unplugging it every time. Insert your plexiglass strips then put up whatever your heart desires (my wife desires her perfume!). I hope this brings some peace to you and your bathroom space. Enjoy!

Also, if you would like light coming from the bottom of your shelf, cut your 1 x 4 in half and add an even number of shims the width of your liking for desired brightness. I chose small Xmas lights because there was no restriction on enclosing them, and for $10.00 it was cheaper and easier than building a strip of LEDs myself. Also, if you want a little extra ambiance, instead of 1/8″ plexiglass you can use 1/4″ and that will give a nice little glow around the top of the shelf.


It's a very nice lighted shelf, the picture doesn't give it credit for being in a dark room. At the end of this project I'll also show you how to get light from the bottom as well.