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How to make 2 shelves for under $15

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randomosity: How to make 2 shelves for under $15

Thursday, January 28, 2010

How to make 2 shelves for under $15

Okay, so I realized about halfway through my somewhat difficult shopping trip to Home Depot that I should've made this one of my goals. Darnit. You live and you learn.

If you have any of these supplies on hand, your cost will be less. I think the total was $14.32 at the store, for all the supplies I used except paint. You can buy a sample of paint for like $2 though, so you can still keep your costs very low.

Supplies Needed:

One piece of wood, cut in half ($5.39)
L-Brackets - 1 for every 12" of wood, at least 2 for each shelf ($1.27 each)
Sandpaper ($3.47 for a block, you can get it for under $2 at Wal-Mart per sheet)
Paint (had on hand)
Paint brushes (had on hand)
Screws (the neighbor gave me a few screws)
Electric screwdriver or drill

First, pick out the piece of wood you'd like to use. I have no idea what size mine was. We looked at 2x8s and 2x10s so whatever you like the best. If you're making smaller shelves, it will cost you less (or you can make more shelves for the same price). Have the hardware store cut it in half -- Home Depot makes up to 6 cuts for free.

Next, grab some L-Brackets. You will need to pick out the right size according to the wood you pick out.

If you don't have screws or paint and brushes on hand, you will have to purchase these. Same goes for sand paper. I recommend buying some craft paint for $1 a bottle, because you won't use much. You can get paint brushes at the Dollar Store for $1 as well. Same goes for screws - if you don't have them on hand, make sure you purchase some. You will need bigger ones to go into the wall and smaller ones to go into the wood itself, to hold the L-Bracket to the wood.

Once you get all the supplies you need, head home and get to work! It can get a little messy, so cover your area with newspapers or work outside.

Sand the edges of the wood down. If you're going to paint the shelf (I painted one, didn't paint the other), you need to sand the whole piece of wood down.

Next, unless you're going for the "natural" look, it's time to paint.

I put 3 coats and I recommend you do the same. Paint the top AND bottom, and 3 of the sides. You can leave one long side unpainted, as it will be against the wall.

While the paint is drying, you can start setting up to hang the shelf. You will need to screw the L-Brackets into a stud (the piece of wood behind the drywall on your wall). Hint: The studs are 16" apart. If you find one, you can find another. Here is my neighbor helping me find a stud in my bedroom. ;)

We put a little dot where the studs were, so we wouldn't lose them. After the paint dries, you want to screw the L-Brackets into the wood. Place the screw on the underneath side of your shelf, and make sure the longest part of the bracket is under the wood. The short side will screw into the wall. Use the shorter screws to screw the bracket into the wood, and the longer screws to hang them on the wall. In this picture, I am screwing the bracket (WITHOUT the shelf attached) to the wall. You should actually "create" the shelf and THEN screw it into the wall.

Use a level if you aren't sure if it's straight. Continue until all L-Brackets are secure and voila! you have yourself a shelf!

This is so easy, anyone can do it. I've never worked with a piece of wood, ever (even though both of my parents were carpenters at one time!). I've also never painted anything! These shelves are awesome! I left mine unpainted but you could stain it if you'd like to have a "finished" wood look.

Two shelves for under $15. Amazing, right?? :)

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At April 5, 2011 at 8:47 PM , Blogger Hiswifey05 said...

this is really cool. I wonder if my landlord will let me do this


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