Wednesday, June 17th, 2009

Ali’s DIY Shelving


Posted by Ali | View all posts by Ali
33 Comments » | Published in DIY, General  |  33 Comments

DIY Shelving

I know we are not out of the recession yet so I thought I’d share our DIY shelving project. If you have a drill to make some holes in a few wood boards, you can make this!

Here’s what you need, all of which can  be found at your local hardware store:

*  3 fir boards (good to let these dry out a bit so sap doesn’t get all over your things)
*  6 all thread rods
*  36 sets of nuts and washers to sandwich the boards
*  6 coupling hex nuts to use as feet
*  a drill

1.) Drill holes in all four corners as well as in the center edges of the boards. We stacked all three boards on top of one another so the holes would be placed in a similar spot on each board.

2.) Put a hex nut on each rod. Add a nut/washer above the hex nut. Insert the rods in the freshly cut holes of one of the boards. Sandwich the board with another set of nuts/washers.

DIY Shelving #1

3.) Add another set of nuts/washers to each rod placing the set at the midpoint of the rod. Top it off with a board and again sandwich the wood with the nuts/washers. Continue this process for the top board.

4.) Make sure you have some bad TV on in the background.

5.) Adjust the washers/nuts as needed so the boards are level.

DIY Shelving #2
6.) Clean up.

7.) Put the bad TV on your new shelving to test your work.

8.) Fill the shelving with your favorite trinkets!

About Ali:
I enjoy wood paneled station wagons, German food and senior citizens (I am 80 years old at heart). Nearly every weekend I am taking photos at other people's weddings and I have a blog of my own (but I don't update it often enough). I love to paint, sew and knit. Check out my DP Staff profile on Hatch.

About Ali

Ali has written 149 post in this blog.

I enjoy wood paneled station wagons, German food and senior citizens (I am 80 years old at heart). Nearly every weekend I am taking photos at other people's weddings and I have a blog of my own (but I don't update it often enough). I love to paint, sew and knit. Check out my DP Staff profile on Hatch.


Filed under DIY, General  |  33 Comments


  1. Matt says:

    June 17th, 2009 at 9:34 am (#)


  2. Lisa S. says:

    June 17th, 2009 at 9:57 am (#)

    Gorgeous design. Can you please provide dimensions on how wide/long the boards are?

  3. ali says:

    June 17th, 2009 at 10:22 am (#)

    Hey Lisa,

    Lumberyards call the boards 2″x12″ which refers to the thickness and the width of the boards…although I think they are really 1.5″x11″. You can find them in all different lengths…I think our boards are 10 feet long.

    Glad you like it!


  4. Owen says:

    June 17th, 2009 at 10:05 pm (#)

    Hi Ali

    very cool shelf idea, I like the use of the threaded rod. Oh and I can’t tell for sure, but if the boards in this article are a smooth cut, then you’re right they are only 1.5″ x 11″. They’re called 2″x12″ cause thats the size before they machine (or gauge) the rough edges off.

    Worked in a lumber yard for a year…

  5. French furniture says:

    June 18th, 2009 at 7:56 am (#)

    He’s done such a good job. It looks great!

  6. Becky says:

    June 18th, 2009 at 8:51 am (#)

    Ali, I love it, it looks gorgeous!

  7. david says:

    June 18th, 2009 at 2:57 pm (#)

    omg, awesome, just awesome !…He’s cute and handy with his hands, is he single ?

  8. Mongoose1 says:

    June 18th, 2009 at 3:59 pm (#)

    Love these and may build these for my TV!

  9. brian says:

    June 19th, 2009 at 12:52 am (#)

    Wow that looks great! I’m gonna go to Lowe’s to get the materials tomorrow. One question- how stable is it? Does it wobble from side to side much?

  10. Josh says:

    June 19th, 2009 at 7:22 am (#)

    Could you take some more detailed photos of the threaded rods, hex nuts, washers, etc?

    What size are the all thread rods? Do they come in different diameters etc?

    Love the look of this.

  11. Josh says:

    June 19th, 2009 at 7:34 am (#)

    oh! forgot a question

    Total cost and time?

  12. lindsey says:

    June 19th, 2009 at 12:22 pm (#)

    it’s beautiful! how much weight do you think that baby can hold? i have a HEAVY telly.

  13. Michael H says:

    June 20th, 2009 at 12:37 am (#)

    Hi Ali,

    Sure the system looks good, but what about lateral bracing? You really don’t have any, so if I were teeter your shelf back and forth like I’m scratching a record, it might not be so cool right?

    Looks nice and clean though.

  14. Becky says:

    June 20th, 2009 at 6:06 am (#)

    Ali, you guys should submit this to ReadyMade!

  15. Josef F says:

    June 20th, 2009 at 6:04 pm (#)

    Looks great! Any idea what the maximum weight capacity would be?

  16. phil says:

    June 21st, 2009 at 2:00 pm (#)

    i like this set up so much…..i just finished building one.

    mine is half as long (wish i had a wall long enough for
    the full 12′ though) and with only four all thread rods
    instead of six. very easy to build and didn’t take much
    time at all.

    total cost was around $90. not bad considering i couldn’t
    get anything close to it for the same price.

    i will add that having a good wrench to really cinch those
    nuts down is a big help. once it is all tight and right, this
    shelving unit is pretty sturdy (even laterally) and should
    be able to hold a lot of weight.

  17. Ali says:

    June 21st, 2009 at 2:21 pm (#)

    Hey folks,

    Sorry for not answering your questions sooner! Some answers:

    David: sorry, the boyfriend is taken, ha!

    Re stability: the shelving is actually super stable. Living in an earthquake prone area (bay area) I’d say this is actually more stable than something we could have purchased from Ikea. The key is to get the sandwiched washers/nuts between each board nice and tight. If I shake the shelving back and forth it doesn’t move at all. You could add lateral bracing if you worry about stability, but it certainly isn’t necessary for us.

    Materials questions:
    * The all thread rods that we used were 3/4 inch in diameter and were about 4 feet long. We cut them down using a hacksaw so the shelving would be at the height we wanted for our space. You can find different diameter rods, just make sure your nuts, washers, coupling hex nuts fit! An example of the all thread rod:
    * An example of the coupling hex nut:
    * An example of the hex nuts:
    * An example of the washers:

    (All images are just to give you an idea as to what to look for. Make sure your washer/nuts/coupling nuts fit your rod!)

    * Depending on how secure your final shelving is…I think you could put quite a bit of weight on it without any cause for concern. I’m about 120lbs and I think a few of me could easily sit on top of the piece without causing the shelving to move in any way (although this wouldn’t be comfortable!)

    * It is important when you buy boards from the lumber yard to let them dry out for a few days. Otherwise sap may drink on your trinkets. We left our boards raw, without any stain or oils on them. Adding a top coat would add an additional few days to the process.
    * Actual construction time: we put the entire piece together while the Emmy Awards were playing in the background…so a few hours? It is helpful to have an extra hand to hold the boards together while you drill and to screw washers/nuts on.

    * Total estimated cost: under $100.

    Have fun guys!


  18. SGP says:

    June 26th, 2009 at 8:55 pm (#)

    Hi Ali,
    This looks so nice yet easy to do. Which lumber yard in the bay area did you buy your fir boards.?


  19. Ali says:

    June 29th, 2009 at 8:57 am (#)

    SGP–we got our boards and all the hardware at Ashby Lumber but you can get the same boards at Home Dept, I believe. Make one!


  20. Simple DIY Fir and Metal Shelving | ReadyMade Magazine says:

    June 30th, 2009 at 1:53 pm (#)

    […] Full instructions and fun process shots at the original post. […]

  21. First Time Furniture Builders Tackle a Media Console « Ad Astra per Aspera says:

    July 6th, 2009 at 11:43 pm (#)

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  22. Anne says:

    July 6th, 2009 at 11:54 pm (#)

    Thank you for this wonderful idea! My husband and I rushed straight out and built our own version of “your” shelves – with a few customizations of our own that enhance the utility and structural integrity of the unit.

    I posted pics, instructions, and our own shopping list here:

    Great project! Thank you!

  23. rene says:

    July 12th, 2009 at 1:09 am (#)

    …could you make some detailed pictures of the consturction, especially of the rods? thx

  24. Do it yourself says:

    July 14th, 2009 at 4:06 am (#)

    Great job Ali. Your do it yourself shelf looks pretty cool!

  25. Wakefield Plasterers says:

    August 6th, 2009 at 2:44 am (#)

    Brilliant work Ali! Im gonna try make my own at the week end… If it goes well ill let yano, fingers crossed ey 🙂

  26. DIY Long, Low Shelving | Pad: Home and Decor says:

    August 18th, 2009 at 3:57 am (#)

    […] they’d benefit from a coat of glossy white paint for a sleeker appearance. Click over to the Design Public Blog to read about the […]

  27. Mandy says:

    December 6th, 2010 at 11:41 am (#)

    Beautiful Design!

  28. Hannes says:

    October 3rd, 2011 at 4:45 pm (#)

    Hi there!

    I just built one 3 meters high – the good thing is that it is possible to press the whole thing up using the nuts and press it against the ceiling 🙂

    Thanks for the lovely idea!

  29. Sparky614 says:

    December 2nd, 2011 at 1:19 pm (#)

    Have to say, this was just great and you saved me on a garage shelving issue I’ve been looking at. Great diy!

  30. Wire Shelving says:

    February 27th, 2012 at 4:20 am (#)

    Haha Nice post, saved lots of space and mess !! shelves work.

  31. Ted Manner says:

    September 26th, 2012 at 11:12 am (#)

    Looks incredible. Did you use some kind of finisher to prevent that fresh wood splintering? Nice job btw and its under 100$. Perfect for me :]

  32. Natalie says:

    June 22nd, 2014 at 6:19 pm (#)

    Well, here I am 5 years after this was originally posted, and I just made one of these myself! It was my first diy furniture piece and I love it. Mine is 6 feet across, cost a little over $100 with everything from Lowes and it’s freaking great. Thanks for leaving this how-to up because my final product is making my apartment and me very happy 🙂

  33. Immobilien in Neumünster says:

    December 12th, 2014 at 3:08 am (#)

    Immobilien in Neumünster

    Ali’s DIY Shelving | Hatch: The Design Public® Blog

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