Wednesday, July 25, 2012

DIY Decorative Shelf~

It had been a while since I built something new and I was really craving a creative challenge.
I decided to buy a 2'X4' piece of mdf and see if I could make a shelf out of it.
***spoiler alert picture***

It ended up being a really fun project and not as complicated as I expected it to be.  

To save me some time I had The Home Depot make a few cuts for me. I believe they'll do 10 cuts free of charge. I wouldn't do that again for this type of project because their cuts aren't precision cuts and I had to recut the boards on the table saw when I got home anyway to get them straight.  I had them cut 3-6'' pieces from the 2' side and then 2-6'' pieces in the other direction.  

I took the 2 longer pieces and used them for the sides of the shelf. I drew a design on the bottom of one of the boards and then cut it out using the bandsaw.  I traced the shape onto the other side board and cut it out to match.  

The side boards ended up being about 30'' long.  

Initially I had them cut 3 smaller boards thinking that I'd have the top and 2 shelves be identical, but I decided to make the top board a half inch bigger in both directions so I could route it still have it be bigger.  I just lucked out that it matched so well because I really didn't know how much of it would be shaved off because of my router bit. It just happened to be exactly half inch.  

Here is a picture of the top and the sides. 
I didn't attach anything until I had everything cut out.
 It's just balanced to give me an idea of how things were coming together.   

Once I had the sides placed, 
I measure the distance between the boards to know what size the shelves needed to be.  
They were about 22.5'' long.  

I knew the decorative front pieces would be the trickiest part for me. 
I taped two pieces of paper together and drew half of the design on one side of the paper.
I had to do it a few different times before I came up with one that I liked.  

After figuring out the design, 
I folded the papers in half and cut them out so they would mirror each other perfectly. 

I traced the papers onto the board that was the same length as the shelves and used a bandsaw to cut them out.  

It's hard to make them really match exactly because it's hard to cut things out perfectly on a bandsaw.
It's just one of those things that I can't over analyze or it'd make me crazy.  

The last piece was a hanging  board.  It's 3'' tall and 22.5'' wide. I pre-drilled holes into the middle of the ends and attached it directly under the top of the shelf.  

I glued the pieces together and tacked them into place with a pneumatic nail gun.

I decided I'd like to use it in our office to hold some of my crafty knick knacks....but the office was kind of a disaster area, so I ended up painting one of the walls. 

I didn't want to spend any money, so I just picked a yellow color that we already had. I found some scrap pieces of boards in the garage that I could paint and use as make-shift trim.  

I kind of like painting shelves the same color as the wall. I think it blends well.  

It's nice have a place to stick all of the little things that junk up the office.   

That's about it! Not too difficult if you have access to a few power tools and it was pretty inexpensive!


  1. This is a beautiful shelf! I love all your projects, such an inspiration! Thanks :-))

  2. Your shelf turned out so nice. I love the shade of yellow you painted it. Beautiful job, Andy!

  3. Great job Andy! I have had HD cut my MDF too, and although the measurements were pretty close, they were on a slight slant !?

    MDF is heavy. I used several full sized sheets to build my media center. My first and last just of full sheets of mdf. But I got lots of scraps out of it that I've used here and there.
    I love that your little shelf matches the wall color.


    1. Thanks Gail! I'm sure your entertainment center looks gorgeous! You are so talented.

  4. Thank you so much for this post. I want to let you know that I posted a link to your blog in Creative Busy Bee Craft Inspirations, under the Page 1 post on Aug. 25, 2012. Thanks again.

  5. I am first coming your blog .Then I find the article.I think it is very good .You tell me the important information isabel marant


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