Build It

DIY Shelves for Around $15!

You may even be able to build these for free if you have scraps leftover from a bigger project or can find some lumber from the “free” section on craigslist.


We have a small bathroom, but we’re renting and can’t build shelves on the walls. All the shelves we found in the store were way too deep, and we wanted something we wouldn’t bump into every time we walked in the bathroom.


Build shelves the exact dimensions we wanted.


  • One 1″ x 8″ x 6′ board, cut into three equal pieces (shelves)
  • Two 1″ x 2″ x 8′ boards, cut into four 30″ pieces (legs)
  • Sandpaper
  • Stain or paint


Cut and sand all of your boards. Save the leftover you’ll have from the 1×2 so you can add a fifth “leg” at the end.

Your three shelves will be about 7.25″ x a little less than 24″

You can cut the legs to your desired length. Mine are 30″ each, with the 5th one in the back measuring about 26.5″ (I just matched it to the height of the top shelf).

I knew we’d be storing things on the top shelf, so I have the vertical pieces sticking up higher than the top shelf to help keep things from falling off. If you don’t like this look, just cut all of these to match the height of the top shelf.


Using Kreg, drill four pocket holes under each shelf where you want to attach a leg.

Pocket hole by each leg

Screw the bottom shelf to each of the 4 legs about 2″ from the ground.

Attach the middle shelf, then step back and make sure your shelves look even and not slanted. Even though I thought I had measured perfectly, one of my shelves kept looking tilted, so I had to unscrew and adjust. Attach the top, and step back again to check for level.

You can separate your shelves to the height you want, depending on what you’re going to store on them. The distance between the bottom and middle shelf as pictured is 11.5″ and from the middle to top is a little less than 11″, leaving 3.75″ sticking out above the top shelf.

For the back leg, I just used 3 nails and put a nail through the leg into each shelf. It faces the wall, so I wasn’t worried about making it pretty. If one of your 4 legs was off kilter and made your shelves not sit evenly on the floor, adding a 5th leg fixes that.

Just nail it on

And here is the finished product…

Here it is in our bathroom. Don’t get too jealous of the 1970s oak baseboards and doors. No fancy decorations or anything, but it holds so many things that were cluttering up the space underneath our sink and has made such a difference!

Bathroom Storage!

You could build these for a kids’ room or a corner in your home…make it decorative or practical.

The Finish

Always start with a wood conditioner. I use Minwax.

For the finish on this project I used Minwax Dark Walnut Stain to give it a dark base.  Then, I dry brushed with gray and white until I got a driftwood look that I liked.

Don’t forget to follow FindFixBuild on Pinterest, Twitter and Instagram to see upcoming projects.


  1. That’s great you figured out a way to add removable shelving, this is perfect for anyone renting a house but needing to install storage space. Thanks for sharing your DIY shelves for under $15 with us at the #HomeMattersParty this week.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.Required fields are marked *