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DIY Tutorial: Free Standing Shelves

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Time: 6 hours
Level of Difficulty: 4/10

This week, maker Holly talks us through their process of building a bookshelf from scratch (it's not as scary as it sounds!). So if your looking to make a little more space for storage, or just want to fill an afternoon with something that's not binging Netflix, this is the task for you!

Follow along with the steps below for a fun weekend task.

DIY Tutorial: Colourful Free-standing Shelves

What You'll Need:
  • Drill (with 4mm drill bit & screwdriver attachment)
  • Screws, I used 40x 60mmx5mm
  • Sandpaper
  • Paint
  • Varnish
  • Wood -

I bought all my timber pre cut to my preferred dimensions, this saved a lot of time and hassle, I used:

4x B&Q treated rough sawn spruce timber (1800x38x22mm)

5x B&Q Kosto shelf board (800x230mm)

Optional
  • Small brass plated cup hooks
DIY Tutorial: Colourful Free-standing Shelves
DIY Tutorial: Colourful Free-standing Shelves
Step 1: Sand & Paint
DIY Tutorial: Colourful Free-standing Shelves

Image of Step 1 (a)

DIY Tutorial: Colourful Free-standing Shelves

Image of Step 1 (b)

  • First, sand down the 4 long pieces of timber that would be the frame, I bought these rough sawn to save money which meant a lot more sanding, but it was lockdown so I had the time!
  • Then, paint these all with 2 coats of paint, leaving to dry in between (I used a light pink, but anything works).
  • Next, sand the shelves, I bought pre-cut shelves so I just gave them a light sanding before applying 2 coats of light blue paint.

Step 2: Measure

DIY Tutorial: Colourful Free-standing Shelves

Image of Step 2 (a)

DIY Tutorial: Colourful Free-standing Shelves

An example of screw placement

DIY Tutorial: Colourful Free-standing Shelves

A sketch to show example measurements.

I chose to space 5 shelves 36cm apart (in order to fit a 12” vinyl or a large bottle of gin) but any consistent spacing will work.

  • Use a tape measure to mark 36cm sections along the wood for the frame.
  • Next, at every 36cm line, mark 2 evenly spaced crosses, this is where the screws will go.
  • Then, get the shelf planks and on the front & back side of them mark where the corresponding holes will need to be (see the diagram above).

Step 3 - Drill

DIY Tutorial: Colourful Free-standing Shelves

Image of Step 3

DIY Tutorial: Colourful Free-standing Shelves

Image of Step 3

Once you have checked your measurement and are confident in them, it’s time to get the drill out!

  • Drill all the way through the frame wood where you marked the crosses.
  • Then, drill approximately 3cm into the wood at each end of the front and back of each shelf plank.

Step 4 - Screw

DIY Tutorial: Colourful Free-standing Shelves

Image of Step 4 (a)

DIY Tutorial: Colourful Free-standing Shelves

Image of Step 4 (b)

DIY Tutorial: Colourful Free-standing Shelves

Image of Step 4 (c)

DIY Tutorial: Colourful Free-standing Shelves

Image of Step 4 (d)

Tip!

As I was doing this outside, I lay a blanket down just to protect the wood from any scuffing or damage.

  • Prop up the shelves and screw the front two frame pieces on, then flip it over and screw on the back two.

Step 5 - Varnish

  • Paint the whole thing with 2 coats of varnish, leaving to dry in between.
DIY Tutorial: Colourful Free-standing Shelves
DIY Tutorial: Colourful Free-standing Shelves

Step 6 (optional) - Cup Hooks

This step is optional, but I put these on at the end as I wanted somewhere to store my necklaces without them getting constantly tangled.

  • On both sides of one of the shelves drill 5 small, evenly spaced holes.
  • Then by hand, screw in the hooks.
Tip!

As these are free standing, they're not the most structurally sound shelves, so avoid putting heavy items on the top levels.

DIY Tutorial: Colourful Free-standing Shelves
DIY Tutorial: Colourful Free-standing Shelves

Each shelf will turn out differently, depending on the measurements you decide on and your chosen colour scheme. We love the subtle pop of pink here, but its up to you!

Read our last DIY Tutorial here and remember to tag us in your creations (@wolfandmoonshop)!