Ridiculously Easy DIY Alcove Shelves
Time: 2 hours (+ time for paint/stain to dry)
Materials: Wood, paint or stain, saw, drill
We've been updating our basement lately and one thing we really wanted were some shelves for our DVDs. Ben and I have a ridiculous amount of movies considering we never actually watch any of them. We thought maybe if they were visible we'd be more inclined to watch them (spoiler alert: we still haven't haha but maybe soon!).
Right at the bottom of the stairs we had this weird alcove. It was too narrow to really do anything with, but then I realized it was almost the exact same depth as a DVD! We thought that would be the perfect spot for our DVD shelves. I also was feeling kind of lazy and didn't want to do anything too difficult or fancy (like floating shelves or fancy brackets) and I didn't want to spend a ton, which leads us to these insanely easy and cheap DIY alcove shelves!
Get the Wood.
This wall was about 35 inches wide and a DVD is about 5.5 inches deep. We wanted around 6-7 shelves, so we got four 1x6's that were 72 inches long, that way we could make 2 shelves out of each piece of wood.
I cut the wood into 35 inch long pieces. If you have a saw you can do this at home, but you can always ask the people at Lowe's to cut them for you!! Sometimes they charge like, 25 cents a cut, but it's worth it if you don't have a miter or table saw.
Because these shelves were going to be in an alcove and there was wall on either side of the shelves, I decided to do a super simple wood bracket that I could attach to the walls and then the shelves would just sit nicely on top! (Don't worry if that didn't make sense, I'll show you!)
I used some scrap wood I had lying around for the brackets, but you could also just get another piece of 1x6 and cut it into smaller pieces!
For mine, I cut a 2x6 into 2 inch slices, like this:
Stain (or paint, whatever floats your boat!)
I used Minwax Jacobean stain. It's my favorite. It's a really nice dark brown. I applied the stain with a rag, then wiped it off in about 5 minutes. The color will be different depending on how long you let it sit, how many coats you do, etc.
The first step is to drill pilot holes in your brackets. I am not a perfectionist so I didn't even measure, I just drilled two holes in each piece. If you want it to all match and be even you can measure, but it honestly doesn't matter, it will attach to the wall the same way whether the holes are even or not!
Attach Brackets & Boards
Next I just screwed the brackets into the wall. This part is slightly tricky because you need the brackets to be completely level AND at exactly the same height, or else the shelves won't be straight or level.
I measured exactly 12 inches from the ceiling on both walls and made a mark, then I made sure each bracket was level and at the exact right height before I screwed them in. Once you do a few, you get the hang of it pretty quickly!
I put one of the boards in to make sure it was level.
And then I just repeated the same thing until I had enough shelves!! For reference, these are all 12 inches apart.
And that's literally it!! The easiest DIY Alcove Shelves ever! We filled it with our DVDs and a few odds and ends and then that's it!
Now our DVDs are all out for us to (hopefully) watch and it added a really nice element to the blank space at the bottom of the stairs!!
This project's imperfections: These are not all perfectly level. They're good enough, but definitely not perfect. The brackets and boards aren't all the same size (I got real lazy with my cutting), but they're all close enough that I don't think you can tell!
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