Free Shelf Plans

Simple Shelf

Free shelf plans come in all shapes and sizes, so finding one that will work for your application shouldn't be a problem.

Free Shelf Plans - The Basics

Shelving can be used in lots of ways around the house. From strictly functional, as in a garage utility shelf, to something that works for storage and offers a designer touch too, like an over the tank shelf for a bathroom, shelving can be practical, flexible and decorative.

When you plan your shelving project, be careful to keep a few important things in mind:

Use Good Materials

Your project is only as good as the wood and hardware it's made of. If you're making a long shelf, consider choosing hardwood, and provide additional support to discourage warping. Even for purely utilitarian applications, using wood that's free of knots, straight and smooth will make using your finished project safer and more reliable.

Consider the Application

Take the time to evaluate your project by the way it will eventually be used. For areas that experience humid conditions, like around the kitchen sink or in bathrooms, make sure that wood is sealed before installing the project. If a shelf will be used in a room with period pieces or that has specific décor elements, match what's already in place. You don't necessarily have to match the wood, but stains, decorative scrolling, paint colors and scale are all important things to consider if you want your shelf to integrate well with the room.

Provide Enough Support

If you can't install the shelf using a stud for support, you can probably still put up shelving using an assortment of specialty screws, but make sure that you check the weight rating for your hardware. Additional bracing along the length of the shelf may be necessary too, particularly if it will be used to display valuable or heavy items.

Think About the Future

The shelf you're building today may be serving a very different purpose in a few years from what you envisioned. Going the extra step of sanding the wood well, staining or painting it carefully, bracing it to support additional weight and sealing it to withstand moisture will make your shelf more versatile and useful to you over the long haul.

Listing of Free Shelf Plans

The following list of plans offer variety and function for single and multi shelf arrangements. Whether you want a floor, desk or wall shelf, you'll find something here that fits the bill. When evaluating plans, your experience level may be an important consideration. Some plans are detailed, with photos, exploded views and lengthy instructions. Others are short and assume some knowledge of woodworking.

Tools may be a factor too. The more elaborate a shelf may look, with cutouts and decorative scrollwork, the more work and tools may be necessary to complete the project. If you're growing your woodworking hobby, fine. If not, investing in the expense of renting or buying the tools may not be worth it relative to the cost of buying a ready made, or ready to finish, bare wood shelf available through your local retailer.

Building Your Own Shelves

Regardless of the plans you choose, remember that the quality of the materials you use to create your shelves will impact their durability and sturdiness. Keep the end use in mind when selecting the design, wood, and other materials and you'll likley create a shelving unit that will serve you well for many years to come.

Free Shelf Plans