Lo’ and behold, DIY rustic shelves! This is the first of many projects that we’ll be showing you guys.

This is a good start on the road to crafty self-reliance (you still should rely on some materials though). We built these shelves using pallet wood, but that doesn’t mean you can’t use other sources. Please don’t expect this project to be done in a matter of minutes because it won’t be. The time to complete it is fairly reasonable and will lessen as you gain experience. You’re looking at 2-3 hours including measuring, cutting, sanding, assembling, and varnishing your creation. But this is your project, so you don’t even have to sand/varnish it if you don’t want to (beware of splinters). So long as the dimensions are similar, you have free reign. If you want an exact match, we guarantee that the final product will look super nice and rustic if you follow the instructions in this DIY tutorial

Step 1: Requirements

Picture of Requirements
  • From pallet, 3 planks measuring 20″ x 3.5″ (thickness should be practical)
  • 2 arched planks measuring 10"
  • 10″ Bright finish nails measuring 3d 1-1/4″ (for precision)
  • Underlayment nails measuring 1-1/4″ (for stability)
  • A hammer

Step 2: Assembling & Nailing

Picture of Assembling & Nailing

Assuming that the wood is already cut, sanded and varnished (ours is), begin by mounting 2 of the 20″ planks together as shown in the picture. Be sure that both planks form a 90° angle before you hammer them (see above). You can use the bright finish nails for this (6-8).

Step 3: More Assembling & Nailing

Picture of More Assembling & Nailing

Next, align the 10” arched planks at the sides and secure them using the underlayment nails (8).

Step 4: Attach Support Plank

Picture of Attach Support Plank

Finally, attach the last 20” plank onto the back of your shelf, and you should be ready to go! Just be aware of how high or low you want it before nailing it in. Again, use the underlayment nails (6).

Step 5: Completion

Picture of Completion

Now you can decorate your home anyway you like. Thanks for reading!


Eco-Rustic (author)2016-03-08

@covertopps @cornhumper @c3rialk you guys made some really impressive stuff! thanks for reading and being so crafty!

c3rialk made it! (author)2016-02-22

Made it! Thank for the 'ible :-) I didn't want the slat for support in the back to stick out so I made it to be flush with the two side slats. Some white wash paint so the wood pattern would still show. Really happy with it! Number two is in the making ;-)

cornhumper made it! (author)2015-01-30

I made these for my wife's ceramics studio. I didn't stain them because i liked the color of the weathered wood. I drilled holes through the book ends and used 2" wood screws on both ends. This is a great project for those of you who don't mind awkward measurements, split wood etc. These are 24" long and I still have enough wood to make three more of various measurements. Thanks!

Michaeljames118 (author)2014-07-31

DUMB QUESTION TIME: How are you hanging them? Just nailing thru the support plank or are you hanging them with wire? Sorry, complete noob on DIY and wanted to see how or what i missed...thansk!

I used wire an like a eye screw I put one in each side then ran wire through

lancaster09 (author)2014-09-18

What brand of varnish are you using?

covertopps (author)2014-08-04

it was eazy an a fun project to build

Eco-Rustic (author)2014-06-04

@dpiccine thank you!

dpiccine (author)2014-06-04

good job!

Eco-Rustic (author)2014-05-14

@carosparo @enabibi thanks guys! we should have our website up soon, so you'll be able to submit your own pictures if you want! thanks again :)

enabibi (author)2014-05-14

Excellent, like it very much! will make it for sure!

carosparo (author)2014-05-13

thanks - a really nice idea -so simple even I can make it!

Eco-Rustic (author)2014-05-11

@twiglet go for it! we'll be posting a tutorial for another shelf soon so be sure to stick around :)

Eco-Rustic (author)2014-05-11

@M3G thanks!

twiglet (author)2014-05-11

Those look great and I have a pallet at the end of the garden.

I'm inclined to make two slats for the back - on at the top for fixing and one at the bottom so I don't have a gap for stuff to fall through and no chance of it rocking on the wall.

M3G (author)2014-05-10


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