Introduction: How to Build a Simple Shelf Bracket

Picture of How to Build a Simple Shelf Bracket

Often you want to put up a shelf, but unfortunately, the metal brackets just aren't that pretty. I'll show you how to build these simple brackets for a 12" shelf. You can use this method with 2 x 4's for large shelving in the basement or garage as well.

Supply list for 4 brackets to hold a 1″ x 12″ board.

  • 2- 1″ x 2″ x 6′ boards- or scrap pieces that are no less than 9″ long.
  • 1- 1″ x 12″ x 6′ board for shelf
  • Kreg Jig and 1 1/2″ screws
  • 3″ screws to install into studs
  • Miter saw- you could get away with using a miter box if you’re really careful.

Step 1: Cut Your Boards.

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Cut your pieces straight pieces- 8- 9″ pieces

Step 2: Cutting the Angles.

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Cut your 4- 8″ pieces on a 45 degree angle alternating on each side. This is how I do it-

  1. Cut one end off at a 45 degree angle with the 1″ side of the board touching the deck of your saw.Now flip your board by lifting the fresh cut end up and rotate it from 3 o’clock to 9 o’clock.
  2. Now the end that needs to be cut is next to the saw.
  3. Measure 8″ from the long end of the fresh cut side and mark. That is where you will cut the new side.

This is my oopsy daisy cut- the board is the wrong way on the deck. Just wanted to point that out so you can see and also allow you to laugh loudly at my expense.

Now you have all of your boards cut-

Step 3: Decorative Touch.

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Now for a little decorative touch, pick 4 of your straight cut 9″ boards and set your saw to 25 degrees.

Trim off one end at 25 degrees. This will give a nice finished angle on the bottom bracket piece. Omit this step if you want to be boring.

Step 4: Connecting the Pieces.

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Using your adorable little Kreg Jig- you are going to drill pocket holes into one end of the 4 remaining straight boards.

Step 5: Connect Through the Pocket Holes.

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Attach 1 of the boards with the pocket hole to one of your decorative angled boards creating a right angle.

Step 6:

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Apply wood glue to the 2 angled ends of one of the 8″ pieces.

Step 7:

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Place the board between the right angle boards where the ends meet flush with the right angle.

Step 8:

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Drill pilot holes on both sides for the screws that will hold the center board in place and also where you will attach to the studs in the wall. You don’t want to split the wood.

Step 9:

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Attach the board using 1 1/2″ screws.

Step 10:

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Give all of your brackets a nice sanding and fill holes if you want to while the glue dries.

Step 11: Finishing the Brackets.

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Now you can paint or stain your brackets.

Step 12: Installing the Brackets.

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Use a stud finder to mark the studs in the wall or use heavy duty dry-wall anchors. I mounted 3 of mine into studs, but the last was an anchor because of the ugly hose box behind the washer.

Step 13: Adding the Shelf.

Picture of Adding the Shelf.

Once they are on the wall you can install the shelf by just screwing some 1 1/2″ screws from the bottom through the brackets and into the shelf board. The next time I paint something white, I’ll paint over those screws, until then, just ignore them


pjuica (author)2015-09-22

good job, fast and simple, I like

gracies (author)2015-09-10

Your brackets look great! I can see that you used 2 screws per bracket to attach the brackets to the wall. Could you give more details as to how you screwed in the top most screw? I ask this because I have similar "arm braced" metal brackets and none of the tools I currently own will fit in the enclosed triangle created by the support arm. Thanks

OnBlissStreet (author)gracies2015-09-11

Hi there, yes, I used something like this:

I just bought a little cheapo for jobs just like this. As long as you drill a pilot hole in the stud, it's easy to screw in. Hope this helps.

amwill (author)2015-09-05

nice job...welll done...I love it...very practical...and sturdy...

OnBlissStreet (author)amwill2015-09-05

Thank you so much.

StephanP1 (author)2015-09-03

Very cool and it also works without pocket holes!

OnBlissStreet (author)StephanP12015-09-03

Thanks Stephan! I will use any excuse to use my Kreg Jig :)

seamster (author)2015-09-03

These look great! Simple and classy; much better than lame metal shelf brackets :)

About This Instructable



Bio: I'm a coffee & Craigslist addict,up- cycler, garbage picker, thrift store digger, scrap wood hoarder, nap time warrior, writer, and blogger. Come see all ... More »
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