Introduction: Donkey Kong Garage Storage Shelves

About: I'm a geek, I'm a dad, and I make things

Are you tired of an unorganized garage? Are piles of old couch pillows and wood scraps getting in your way? Do you find yourself having to move stuff to get to stuff just to move stuff again to get to more stuff?!

I was, and wanted to organize my garage so I have a clean place to work, AND park my car!

Inspired by levels from the classic game Donkey Kong, here is how I put together some garage storage shelves.

Step 1: Materials

The materials I used for this build:

Plans! This plan is specific to my garage, so plan your dimensions accordingly
2x4x8 pine stud boards
2x2x8 pine boards
1x4x8 pine boards
4'x8' 3/4" plywood
L brackets -

The tools I used for this build: (with affiliate links)

Brother Design&Cut plotter -
Vinyl -
Wood glue -
Clamps -
Fat max tape measure -
Miter saw -
Shop-vac -
Drill and circular saw -
Pocket hole screws -
Clear coat -
Spray paint -

Step 2: Cleanup and Touchup

The first thing to do was to clear everything out of the garage. This... is a process.

Once everything was cleared out of the garage, I started by touching up the paint and holes in the walls. I taped off the trim and painted it, then after it was dry I taped off the trim and painted the rest of the walls.

This is not a crucial step - unless you had walls that looked as dirty and holey as mine.

Step 3: Building the Foundations

I started by taking a paint bucket and measuring how tall I would need the bottom shelf to be in order to easily put paint buckets on the floor beneath the shelves. Once I had that measurement, I started by cutting the 2x2's into strips and drilling them into the studs in the wall at the height I measured out. I repeated this process for the workbench shelves, but measured so that my larger tools (like my drill press) would fit under it.

From there, I measured up 16" for each shelf (I figured that was a good height for anything I might want to put on the shelves), and screwed the 2x2 boards into the studs every 16". The last shelf I measured 8 inches up (leaving an 8 inch gap from the ceiling) for the top shelf that will run along the entire length of the garage.

There is a 16" space from the wall to the edge of the tapered area that angles down and out the garage. I started cutting my 2x4s to make the legs for the the shelves, cutting the horizontal pieces at 13" to give me a total of 16" for the space from the edge of the shelves to the wall.

Using the screws and glue, I started to assemble the legs for the shelves, then screwed them to the mounts on the wall.

Step 4: Shelving the Shelves

With each frame that I made for the layers of shelves, I took the 3/4" wood and ripped it to 16" pieces, then cut the pieces to fit on top of each framed shelf. For my space, the bottom shelf was 8' long, so the base shelf was cut at 8'x16". The shelves on top of that were all 4', so the boards were cut to 4'x16". I did this for all the shelves leading up to the top shelf.

For the workbench area, I did the same process since the measurements were also 4'x16"

Step 5: To the Top!

Due to the garage door tracks, I had to make the top shelf only 8" deep, rather than the 16" like the other shelves. I cut the frame accordingly and then cut the plywood to fit. After fitting the shelf into the area behind the garage door tracks, I screwed it to the mounts on the wall.

Step 6: Extending It Out

To support the top shelf all the way across to the other side of the
garage, I used 4 L brackets mounted into studs to place the frame on for the top shelf.

Screwing the top of the L bracket into the frame, I finished it up by adding the rest of the 8" plywood on the top.

Step 7: Adding the Face Frame

For the face frames, I started by painting some of the 1x4 boards red (for the railing pieces), and some boards blue (for the ladder pieces).

I went to the computer and created a stencil and cut a few stencils on my desktop plotter out of vinyl. I peeled the vinyl off the backing and pressed it onto the boards.

To help prevent bleeding, I first sprayed the stencil with clear coat, then after that was dry I sprayed the stencil with spray paint.

SIDE NOTE: Because the size of my stencil was limited, this part took a looooooooong time

Step 8: Let's Put a Face on That Frame

Once all the face pieces were painted and dried, the next thing to do was to measure and cut.

And measure and cut.

And measure and cut.

I took a small drill bit and drilled pilot holes in each of the ends of the face pieces, making sure to stay inside the black painted areas so that the screws would blend in with the paint.

Then it was just a matter of screwing all of the pieces to the frames.

Step 9: Step Back, Enjoy, Then Organize

With the shelves done, I took a moment to step back and enjoy my creation.

*Sigh of relief*

Now onto to organizing! I took all my once unorganized mess of materials and whatnot and put them on the shelves, creating a now organized place for all my materials and whatnot!

Step 10: Get Donkey Kong's Approval

With any luck, the shelves will gain the approval of one Donkey Kong. It may be lacking a few barrels, but it makes up for it with geeky charm!

Step 11: Watch the Video!

Now you know how to do it, watch it being made!

I have more geeky projects you can check out here on Instructables, so be sure to follow me for when I put out new Instructables

AND you can watch more of my project videos HERE

AND you can also follow me on Instagram @onceuponaworkbench

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