Introduction: Hexagonal Light Up Shelves

About: We are India’s first Pop up Maker Space, Designed to Inspire the Next Generation of Innovators, Makers and Inventors of all ages. Let’s help you make what you can imagine.

At MakersBox, we are a group of engineers, educators and media guys all working together to inspire the next generation to Innovate and Invent. Recently, we shifted our Wood-working area and needed some shelves to showcase work from our students. That is when we decided to build 3 Hexagonal Shelves out of old scrap pallets. Please go through the supplies list to check what all was used in creating this wonderful project


  • Scrap Pallets (2-3).
  • Jigsaw (We used DeWalt but any brand would do).
  • Circular Saw (Optional).
  • Table Saw/Hand Router.
  • Band Clamps / String.
  • Wood Glue (FEVICOL-SH for India).
  • White LED Strip.
  • Soldering Station and Heat Shrink Tube.
  • Staple Gun / Brad Nailer with Brads (We used Stanley Hand stapler that supports both staples and brads).
  • Miter Saw / Miter Box.
  • Measuring Tape / Ruler.
  • Try Square.
  • Pencil.
  • White Paint (Or any other color of your preference).
  • Paint Brush / Roller.
  • Drill Machine.
  • Screws (For Mounting the shelf on a wall).
  • 12 V DC Power Adapter (1A current).
  • Transparent Polyester Sheets (Or an Acrylic sheet of 1mm thickness).
  • MDF Sheet : 3mm thickness- To make backing of shelvesMDF Sheet: 4feetx3feet : 8mm thickness - To mount shelves on wall. Vacuum Cleaner (For cleaning after the build). Safety Supplies (Gloves, Safety Goggles, etc).

Step 1: Collecting the Pallets and Cutting Them

To make the shelves, we chose to go for
pallets that were lying in a junkyard nearby to our maker-space. After selecting pallets, we chopped them down using a Jigsaw. As we made a total of 3 shelves, we chopped down 18 planks from 2 pallets.

Step 2: Sanding Down Planks and Cutting Them to Length

After chopping down the planks, we cut them to
length. Since we were making 3 shelves of different sizes, we used following measurement:

  • 6 planks of 20 centimeters
  • 6 planks of 25 centimeters
  • 6 planks of 30 centimeters

To make sure our cuts were straight, we did our marking with a Try Square.

Step 3: Cutting Joints and Grooves

Now, in order to join these planks together,
we had to make bevel cuts on both sides at 30 degrees. For that, we used our compound miter saw.

We simply set the angle at 30 degrees and made the cuts on both the sides. Once the bevels were made, we had to make grooves in which we fixed our LED Strip. For that, we used our table saw.

As you can see in the image, we simply lifted the dado blade on our table saw to half the thickness of plank and ran all the planks over it one by one leaving a smooth and clean cut.

**If you do not have access to a table saw with dado blade, you can also use a hand router with a dado bit.**

Step 4: Joining the Pieces Together

Once the cuts and grooves were done, we joined
the pieces together using Wood Glue and clamped them down together using a Nylon String and surprisingly, it held the pieces together really strong.

You can also use a band clamp to clamp down the pieces together.

After clamping down all the pieces together, we left them to dry.

Step 5: Creating the Backing for Shelves

After the shelves dried out, we took a 3mm thick MDF Sheet and traced all the shelves on it using a Pencil.

After that, we simply cut down the traced shape using a Jigsaw and painted the 3 pieces white using acrylic paint and roller.

Once the paint dried, we simply fixed the backing on the shelves using a hand stapler and brads.

Step 6: Adding LED Strips to Shelves

After the backing was in place, we drilled a hole in our shelves and passed LED Strips through them. We removed the adhesive cover from LED Strips and simply fixed them in the grooves that we made.

But, after we tested the LED Strips, we realized that the brightness was too much. So, we decided to diffuse the light using Transparent Polyester Sheets.

Step 7: Adding Diffusion to Light

We simply took transparent polyester sheets and sanded them down using Random Orbital Sander (At speed level 3) to create a diffusing effect.

If you want, you can also use a very thin acrylic sheet to achieve the same result.

After buffing enough sheets, we cut the sheets down to length and fixed them in the 3 shelves.

Step 8: Mounting the Shelves on a Wall Mount

We took an 8 mm thick MDF Sheet (4feet x 3feet), painted it white and
after that we pasted our shelves on it using wood glue. We also used some brads to hold the shelves in place.

Step 9: Making Connections With Power Supply Adapter

Once everything was in place, we drilled a small hole on top of each shelf and passed wires for connection to a 12 V AC/DC Converter Adapter. We joined the wires in Parallel and secured the connections using a Heat-shrink Tube.

Step 10: The Final Showcase

After making the connections, we mounted the entire assembly on a wall and it lit up so beautifully. We also made a step-by-step assembly video of the entire project.

Please like and share the video and if you have any queries related to the build, feel free to drop them in comments. We will surely revert back

Shelving Contest

Participated in the
Shelving Contest