Introduction: ​Make a Branch Shelf

About: Hi I am Dutch and live in Sweden. I love to create things in my little woodshop.

For a long time I wanted to make a shelf with branches. The shelving contest was the extra push that I needed. Make a branch shelf and decide where you put it up: in the kitchen, your bedroom or in one of the children’s room.

Step 1: Materials and Branches



Handsaws (Crosscut saw, Japanese saw)

Chisel, mallet

Different clamps, wood glue

Marking gauge

Wood glue Tape, Paint




Screws for mounting

Let’s start. Get yourself a couple of branches. Cut only where it is allowed. Unless you are cutting on your own property, you must obtain permission from the landowner.

If possible, cut the wood in late winter or early spring. It will be dry sooner. A storm blew this birch down. So I did saw the branches late summer and let them dry for 8 weeks. That was a bit short I will come to that later.

Step 2: Prepare Your Shelves in the Right Sizes

Cut your board in four parts.The parts measure 50 cm long, 20 cm high and 12.5 cm dept. Plane your parts to 1,5 cm thick.

Step 3: The Finger Joints

Make your finger joints.

Sand your parts just a little.

Mark the thickness of the material all the way round the material. This is called the shoulder line. You can use a marking gauge.

Marking the fingers.

Cut the lines of the fingers. You can use your band saw or use a tenon saw.

Mark the fingers witch you want to remove and clamp your wood on the working bench. Tip: place a scrap wood underneath to protect the surface of the bench from the chisel.

Put your chisel straight on the shoulder line and cut your first finger half way.

Turn your wood and remove the finger from the other side.

Step 4: Finger Joints 2

When you’re done with both sides of the first part you can use those as a template and copy to the other part of the finger joint. (Don’t forget to mark the parts) When cutting the second part of the finger joint it is important to cut on the waste wood side of the line.

Once you have completed all the finger joints, put your shelf together and check the joints.

If you find it complicated to make finger joints, you also can screw your shelf together, use dowel joints or make the finger joints with a table saw.

Mistermocha will help you

Step 5: Paint the Inside

I like to paint the inside of the shelf before I put the four parts together but you can also do this afterwards.

Sand the four parts and remove the dust.

Tape the finger joints the wood glue will glue better on plain wood.

I have chosen to paint the shelf. Please note that pine will turn darker over time when exposed to light. I don’t like that and I want the color of the shelf to match the birch branches. That's why I painted the shelf off-white.

Step 6: Select the Number of Branches

Cut your branches and decide how many branches you will have.

Step 7: Glue the Shelf Together

Apply glue and clamp your parts together and make sure that that the angle is 90 degrees.

Step 8: Almost Done Only a Few Things Left

Cut your dowels (5cm)

Drill a deep hole on the backside of your shelf for mounting the shelf onto the wall. This will provide an invisible mounting, but you can make your own hangers as you wish.

Measure and mark where you will place your branches.

Clamp your branches in the shelf.

Drill holes in the bottom of the shelf through the branches.

Put wood glue in the hole and place your dowels.

Sand the outside of the shelf.

And paint THE outside. Now you're done.

Step 9: Mount Your Shelf and Enjoy!

Shelving Contest

Third Prize in the
Shelving Contest

Epilog Contest VII

Participated in the
Epilog Contest VII