Making Shelves Out of Drywall




Introduction: Making Shelves Out of Drywall

About: 18 year old who makes all sorts of different projects, that have with a strong emphasis on experimenting and exploring new techniques and textures! I post weekly over on Youtube, but want to use Instructables …

In this post, I’m going to share with you how to make a shelving unit out of drywall using only 3 basic household tools:a stanley knife, ruler and bottle of PVA glue.

The steps are based on a 1.2 x 2.4m sheet but it can also be made out of offcuts.
We have also created a how-to video and downloadable instructions to help with the making process.


12.5mm Square Edged Drywall

Stanley/ Craft Knife
Metre Ruler
PVA Glue

Step 1: Break Down Drywall Sheet: Mark + Score

Step 2: Break Down Drywall Sheet: Snap + Cut

Step 3: Convert Pieces Into Components: Mark + Score

Step 4: Convert Pieces Into Components: Snap + Cut

Step 5: Score Folds + Cut Notches

- Only score one side of the drywall at the fold lines, do not snap or cut through the back layer of paper. Decide what side you want to score on, as whatever surface you do choose will end up facing outwards on the final bedside table.

- To cut the notches, ensure you score from both sides of the drywall, before pressing harder and harder until the piece is removed. Cut inwards to make sure the plaster doesn't break out.

Step 6: Scrape + Then Glue on Back Shelf Supports

When gluing, ensure the top of the back shelf support is flush with the bottom of the notches e.g. using a ruler.

Step 7: Snap + Fold Sides

Step 8: Glue Up Front Shelf Supports

Also ensure the top edge of the plaster is perfectly flat + smooth (you can do this by scraping the edge with a knife) before gluing the front shelf supports together.

Step 9: Finish (Optional)

Step 10: Final Assembly

Step 11: Finished!

The shelving unit is now completely finished and ready to be put to good use! Enjoy!

If you are interested in seeing what else can be made out of drywall, we have a few other projects which can be seen on our page.

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    Question 2 years ago

    is there a particular benifit of using drywall? or is it more a case of the challenge / interest of using an unusual material.? also do you need to paint the finished piece to seal it against moisture in the air?


    Answer 2 years ago

    We think there are lots of different benefits, the main ones being:
    - Projects can be made using only 3 basic tools that most people already have in their houses (a ruler, knife and bottle of pva glue).
    - These tools are a lot easier to use and less intimidating than traditional power tools, and each project can be made in a matter of hours.
    - Drywall is extremely cheap when compared to other sheet goods; when calculated by surface area it only costs £1.35 per stool, £3.58 per coffee table, £1.90 per bedside table and £6.40 per shelving unit.
    - Drywall is readily available, and extremely accessible to 'DIYers' as the boards can easy be cut (in e.g. a car park) so as to fit into a car.
    - The material has a gentle aesthetic and is two-toned, allowing the maker to customise the look and feel of their pieces.

    In regards to finish, we recommend applying a varnish to seal the plaster and allow it to be cleaned, although I'm sure a paint would also work although it wouldn't be quite as durable.


    Reply 1 year ago

    How strong is it though? I'd like to use the idea in my home if it can hold a stack of school books?


    Reply 1 year ago

    Its surprisingly strong - we've tested the design so as to ensure that each shelf can be fully stacked with books.


    Reply 1 year ago

    Thats incredibly cool. Thank you!