Introduction: Over-The-Toilet Wood Shelf

About: Custom-built farmhouse style furniture and décor, Do-It-Yourself tutorials, and blog about our century-old farmhouse. Follow us on Instagram @hazeloakfarms

Are you sick of those ugly, flimsy shelves balancing over your toilet in your bathroom? Well we have a solution for you! Here is a simple, classic wood shelf for hanging over your toilet in your bathroom. It is a cheap and easy project that anyone can tackle!

We are going to show you how to build this wood shelf, which can be a great addition to your home. It is a fairly simple project for beginners.

After moving into our larger farmhouse, we have had to do a lot of brainstorming on how we can fill the additional space to make it feel like home. For this shelf, we wanted something that was functional, but still coordinated with the character of our century-old home. We couldn't really find any existing build plans that we liked for the space above our toilet in our bathroom, so we decided to make something original. We drew up a couple options for the bottom, and finally decided on this version. Keep in mind that this plan is designed to easily hang on two nails, 24" apart. Depending on the structure of your home, you may need to use drywall anchors to hang this piece.

Step 1: Tools/Parts/Cut List

Kreg Jig, Drill, Jig Saw, & Miter/Circular saw
2 - 2x6 boards cut to 30"
3 - 1x6 boards cut to 22"
1 - box of 1 1/4" pocket hole screws
wood filler for pocket holes
Stain/paint and polyurethane of your choice
Mounting brackets of your choice
Drywall anchors

Step 2: Layout of Cuts

Step 3: Cut Your Shelf Boards

The first step in the process is to cut all of the boards to length. Three, 1x6 boards at 22" long.

Step 4: Cut Your Side Boards

Now you need to cut the side boards. You will need two, 2x6 boards at 30" long.

Step 5: Cut the Design on the Bottom of the Sides

Next, you can begin to tackle the cove design on the bottom of each 2x6. Here is a quick sketch of the design we used. Feel free to print this off and copy it, or make your own!

Step 6: Continued...

A band saw or scroll saw would work the best with this template, but a jig saw will get the job done just fine. Here is what they should look like when completed.

Step 7: Assemble Your Shelf

The next step is to drill all of your pocket holes and evenly space the the 1x6 shelves. We decided to do 3 shelves with 3 pocket holes on each side. You can use a Kreg Jig to knock out your pocket holes. You can find a more detailed description of how to operate a Kreg Jig on their website.

Step 8: Continued...

It helps to attach the top shelf first, that way your drill has enough room to get the other 2 shelves attached. Use 1 1/4 inch pocket hole screws, that way the screws do not go through the 2x6 sides. Then just attach the next two shelves like the picture above.

Step 9: Add Wood Filler

Almost done! The next thing that you need to do is fill in the pocket holes with some wood filler. The wood filler makes it look much better, especially since it will be hung at eye level when it is completed.

Step 10: Finish Work

Sand it all up and apply your stain or paint. We used one coat of 'Minwax Dark Walnut' penetrating, oil-based stain. This gave the shelf an "antiqued" look. Next you need to apply 2-3 coats of water-based polyurethane. It works best if you use the same brand polyurethane as your stain. We usually use Minwax brand stains and polys. The thing that we loved the most about this finishing technique was how fast it dried. The stain soaked up very quickly, and the water-based poly dried within 20 minutes.

We love how this project turned out, and hopefully you do too! We have our shelf hanging in our bathroom above the toilet, but it will look good anywhere in your house. Enjoy, and please check out the rest of our website while you are here.

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