Introduction: Shelves for a Shed

About: I like to design and build random things.

Now that I finished the ramp (see last instructable), I’m off to building shelves for my new shed. I looked at purchasing brackets but I couldn’t get the exact size and the price seemed high for something so simple – plus I had a few excess 2x4s from the last job. Mainly, I wanted to utilize the area in the upper portion of the shed while keeping the floor clear for yard/garden equipment. There are multiple variations of this style bracket online. I took a little different approach by utilizing the existing part of the shed (top plate) for support. I don’t know the load capacity but I’m quite sure it will handle any of the items (tarps, paint cans, etc.) I plan to place on the shelf.

Step 1: Tools/Materials


  • Miter Saw
  • Table Saw
  • Drill
  • Pocket-hole Jig
  • Tape Measure
  • Pencil

Materials for two shelves:

  • 2x4 x 8’ (x3)
  • Plywood 4’x8’ (x2)
  • 3” Wood Screws
  • 1.5” Wood Screws
  • Glue

Step 2: Drawing

You will be building the brackets to this drawing. The parts are color coded for reference.

Step 3: Cuts

Cut 2x4 into 24” sections. Use a hand, circular, table or miter saw for these cuts. I used a miter saw for all the 2x4 cuts.

Step 4: Bracket – Part 1

Chamfer the edge to 45 degrees. Cut off 0.75” from the chamfer as shown. Note that this step is optional. If you decide against it, cut one of the pieces to 23.25” long.

Drill holes for the screws as shown.

Step 5: Bracket – Part 2

Add holes as shown.

Step 6: Bracket – Part 3

Chamfer both ends of the board by 45 degrees. Use a pocket-hole jig to add holes to the ends.

Step 7: Assemble Bracket

Attach Part 1 (horizontal) to Part 2 (vertical) as shown. I used glue and 3” wood screws to make the attachment. Note the placement of boards where the top horizontal arm bears on top of the vertical mounting piece. With this configuration, the load is taken directly to the vertical piece resulting in the vertical mounting screws being in shear. Care must be taken to not load the shelves only at the very edge beyond the diagonal brace. In other words, be sure to center the load between the brace support and the back of the shelf.

Step 8: Attach Bracket

Center the assembly on the desired stud. The top should be flush with the shed top plate. Use 3” wood screws to attach the parts to the stud. I’m showing 6 screws which might be overkill.

Step 9: Add Brace

Add the brace (part 3) using 1.5” wood screws and glue.

Step 10: Add Shelf

For the shelf, I used 19/32” sheet. My local 84 lumber doesn’t offer cut service like Lowes or Home Depot so I used a table saw to cut the boards into 24” strips. For the distance, I used ¾” of overhang on the back and sides of the top plate. Since the distance is over 8 feet long, I had to make two sections for each side. I centered the boards on one of the brackets to make the connection. I used 1.5” wood screws to attach the plywood to the brackets and top plate. If you are concerned about the plywood potentially sagging over time, add a 1x2 or 1x4 to the front lip of the plywood.

Step 11: Final Product

I repeated the process on the opposite side of the shed and I'm happy with how they turned it. The strength isn't going to be an issue for me. If you want stronger shelves, add more brackets.