Corner Shelves

When building a corner shelf, you have a couple of design options to choose from. Two of the most popular methods are floating, or zigzag shelves. Whichever option you pick, for the most part, corner shelves are for decoration. They’re for displaying stuff that ties the room together such as vases or candles, or for showing off what is important to you such as pictures and awards. For both of these designs the shelves themselves mount to the wall. There are other less commonly used designs that sit on the floor, but those aren’t as modern looking.

We’re going to build what’s called a floating corner shelf. This is the easiest one to make, and best of all it’s extremely inexpensive. The amount of lumber used is pretty minimal, here’s the list.

• ¾” plywood (for the top)
• ¼” plywood (for the bottom)
• 1×2 board (for the back of the frame)
• 1×3 board (for the front of the frame)

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That’s all as far as lumber, but you will also need some wall mounts and 1 ½” screws. So let’s get started by first deciding how wide you want the shelf. Measure out a 1×3 board to the proper width and cut a 45 degree angle at each end. Take the ¾” plywood and make both of the edges of the 1×3 board flush against the sides. You should end up with a triangle, the perfect shape your shelf is going to be. Draw a line across the board with a pencil, and do the exact same thing with the ¼” piece of plywood to form the bottom of the shelf. Cut across the line you made on both pieces of plywood to form the top and bottom pieces.

At this point you might want to consider painting your project. The only pieces you need to paint are the 1×3 and the top and bottom pieces of plywood – that’s all that will show. A quick spray paint is easy, and what I recommend doing.

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Now it’s time to finish assembling the frame of the corner shelf. Take one of the pieces of plywood you cut out and put the front of it against the 1×2. Trace the 45 degree angles that it gives you and cut it. Keep matching up the plywood with the 1×2 until you have three pieces that fit together and are the same dimensions as the plywood.
Making the top shelf
Once you have them all cut out, you’re going to attach them. This can be done using glue, screws, or nails, it doesn’t matter. Since it’s not supporting much weight, the easiest method is the best in this case. Once it’s assembled, you’re going to want to drill a hole in the front all the way through the back of the frame where it would mount against the wall. This is needed so you can insert the screw driver through the front and screw it into the wall. This will also allow you to take the shelf off later without damaging your walls.

After the holes are drilled, insert the wall mounts into the wall and screw the frame into place. Secure the ¾” piece of plywood to the top, and the ¼” to the bottom. Take the 1×3, the first board that you cut, and attach it to the front of the corner shelf.
Corner shelf
That is the easiest method of building a corner shelf. More complicated zigzag patterns or floor shelves can also be built. However, the materials required for this project can be obtained for around $20 and still look just as decorative as different designs. This project is perfect for inexperienced builders, or even seasoned do it yourselfers.