How to make your own hanging shelves

If you like DIY and want an elegant new storage solution at home or at the office, these hanging shelves might just be the perfect thing. They’re easy and convenient, plus — unlike most shelves — they look open and buoyant. What could be better to drive away the winter doldrums and get a head start on spring?


You’ll need:

  • Wooden plank, the size you want for your shelf
  • Sandpaper
  • Towel
  • Spray paint, color of your choice
  • Ruler  
  • Pencil  
  • Drill 
  • Rope or cord, color of your choice
  • Scissors  
  • Metal rings and wall hooks (or, as in the above picture, a wooden rod and some nails)

Here's how: 

First sand the plank on all sides with the sandpaper to be sure there are no rough spots.

Youtube /AnnMade

Then use the towel to wipe off all the dust.

Youtube /AnnMade

Cover your workspace with newspaper, and now spray paint the board the color of your choice. Allow the first side to dry completely before turning it over to paint the second side.

Youtube /AnnMade

With the ruler and pencil, mark a point one inch in from the long side, two inches in from the short side, at each corner of the board (see these lovely pictures for a good visual). 

Youtube /AnnMade

Place the board on a sawhorse or on top of another larger board, to be sure you don’t bore a hole through anything valuable like your floor!

Drill four holes, one at each marked point. Check to be sure that two strands of the rope of your choice can just fit through the holes, but don’t make the holes any wider than that. (Or again, if you're doing a one-strand version of the hanging rope, as in the first photo, then just one strand should fit through the hole.)

Youtube /AnnMade

Measure out two roughly 40-inch pieces of rope (just be sure they’re the same length). Holding them together, fold them in half and pull the two strands of the folded end through the metal ring.

Youtube /AnnMade

Now take the four cut ends together and weave them through the loop of the folded end, creating a moveable knot around the ring. 

Youtube /AnnMade

Take two cords together, stick them through the inner, wall-side hole on one end of the plank. Tie a good knot underneath the board.

Now either with a little good old-fashioned geometry or simply by trying it out, measure the other length of cord to the outer hole, and the place in the middle where you’ll want to pull the knot around the ring good and taut. If you've already fixed your wall hooks to the wall you can test it out until you find the right lengths.

(Or... remember Pythagoras’s theorem about triangles, where a is your board width and b is the height from the board to the ring the rope will hang from? You can quickly calculate c, the diagonal length from the ring back down to the outer side of the board: the length of rope along the wall will be shorter than on the diagonal side.)

Be sure to leave enough room for the second knot on the outer side of the board.   

Youtube /AnnMade

Repeat on the other side, place your two wall hooks where you want to hang the rings, and there you are!

You can play with the cord color as well as the paint you use for the board to create completely personalized shelves that liven up the room and add to your storage space. All home-made and original!

Check out this video with a super version of these nifty shelves, where you can see the process in more detail:

So quick, simple, and graceful. You can also use curtain rods as here:


The next time you have empty wall space, lovely decorations, and no idea where to put them — well, you’ll know what to do!



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