How to Build a Box Shelf

Hello everyone! I am going to do a “How-To” post today and I think you are going to enjoy it. Have you ever wanted to try building something with your bare hands but not sure how to do it? Well, today I am going to show you have to make a box shelf. I had all this spare wood in my back yard and I decided that I was going to make something out of it. I had seen these box shelves online and thought they looked pretty cool, so I decided to give it a try without any previous wood working experience.

So first, you need to get your stuff together. I got literally make this by hand since I couldn’t afford a circular saw right now. So, if you have a circular saw, I would suggest you use it 🙂

You will need:

  • A saw of some kind. (I used a hand saw and it worked but it took a little bit more elbow grease to do it.)
  • A hammer
  • Wood
  • Nails
  • Sanding Block
  • Pen
  • Tape Measure
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Here is everything I used. Please excuse the dusty table.

Next you want to cut your boards to size. I was using fence boards that had already been cut in half so my shelf was 19″ x 17″ x 5″. You can make it how ever big or small you want. Just make sure you wear gloves and glasses for safety.

Next, comes the hammering part. I like to cheat and hammer the first set of nails partially in because I didn’t have a grip or anything to hold the two boards together. Another way you could probably do this, but I didn’t think of it til later, is using wood glue to initially make the box and then nail it together. But you would need something to hold it in place while the glue dried.

img_20170201_130836891Now it is time to actually hammer them together. Take your boards and make and L out of them. I placed the bottom L between my knees to hold it steady and then place the board with the nails in it on top of it. Now hammer the nails in 🙂 Repeat this until you make a square. (I put in four nails but you can put in more if you feel you want the shelf to extra secure.)

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Look! A box! Good job! Now to sand. I used a 120 grit sanding block and it was just enough to get the roughness out of the wood without removing the natural grain to it. Once you have finished going over the whole thing, time to move on.

The next part is the part I think is the most fun and that it painting the thing to whatever color you like. I chose a nice teal for my shelf and this was the paint I used. (No money paid for advertising.)

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You can use the can and brush method if you want but I like spray paint because it dries quickly and there are no brushes to clean after. But make sure you wear a mask or you might have an adverse side effect that comes with breathing toxic fumes. Depending on the type of board you use, you might need more than one can. I wanted a more white washed (or should I say blue washed) look so I only needed one can. If your wood is really thirsty and you want it completely covered, you will probably need two or more cans.

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SO PRETTY!!!! After you paint it, you can add layers until it is the exact color you want. If you don’t end up wanting to paint it, I would still use some kind of a wood sealer just to protect the wood from spills a stuff from the things you end up putting on it.

After you have your final layer of paint, I would suggest you let it sit for 24 hours to fully set. It would be a bummer to have a colored square on your wall because the paint transferred. I know you are super excited to get it up and show it off, but you need to wait one more day. But after that, it’s finished and it will look gorgeous.

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This is how mine turned out and I am super happy with it. Want to make one? Great! Now you can, but if it’s still not up your alley but you want one of these shelves anyway, feel free to order one right now from my Etsy Shop HERE. I would love to build you one!

Happy building! Have a great day!

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