This mantle shelf is simple, 6 ft long, and beautiful! Plus it cost less than $40 to create!
So I’ve had this huge empty wall in my living room. You see it right when you walk in through the front door and it’s just been screaming EMPTY to me. I’ve wanted to do something fun but I have a gallery wall opposite of it, so I couldn’t fill it with another one of those. When I got thinking about Christmas and where we will hang out stockings this year I decided to make a shelf with hooks, and instantly knew this was my solution to the empty wall.
SEE, EMPTY WALL!! (I’m standing at my front door taking this picture)
So we started looking around at buying a shelf already made, but it was way too much money….like a couple hundred dollars. So I sat down and drew out what I wanted the shelf to look like, and headed to the lumber store to price it out. Well, after wood and hooks, the whole thing cost under $40 to make!!! Not too shabby for a large 6 ft shelf.
- 1×4 – 63 inches long
- 1×6 – 72 inches long
- 1×8 – 72 inches long
- Cove Molding – 80 inches long
- 3.5×7 inch Corbel
- Wood Glue
- Nail Gun
- Wood Filler
Supplies needed for Installing:
- Countersink drill bit
- 2 1/2 inch screws
No 2 pieces of wood are built equal, we all know that those measurements are just estimations!! So first things first, make sure your 1×8 and your 1×6 are the same length. You want them to be even on both ends. Then, put a bead of glue along the very edge of the 1×6 and glue it onto the side of the 1×6. So the 1×6 is now sitting on top of the 1×8. Now using your nail gun, nail every 3-4 inches down the top of the 1×6. I used 1 inch nails.
Next, put a bunch of glue on the middle of the 1×4 to make sure the glue doesn’t seep out. Then, put the 1×4 on the bottom of the 1×6, bumping the back of it up to the 1×8. Make sure to put the 1×4 CENTERED leaving the same amount of empty space on each end. Now nail the 1×4 in place. I did a nail about every foot across the top, and then every foot across the bottom.
Now you need to cut the cove molding. You will cut it with a 45• angle from the back corner to the front, causing a corner edge.
Cut one edge at a -45• angle, then measure from the back corner in 63 inches and mark it. This is now where the INSIDE of your next 45• angle will be.
Now, cut another -45• angle and then measure from the inside corner again and 4 inches in to cover the side of your 1×4. At the 4 inch mark you will cut a straight line, no angle, to go against the 1×8. Repeat the previous step again but at a 45• angle instead of a negative. This will create your molding for the other end.
Put the molding in place along the 1×4. The back corner of the molding should go in the corner between the 1×6 and 1×4 laying flat against both boards. Nail one edge on, then the front molding and then the last edge.
The last thing to put in place is the corbels. We put ours in 4 inches from the edge of the shelf. We just laid the hooks on the shelf to make sure we liked the placement of the corbels. Put the top of the corbel against the 1×4 and flat against the back. Nail it in place from the back of the 1×8. To make sure I got the nails in the right place, I measured in 4 1/4 inches from the edge and did 4 nails in the back of each corbel. Then put a few into the top of the 1×4 at an angle from the side.
Now it’s time to fill all the holes. Use some wood filler in all of the nail holes, and some along any gaps in the wood that may not have lined up completely. Once the filler is dry, sand it flat and sand off any marker and rough edges. Now you’re ready to paint or stain!
I painted mine white, and it took 2 coats of paint+primer to fully cover. I didn’t bother to paint the back of it because that will be flat against the wall but all other edges need to be fully painted.
I let the paint dry for a full 24 hours before doing any real handling of the shelf. Once it’s fully dry, it’s time to install the hooks. I measured the distance between my side corbels and to get the hooks evenly spaced I divided that distance by 5; giving me the space between each hook!! I used a laser level to make sure all the hooks were at the same height.
The shelf is done being built and now it’s time to install it!!!!
We started by finding the center of where we wanted it mounted, which was also the center of the wall. From there we put a mark on the wall just below where the shelf would hang, so that we could line them up once the shelf was on the wall.
From the center line we measured out how far all of the studs were. That way we could mark those spots on the shelf, countersink them, and making sure that all of our screws went into the studs! We used a square and marked the holes 1 inch down from the 1×4, then used a #10 countersink drill bit to prep the holes.
Once the holes are counter sunk, We used a level and attached the shelf to the wall. Each of the holes got a 3 inch screw holding it tight into a stud in the wall. You can then fill the screw holes with a cap to hide the hole!
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