Plane Old Shelf

Beginner Projects
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A fun shelf to build and creative at the same time.

Nothing fancy.  Just a plane old shelf, made from plane old boards.

Screwed together in a rather unfancy way, with a simple coat of paint.

I don't have a son to build this for, but I can imagine Grace's pink walls covered in white plane shelves, manned with Barbie pilots in evening gowns.  Where would you put your plane shelf?  What would you put in it?  Or who would you give one too?

Dimensions are shown above. I used pine or whitewood boards. For a propeller, I used a wood survey stick, otherwise known as lath. Try a paint stir stick for a pre-shaped propeller.


Shopping List

1 – 6 foot long 1×6
20″ of 1x2s
12″ of 1x4s
2″ screws
1 1/4″ screws
wood glue
finishing supplies

Common Materials
120 grit sandpaper
wood conditioner
paint brush
Cut List

2 – 1×6 @ 30″
2 – 1×2 @ 6″
2 – 1×4 @ 6″
1 – 4″ diameter circle (cut from 1×6 scraps)
2 – 2″ diameter circles (cut from 1×6 scraps)
2 – 1×2 @ 2 1/2″

Tape Measure
Speed Square
Safety Glasses
Hearing Protection
Circular Saw
Power Sander


Step 1


Attach the 1x4s flush to the back between the shelves. Predrill screw holes and use glue. The shelves are set in from the outsides 3″.

Step 2


Now attach the front, centered on the shelves, inset 3/4″. Use glue, 2″ screws and predrill your holes.

Step 3


Now cut your face out with a 4″ holes saw and line up on the front. The hole saw kit should have drilled a hole in the center already.

Step 4


Now attach the propeller to the face and screw down, through the center, through the face, into the front.

Step 5

Step 6


Now simply attach the wheels to the wheel base. I cut my wheels with a 2″ hole saw kit. You can also buy 2″ round wheels at hobby and craft stores – and probably 4″ round wood craft circles too – if you don’t have a hole saw kit.

Step 7

Attaching the Wheels

The wheels are inset 2″ from the front. Simply screw to the bottom with 1 1/4″ screws and glue.

Step 8


Fill holes with wood filler and finish as desired.

Times gonna fly when you are building this one!


Meg (not verified)

Fri, 12/17/2010 - 04:11

This is why your site is the first thing I check every morning.
So cute. I have two boys, 3 & 4, that would LOVE these!
I (with the help of my boys-who now love building) just finished a modified smaller version of the tool box for each of them- i think these are next!
I can't wait for my baby girl to get bigger so I can make all the girl projects!

Sara (not verified)

Fri, 12/17/2010 - 04:56

So cute! My son's nursery was in airplanes (5 years ago). This would have been so cute! Keep the boy stuff coming!

A (not verified)

Fri, 12/17/2010 - 05:07

This couldn't have come at a more perfect time!!! I am 37 weeks pregnant with my son,a nd we're doing an airplanes and trains room for him! Thank you!!!!

Rachelle (not verified)

Fri, 12/17/2010 - 05:17

Oh MY! I have to make this for my boys as soon as we get home after Christmas! One already has an airplane quilt.

kerry davis (not verified)

Fri, 12/17/2010 - 06:15

I, too, check your site EVERY morning! I love these - I have all boys, so get excited when I see boy projects! You're amazing as always!

Sunny (not verified)

Fri, 12/17/2010 - 06:44

I would put it in my 2 year old's "Airplane fly in the sky" room. It would fit in perfectly with the RC piper cup hanging from the ceiling and the border of framed airplane prints all around the room. And the airplane rocking horse.

What would I put on it? umm...his ever growing collection of airplanes and pilots. perhaps. but that might be excessive

Pam the Goatherd (not verified)

Fri, 12/17/2010 - 07:44

That is adorable! My boys are all grown up and I don't have grandchildren yet, but these plans are going in the "build that for the grandkids" file!

Kim (not verified)

Fri, 12/17/2010 - 09:10

Apparently 11:00 am is still too early for me, because it took me a while to connect "plane" with "PLANE shelf" I'm sitting here thinking "Hmm..That's an interesting shelf" lol
But seriously, absolutely brilliant idea! I wish I had a boy but I think I may make it for a friend of mine!

Ana White (not verified)

Fri, 12/17/2010 - 09:46

Thank you everyone! Just to let you know, I hung mine with screws under the bottom shelf (not advisable but visible for photographing in a bright location) and I would not hang the shelf permanently that way. I suggest buying Angle Braces (really small ones) to hang or a picture hook hanging kit. Can't wait to see yours!

Lisa W (not verified)

Fri, 12/17/2010 - 10:57

I truly look forward to seeing what you post every day. :) This one made me smile. I have 3 boys and my youngest is in love with airplanes. I will have to make him this one soon. Thank you so much for the hard work that you do. I have hit my limit for this month's spending at Home Depot, but am looking forward to my gift cards at Christmas. My work's not perfect, but I know with practice it will get better. And in the meantime, I can create furniture that we need (laundry dresser, tryde console table, art clip rails....). Thank you, thank you, thank you, Ana.

Erica (not verified)

Fri, 12/17/2010 - 12:25

This is brilliant! Saw one of these by PB about a year and have wanted one for my son's room since! I will definitely b making a few of these!

Joyce (not verified)

Sun, 12/19/2010 - 10:57

Thank you thankyou thankyou!

I looked at this in a magazine the other day while looking for nursey ideas, and was going to send you the page!
Now to find out if its a girl or boy so we know ow to decorate!

lauren (not verified)

Sun, 01/23/2011 - 16:27

cool! just found this design... and perfect timing. I'm redecorating my 2 year olds room with an airplane theme. I think I'll build it (well, with the help of my handy husband) a bit bigger and put it above the crib/bed. I'm actually just thinking of it as a design element..and not really using it as "shelving" per se. Thanks for the idea!


Sun, 04/17/2011 - 10:28

This is such a cute project, I plan to build 2 more for my boys after I paint the one I made for my nephew!  Thanks!


Fri, 06/08/2012 - 20:28

I am building one for a friend that will give birth to a boy this week. I am making a couple of minor changes to the design but the design as it is looks great. I live in Corpus Christi, Texas where new Navy pilots receive their first training. They fly prop planes with bright orange wing tips, tails and engine cowling. The rest of the plane is white. I plan to use the same color scheme. Will send a pic when it is done.

My question is how do you attach to the wall without taking away from the fun of the shelf?