Number 1 Shelf

| Print this plan

Free plans to build a Number 1 Shelf - from

Here's hoping you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving Day yesterday, and are in the midst of enjoying a long weekend with family and friends.

And maybe there's a few sawdust addicts out there - like me - that can't think of anything they'd rather be doing than dragging those friends and family out to the garage to work on a project.  You know what I'm talking about.

With Christmas morning approaching so fast, we wanted to keep the gift plans rolling your way.

Jaime from That's My Letter and I have been teaming up to deliver you new gift plans every Friday until Christmas - check out some of the previous week's free plans

And then last week - we added this darling vanity made with stair balusters!

Today, we are adding a brand new plan!

This time, it's a Number 1 Shelf!!!  Just in case you want to let a special someone know they are #1!!!  It's inspired by Pottery Barn Teen #1 Shelf that is no longer available.

Isn't it darling????  Jaime did such an amazing job building it!  

We've got you covered with step by step plans following - so check them out!!!

But before we get to the plans, please take a second to read Jaime's building post - there's lots more photos, details, construction steps - check it out!!!



Shopping List

8-9 feet of 1/2" thick plywood cut into strips 7-1/2" wide (width can vary depending on desired depth of shelf)
1/4" plywood or other material for the back - minimum size 14-1/2" x 28"

Cut List

CUT LIST - ALL 1/2" plywood 7 1/2" width
1 - 1/2" plywood @ 7-1/2" x 12-1/2" long
1 - 1/2" plywood @ 7-1/2" x 21" long
1 - 1/2" plywood @ 7-1/2" x 7-1/2" long
1 - 1/2" plywood @ 7-1/2" x 11" long
2 - 1/2" plywood @ 7-1/2" x 14-1/2" long
1 - 1/2" plywood @ 7-1/2" x 7-3/4" long (long point measurement, one end cut at 45 degree bevel)
1 - 1/2" plywood @ 7-1/2" x 4-5/8" (long point measurement, both ends cut at 45 degree bevels)
1 - 1/2" plywood @ 7-1/2" x 4-3/4" long (long point measurement, one end cut at 45 degree bevel)
1 - 1/2" plywood @ 7-1/2" x 6" long
Back plywood minimum size is 14-1/2" x 28"

Tape Measure
Speed Square
Safety Glasses
Hearing Protection
Circular Saw
Miter Saw
Brad Nailer
General Instructions

Please read through the entire plan and all comments before beginning this project. It is also advisable to review the Getting Started Section. Take all necessary precautions to build safely and smartly. Work on a clean level surface, free of imperfections or debris. Always use straight boards. Check for square after each step. Always predrill holes before attaching with screws. Use glue with finish nails for a stronger hold. Wipe excess glue off bare wood for stained projects, as dried glue will not take stain. Be safe, have fun, and ask for help if you need it. Good luck!


Step 1

There's countless ways to put this shelf together - the deeper your shelves - and if you are hanging it on the wall - or if you are planning on placing especially heavy objects inside like books - then you should definitely error on the side of overbuilding. Screws recommended, or you can use a pocket hole jig on the 1/2" setting with 1" pocket hole screws.

If you are planning to use this shelf without hanging, then you could get away with nails or staples and GLUE.

This plan calls for using 1/2" plywood, but you could also use cedar fence pickets, 3/4" stock (1x boards) or alter the depth - you may need to alter some of the cuts, though.

Start in the middle and work your way outward, so it's easy to assemble. Remember, this plan assumes your boards are 1/2" thick.

Step 2

Then from the middle portion, add the next rows of shelves.

NOTE: For a hanging shelf, I recommed adding a 1x2 on the underside of this top shelf, attached inset, flush to back. Then you can just screw through that 1x2 into your wall hanging system.

Step 3

Cut these guys and fit. When you are ahppy with them, attach.

Step 4

Now let's build up the base with the two sides.

NOTE: For wall hanging, I recommend adding another 1x2 cleat between these two side pieces, flush to inside, top, back.

Step 5

Step 6

Trace the shelf out on your back and cut out. Glue and nail or screw to back of shelf.

Finishing Instructions
Preparation Instructions
Fill all holes with wood filler and let dry. Apply additional coats of wood filler as needed. When wood filler is completely dry, sand the project in the direction of the wood grain with 120 grit sandpaper. Vacuum sanded project to remove sanding residue. Remove all sanding residue on work surfaces as well. Wipe project clean with damp cloth.

It is always recommended to apply a test coat on a hidden area or scrap piece to ensure color evenness and adhesion. Use primer or wood conditioner as needed.



Wed, 01/15/2014 - 07:15

I found a couple of changes that needed to be made for this project to fit together properly. The cut list should list two 7-1/2 x 6 instead of one for the sides of the base. Also, the beveled cuts of 45 degrees didn't work because two 45 degree pieces fit together to form a 90 degree angle on the shelf. Instead, I changed all of the beveled cuts to 22.5 degrees and the center piece fit perfectly. This was a really nice and quick project! Thank you.