Simple 1x6 Storage Shelves

easy to build storage shelves
Starter Projects
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Build these very simple storage shelves out of 1x6 boards.  Add a metal rail to the front if desired.  

easy to build storage shelves
easy to build storage shelves
easy to build storage shelves
easy to build storage shelves

These simple to build rustic shelves are sturdy and beautiful.  Build them in just an hour with no special tools or materials.  Just cut, screw, stain and hang!

We built these rustic shelves for our kitchen (see the whole tour here), but I could see them used in any room of the home.

They add such a nice break from the wall cabinets.



Other Shelving Options

We did consider quite a few different options for our kitchen shelving, but non quite worked out.


Floating Shelves

I had originally wanted floating shelves (plans here) - but the space tightwad in me can't stand all the wasted space inside the floating shelves... ridiculous, I know. 


Shelves with Support Brackets

So then I thought long and hard about shelves with brackets underneath (plans for these shelves here).  But the brackets would have to be mounted over our tile backsplash, meaning we'd have to drill through the tile to hang.  And we'd be dependant on where studs are located as to where the brackets would have to be placed.  


$10 Ledges

Next, I thought about the $10 ledge shelves (plans here).  Those would be perfect.  But the weight limit isn't suitable for glass jars full of flours and rice ....  and the depth isn't there .... 


So we came up with these rustic shelves - basically just a $10 ledge with more depth, more strength, and a pretty front.

Each 41" long shelf is just one 8 foot 1x8 board - between $8-$12 a board (depending on where you live).

The front is a piece of flat metal stock (available at pretty much any hardware store).

The stain I used is Varathane Weathered Gray. 

Isn't she beautiful on these shelves!

Ok, your turn!  Where would you use these shelves?  Let me know in the comments.

The free plans follow.  Enjoy and please do share if you build, we love seeing your projects - it's a big deal to us!

Have a great one!





easy to build storage shelves
Dimensions shown above. Can be easily customized to different lengths. NOTE: I ended up using a 1x6 on the back of my shelves because that's what I had in the scrap pile.


Shopping List

1 - 1x8 @ 8 foot long

1 - 3/4" wide flat metal stock, 41" long (can be cut with a jigsaw with metal blade)

1-1/4" brad nails

2" self tapping wood screws (try SPAX or similar) OR 1-1/4" pocket hole screws (to use with Kreg Jig)

Also need screws for hanging, this should be determined by your wall type.  For a typical wall stud framed with 1/2" drywall, 2-1/2" screws would be great.  Use a stud finder to locate studs and simply screw through back of shelf.

Cut List

2 - 1x8 @ 39-1/2"

2 - 1x8 @ 8"

1 - 3/4" flat metal stock @ 41" 

Tape Measure
Speed Square
Safety Glasses
Hearing Protection
Circular Saw
Brad Nailer
Power Sander
Drill Bit Set


Step 1

Attach the two 1x8s together with screws - either the pocket hole screw or the 2" self tapping screws.  Place screws about 6-8" appart.

Step 2

Nail and glue sides to bottom/back.  The sides are very structural, so these pieces are important.

Step 3

Cut the flat metal stock with a jigsaw with metal blade - use safety glasses.  Predrill with metal drill bit and attach to front of shelves.  You won't need much for screws - I actually used a 1-1/4" Kreg Jig screw.

NOTE: The metal piece just keeps things from falling off the shelf and won't be super sturdy.  This is fine.