How to Make Your Own Built-In Shelving

Make your own modern Built-In Shelving with this simple DIY tutorial. Love the natural wood used in this beautiful bathroom renovation! Great tutorial for DIY shelving in the bedroom, living room, or any room!

I love these types of projects. DIY Projects that you can easily modify and recreate for any space or room. When we removed the closet doorway here, I knew we wanted to use this space for built-in shelving. Built-in shelving is the best way to use those “wasted spaces”, like corners, hallways, and walls.  This turned out to be one of my favourite projects of this modern bathroom!

Love this modern bathroom design! Gorgeous faucets, fixtures, and tile choices! Follow along as this outdated bathroom is transformed into a beautiful modern oasis!

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This is the before picture. There used to be a doorway in that spot, but we took out the doorway and added a barn door on the other side instead. Then we were left with an open space, which was perfect for built-in shelving!

Materials:

3/4″ thick MDF boards
2×4 wood boards
Wood Stain of Your Choice
Polycrylic
Pine shelf board

Tools: 

Kreg Rip Cut
Circular Saw
Mitre Saw
Drill
Screws

Sharing great tips, tricks, and tutorials as we complete our master bathroom ensuite renovation! LOVE the modern, chic design plans!

How to Make Your Own Built-In Shelving?

Start by measuring your opening to determine your outside dimensions (confirm outside width, height, and depth) of your built-ins. (i.e. measure the box you are filling up with shelving). We had framed our box with 2x4s before starting our shelving project.

Make your own modern Built-In Shelving with this simple DIY tutorial. Love the natural wood used in this beautiful bathroom renovation! Great tutorial for DIY shelving in the bedroom, living room, or any room! Make your own modern Built-In Shelving with this simple DIY tutorial. Love the natural wood used in this beautiful bathroom renovation! Great tutorial for DIY shelving in the bedroom, living room, or any room!

Next, cut your pieces for the box using MDF (back portion, 2 sides, a top and a bottom board). We used a rip-cut to easily make the straight cuts. Remember to take in consideration the thickness of the material you are using when you cut your sides and back piece).

Make your own modern Built-In Shelving with this simple DIY tutorial. Love the natural wood used in this beautiful bathroom renovation! Great tutorial for DIY shelving in the bedroom, living room, or any room!

Construct your MDF box. Dry fit the four sides and back all together. We used clamps to temporarily hold all the pieces together.

Make your own modern Built-In Shelving with this simple DIY tutorial. Love the natural wood used in this beautiful bathroom renovation! Great tutorial for DIY shelving in the bedroom, living room, or any room!

Before assembling, we pre-drilled the holes (pilot hole and counter sunk bit) at all the joints, we did 3 holes per joint. When ready, remove the clamps, glue the edges and screw the box back together.

Make your own modern Built-In Shelving with this simple DIY tutorial. Love the natural wood used in this beautiful bathroom renovation! Great tutorial for DIY shelving in the bedroom, living room, or any room!

Layout your shelfs inside the box. We divided the box into 4 equal spaces. Put 2x4s at the front and back of the box where you want the shelved to sit. This will be used to attach your shelves. Once you have cut your 2x4s, glue and screw into place.

Make your own modern Built-In Shelving with this simple DIY tutorial. Love the natural wood used in this beautiful bathroom renovation! Great tutorial for DIY shelving in the bedroom, living room, or any room!

Below is that the shelf will look like with the 2x4s  in place at the front and back. You can see there is a small space left at the front. That space is the width of our pine shelf board so that the shelves will be flush with the wall. Bring your entire MDF box up to your space and put it in place.

Make your own modern Built-In Shelving with this simple DIY tutorial. Love the natural wood used in this beautiful bathroom renovation! Great tutorial for DIY shelving in the bedroom, living room, or any room!

You can install trim to finish the box (around edge of box and onto drywall), or you can tape and use drywall putty to blend into drywall to achieve a smooth flush transition (this is what we did). If choosing to try and tape into drywall, we routered/grooved the outside edge of the MDF slightly (about 1/8″) to allow room for the drywall tape and mud. Putty any screw holes, sand, prime, and paint the MDF case.

Make your own modern Built-In Shelving with this simple DIY tutorial. Love the natural wood used in this beautiful bathroom renovation! Great tutorial for DIY shelving in the bedroom, living room, or any room!

Install the MDF box in place. Level and screw to structure. Ensure that it’s screwed into the studs and watch out for utilities in the walls (electrical, plumbing, etc). Putty and touch up finish as required.

Make your own modern Built-In Shelving with this simple DIY tutorial. Love the natural wood used in this beautiful bathroom renovation! Great tutorial for DIY shelving in the bedroom, living room, or any room!

Measure the inside dimensions of your box at the shelf locations. Each shelf will require 3 pieces, a top, front, and bottom. The front board will have a 45 degree cut on the top and bottom, the bottom and top boards will have a 45 degree on the side facing the front board. When cutting and measuring the front board remember to take in account the thickness of the shelf material. You can see the top board below (under the polycrylic) with one straight edge and one 45 deg edge.

Make your own modern Built-In Shelving with this simple DIY tutorial. Love the natural wood used in this beautiful bathroom renovation! Great tutorial for DIY shelving in the bedroom, living room, or any room!

If using wood, stain and varnish the shelves prior to installing in the MDF case. If using MDF shelves, prime and paint. I used my Natural Wood Stain from Minwax. When that was dry I protected everything with Polycrylic.

Make your own modern Built-In Shelving with this simple DIY tutorial. Love the natural wood used in this beautiful bathroom renovation! Great tutorial for DIY shelving in the bedroom, living room, or any room!Make your own modern Built-In Shelving with this simple DIY tutorial. Love the natural wood used in this beautiful bathroom renovation! Great tutorial for DIY shelving in the bedroom, living room, or any room!

Attach the shelves to the 2x4s in the MDF case. We used glue and finish nails.

Make your own modern Built-In Shelving with this simple DIY tutorial. Love the natural wood used in this beautiful bathroom renovation! Great tutorial for DIY shelving in the bedroom, living room, or any room!

Now enjoy your new built-in shelving! I LOVE the look of these shelves in our renovated ensuite!

Make your own modern Built-In Shelving with this simple DIY tutorial. Love the natural wood used in this beautiful bathroom renovation! Great tutorial for DIY shelving in the bedroom, living room, or any room! Make your own modern Built-In Shelving with this simple DIY tutorial. Love the natural wood used in this beautiful bathroom renovation! Great tutorial for DIY shelving in the bedroom, living room, or any room! Make your own modern Built-In Shelving with this simple DIY tutorial. Love the natural wood used in this beautiful bathroom renovation! Great tutorial for DIY shelving in the bedroom, living room, or any room! Make your own modern Built-In Shelving with this simple DIY tutorial. Love the natural wood used in this beautiful bathroom renovation! Great tutorial for DIY shelving in the bedroom, living room, or any room! Make your own modern Built-In Shelving with this simple DIY tutorial. Love the natural wood used in this beautiful bathroom renovation! Great tutorial for DIY shelving in the bedroom, living room, or any room!

See the full, beautiful Modern Bathroom Renovation!

Make your own custom typography canvas with iron-on vinyl and paint. A sleek modern canvas for your bedroom or bathroom. Love the "wake up. kick ass. sleep. repeat." Art in a beautiful modern bathroom.

8 thoughts on “How to Make Your Own Built-In Shelving

  1. Im in love with the result. The shelves will help maintain the order of the house. Whatever you place there will be neatly piled up. Thank you for sharing your idea and instructions.Id love to read more of DIY projects from you.

  2. This is an awesome idea
    We did this in a really small bathroom that also had access thru a hallway (we closed off a doorway into a bed room) The new cabinet is just deep enough (so we did not steal room from the bed room or the teeny bath room) to hold a roll of toilet paper or paper towels with 6 shelves. Since the new cabinet sits directly across from the toilet (and there is just enough room to walk between the cabinet and the toilet) My husband made a “tip out” door and mounted the toilet paper holder on the inside… there is also enough room for a magazine bin down there too.

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