DIY Locker Shelf

Natalie Dear

Trying to fit all of your stuff in a locker can be a challenge. Most are compact and have space for only the essentials: a coat, books and a backpack. Usually lockers have only one shelf on which to store personal items such as a purse or lunch. Remedy this by building an inexpensive shelf from plywood.

Boost locker storage space by adding a shelf.

Depending on the shelf's height and locker size, you will need a piece of plywood at least 36 inches by 15 inches. You can place items on top and underneath this homemade shelf.

  1. Measure the opening and the depth of the locker. Determine how high off the base of the locker you want the shelf to sit. Deduct 1/2 inch off the locker opening and the depth measurements to ensure the assembled shelf will fit in the locker.

  2. Place the plywood on the saw horse. Draw an outline of the top shelf on the plywood using the measurements from Step 1. Put the outline on a corner to minimize the number of cuts and to not waste wood, which you will need for the legs. Cut along the outline.

  3. Draw two shelf legs side by side on the plywood using the depth and height measurements, minus 1/2 inch (the thickness of the plywood). Cut along the outlines.

  4. Glue each leg to the underside of the shelf top so the piece looks like a little table.

  5. Hammer three finishing nails through the shelf top into each leg: one in the middle and the other two one inch from each end.

  6. Sand and paint or stain the shelf if you want to give it a more polished look.

  7. Tip

    Using a table saw or a circular saw is much quicker than a hand saw and lead to a straighter edge. Make a saw horse by putting two big sturdy boxes approximately a foot apart. Hardware stores often have wood scrap bins where you can find a piece of plywood big enough to complete this project instead of buying a large sheet.


    Wear protective eyewear when operating power tools.