How to Build Outdoor Shelves

If you're a gardener or do other outdoor activities in your yard, you may have need for a set of shelves outside your home for storing items, such as pots or other gardening accessories.
Store outdoor tools for easy accessibility.Store outdoor tools for easy accessibility.
Outside shelves must be built to take into account the environment they're in and to stand up to the elements. With some basic tools and the right materials, you can have a set of shelves that will hold up against Mother Nature and Father Time.

Step 1

Measure and cut four 6-foot-long 2-by-4 inch boards. Measure and cut eight 22-inch-long 2-by-2 inch boards. Then measure and cut 12 3-foot-long 1-by-4 inch boards.

Step 2

Place two of the 2-by-4 inch boards on the ground, broad side down and parallel to each other. Starting at one end, place a 2-by-2 inch board across the 2-by-4 boards so the ends of the 2-by-2 board are even with the outer edges of the 2-by-4 boards. Add 2-by-2-inch boards at 24 inches, 48 inches, and the other end of the 2-by-4-inch boards. Repeat this with the other set of 2-by-4-inch boards. You now have two uprights, which you'll attach the horizontal shelves to.

Step 3

Drill a 1/8-inch pilot hole through the boards where they intersect. Insert a wood screw into the hole and screw it in to fasten the boards together.

Step 4

Add 2-by-2 inch boards at 24 inches, 48 inches and at the other end of the 2-by-4 boards. Repeat this with the other set of 2-by-4 boards. You now have two uprights to which you'll attach the horizontal shelves.

Step 5

Stand the two uprights up and parallel to each other. Place a 1-by-4 inch board between them, resting on the 2-by-2 inch boards and 24 inches up from the bottom. Line up the 1-by-4 board even with the outside edge of the uprights and screw it in place on each end with two wood screws. Place three more 1-by-4-inch boards between the uprights, spacing them 2 inches apart.

Step 6

Place 1-by-4 inch boards on the 2-by-2 inch boards at the 48-inch mark and at the top with the same spacing as before. Screw them into place. Move the shelves to your desired location.

Things You Will Need

  • Tape measure
  • 2-by-4 inch pressure-treated lumber
  • Circular saw
  • 2-by-2 inch pressure-treated lumber
  • 1-by-4 inch pressure-treated lumber
  • Drill
  • 2-inch stainless steel wood screws

About the Author

Based in Virginia, Nichole Liandi has been a freelance writer since 2005. Her articles have appeared on various print and online publications. Liandi has traveled extensively in Europe and East Asia and incorporates her experiences into her articles. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in history from West Virginia University.