How to Make a Shelf Using 2X2's

Making your own shelves for the kitchen, craft room or garage is a task that most handy do-it-yourselfers can accomplish. You don't need any special materials; in fact, you can make a sturdy shelf from 2-by-2-inch lumber and plywood. This is a great way to use leftover lumber after a larger building project, and you can vary the dimensions to suit the available space and storage requirements.

Make your own handy shelf from 2-by-2 lumber.
  1. Find three wall studs in the wall using a stud finder and mark a line across them at the height you want the shelf to go. Use a level when marking the line to ensure it is straight.
  2. Place a 48-inch-long plank of 2-by-2 lumber on the level line and use two 3-inch drywall screws to attach it to the wall at each stud point. There will be three stud points, as studs are spaced 16 inches apart, and six screws altogether. This is the wall cleat for the shelf.
  3. Position two planks of 6-inch-long 2-by-2 lumber at right angles to the shelf cleat, one at either end. Secure them with three drywall screws.
  4. Place a sheet of 10-by-48 inch plywood (3/4-inch thick) over the shelf cleat and use 1-inch wood screws driven through the back of the plywood into the cleat to secure it.
  5. Miter the ends of two pieces of 11-inch 2-by-2 lumber to opposing 45 degree angles. Slot them between the end of the 6-inch planks that are perpendicular to the cleat and the edge of the plywood shelf top. These are support brackets
  6. Secure them with finishing nails through the end into the 6-inch plank and through the top of the plywood into the end of the brackets.

Things You Will Need

  • Stud finder
  • Level
  • 1 plank, 2-by-2-inch lumber, 48 inches long
  • Drill
  • 3-inch drywall screws
  • 2 planks, 2-by-2 lumber, 6 inches long
  • 1 sheet, 3/4-inch plywood, 10-by-48 inches
  • 1-inch wood screws
  • 2 planks, 2-by-2 lumber, 11 inches long
  • Miter saw or saw with miter box
  • Finishing nails
  • Hammer


  • If you want a painted shelf, paint all the components before installing them and touch up any visible screw or nail holes after installation.
  • If you want a longer shelf, use more brackets to support the shelf along the length.

About the Author

B.T. Alo is media director, chief writer and editor for a U.S.-based marketing and consulting firm. He holds a bachelor's degree in business and communications. Alo's interests include business, investments, electronics, personal finance, health, communication, popular trends and travel.

Photo Credits

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