Custom Built Mudroom Bench – DIY Shelves

If you haven’t seen part 1 of this Mudroom Bench series, click here!

Having a mudroom bench is lovely, but to really make a small mudroom functional, you need to use all of your vertical space. I planned my mudroom to have three levels of storage: Low, with shoes, medium, with jackets, and high, with hats/mittens and jazz.

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  • 8″ Common Board – Common board is pretty well priced and 1″ is a good thickness for this project.
  • 6″ Common Board – See above.
  • 2.5″ Screws – These ones!!! Save yourself so much time and stress and just get these buggers. You know me, I’m a cheapskate, but these are so 100% worth it. They self-drill into 2x4s and ply and countersink themselves. HOWEVER, you’ll need to drill pilot holes into the common board used in this project because we’ll be drilling so close to the edges of the wood.
  • 1 5/8″ Screws – Again, these ones!!! See above.
  • Wood glue – Truth be told, I hold no allegiance to any particular wood glue brands, but this one is inexpensive and works perfectly well.
  • Wood Putty – This stuff is both super cheap and super effective.

Step 1: Making 2 “L” Shaped Shelves

The image above shows the piece of wood that will be attached to the wall sitting on top of the shelf bit (that juts out). The line shows how thick the wood I’m screwing it into so that the screws can be inserted right into the middle of the board.

The top line shown above is the line I made marking the thickness of the wood and the bottom line is the exact center from the edge of the board to the top line. The center line is where to drill the screws!

Oh, also I broke a drill bit in the wood, so that’s in my shelf forever.

Step 2: Putting the 2 “L” Shaped Shelves into a “V”

Are the letters helping? I don’t think they’re helping.

One shelf is pointing toward the bottom left, the other to the bottom right, and in the middle is a small piece of wood bridging the gap between the two wall boards.

Some annotations might help.

Step 3: Making the Braces

Sub Steps in Order of Images Above:

  1. Print out a pretty, squiggly line with one side the length of the wall mount and one side the length of the shelf.
  2. Cut the squiggly line out of wood TERRIBLY. Twice. And I mean REALLY poorly on both.
  3. Clamp the two squigglies together and sand them together so at least they look the same and can totally fool the unsuspecting eye.

My jerry-rigged setup for clamping the shelf down to I could screw on the brace and sand it down.

Step 4: Attaching this Bad Boy to the Wall

If you have a bit of an older home like I do, odds are you’ve got some of these lovely trimmings in the corner. They’re made out of such soft wood, you can just use a hammer to tap a chisel into it and it’ll eventually just slice out giving you a nice clean corner in which to install your shelf.

These next three steps are the easiest way to install your shelf. Measure where you want the screws to be (I chose a zig-zag pattern, six screws per wall mount) then screw some pilot holes.

Put the shelf on the wall where you want it (make sure to level it!) and take something pointy like an awl or a small screwdriver and push it into the holes in the shelf, hard. This will make marks on the wall.

Take the shelf off the wall and drill pilot holes into the wall where the marks you just made are. Add drywall anchors if needed.

Screw all of the screws into the shelf until they just poke out of the back a tiny bit. Put the shelf back on the wall and screw the screws the rest of the way in!

Step 5: Spackle and Paint

Ta-dah! Shelf! All that’s left to do is smear some of that wood putty into any holes, sand the putty down, then paint it!

I’ll go into more of that later since I did the bench and shelves all at once.

Until then, happy woodworking!



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