Set Up Some Awesome DIY Shelving in the Garage

Shelving is one of the essentials of any home, allowing for a bunch of storage to be had without having to take up any of your floorspace. Thankfully, it’s also remarkably simple to create it as long as you have some basic DIY skills and some tools around. Follow our guide closely, and pretty soon you’ll have something you can be proud of to lay your stuff on.

These are simple, bracketed shelves and you can make them from any kind of scrap.

Victoria, Homethods Author

DIY Shelves

1.) Grab Your Tools and Clear the Area

The first thing you’ll need to do is clear the area where you’re going to be putting the shelving up. Just get all that stuff out of the way and then gather your tools together in order to make sure that you’ve got everything in one place for easy assembly.

You’ll need the following:

  • A Chop Saw or Table Saw
  • Scrap 2x4s
  • Thick Particle Board
  • A 36” Level
  • A Screw Gun
  • Screws
  • Speed Square or Miter Box
  • Studfinder

Once you’ve got it all together, it’s time to get building in order to make some sturdy shelves.

2.) Constructing the Brackets

The first thing you’ll want to do is build the brackets. It’s a fairly simple process, so get ready to get cutting and you’ll be well off.

At this point you’ll want to decide how deep you want the shelves as well. Most people make them between 16” and 20”, but it’s up to you. Keep in mind that deeper shelves will require more support in order to ensure that they’re safe.

Constructing the brackets is pretty easy, chop the diagonal section first, ending it in two opposing 45° angles. End to end they should measure twelve inches.

Use a speed square to mark them if you’re using a power saw, even if you have a guide on your saw. It’s imperative that you be accurate here, since anything more than a degree or two of deviation is going to cause problems in the assembly.

Once you’ve got the first one cut, you can use it as a guide to mark the rest of the brackets to make sure they’re exact. 

You want one bracket per 16” of shelf length so you can attach them to as many of the studs as possible.

Now chop a couple of pieces straight across in order to form the rest of the bracket. The easiest way to measure them is to place a 2×4 next to the bracket with the angle butted up against it and measure from the far point and chop there. Then measure from the bottom of that support to the end again by placing the 2×4 there and chop where it ends.

Use the first set of brackets as guides to build as many as you need. If, for instance, you’re building three brackets for the shelf, then chop all of them before you start attaching them.

Afterwards, attach the straight pieces to each other. One will be a little bit longer than the other, so drive two screws through it, with a pilot hole if you want, in order to get the 90° angle that forms the outside of the bracket.

Afterwards, mark the center of both of these boards and put two screws in each side for the angled portion of the bracket.

Done properly, you’ll end up with this:

Grab Your Tools and Clear the Area

  • That’s it, the most complex portion of this job is now finished.

3.) Place the Brackets

Placing the brackets for the best support will require a stud finder. If you don’t have one, be aware that studs are generally placed 16” from each other and maybe try knocking around. Be careful before driving holes, the last thing you need is a brand new electrical or plumbing problem.

Mark the studs and put up the first bracket by driving three screws into it. One as close to the 90° corner as you can get and the other two on the lower sides of the bracket to the right and left of the angled piece.

Place the Brackets

Before you drive them, make sure they’re all level. In reality almost nothing is actually squared so use a level even if you measure from the roof.

If you have trouble keeping stuff level, here’s a handy tip: don’t drive the first screw all the way down and instead put it about halfway in and check it with the level. Angle it until everything is leveled off then zip it in. You can then use your level to ensure the next one is even and keep going until they’re all up.

Place the Brackets 2

4.) Attach the Shelf

Now, you’ll want to cut your actual shelving material to size. Try not to extend it too far past the brackets and for the cleanest look you’re going to want to make it flush on the sides.

Just cut it with your saw and you’ll be good to go. After that, attaching it to the brackets is simple: drive two screws into each bracket for the best results.

Attach the Shelf

Before you go about attaching things there’s one more thing you’ll want to do. Mark the actual shelf with the center of each bracket so you can get the screws as close as possible to the center. It will look cleaner and provide slightly better support at the end of the day.

  • Use something sturdy for the shelving, at least 3/8” is probably a good idea and ½” is even better.

Now that you’ve got it all attached, you’re done and ready to start loading those shelves up and taking advantage of your sweet new storage space.

Attach the Shelf 2


Making your own DIY shelving doesn’t have to be an exhausting task, you can put these up in just a couple of hours if you know what you’re doing and it’s doubtful it’ll take even an entire afternoon if you’re a complete newbie. Give it a shot, take advantage of some of that wall room, and you’ll be surprised at just what you can pull off.


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