How to Build Lighted Wall Shelves

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An interesting way to add color, style and usefulness to a bland, barren wall is by creating lighted wall shelves. A wooden floating shelf frame covered in sturdy white plastic housing a colorful or simply white string of LED lights is all this simple decorating project requires. Choose your own colors for the LED lights and install the floating shelves wherever you want on your wall. This fun way of adding flair to a room also doubles as a nightlight for children's bedrooms and the bathroom.

Things You'll Need

  • String of LED lights
  • 2 pine boards, 10-by-1-by-1-inch
  • 2 pine boards, 22-by-1-by-1-inch
  • 2 white PVC sheets, 10-by-24-by-1/2-inch
  • Marker
  • Stud finder
  • Yard stick
  • 1/4-by-3 1/2-inch lag screw
  • 1/4-inch wrench
  • Router
  • 1/2-inch round bit
  • Cordless drill
  • 2-inch wood screws
  • Polyurethane adhesive
  • Paintbrush
  • Locate the studs on the wall where you want to hang your shelves using a stud finder. The studs must be near an outlet. Mark the studs with a marker.

  • Measure and draw with a marker a 24-inch, perfectly level, horizontal line on the wall. The line must span two of the studs found.

  • Route a 1/2-inch-wide groove into a 10-by-1-by-1-inch pine board, using a router and a 1/2-inch round bit. The groove must be 2 inches long and centered on one end of the board.

  • Screw two 1/4-by-3 1/2-inch lag screws, using a 1/4-inch wrench, into the studs through a 22-by-1-by-1-inch pine board, called the cleat, on the 24-inch marker line.

  • Attach two 10-by-1-by-1-inch pine boards flush to the ends of a second 22-by-1-by-1-inch board using 2-inch wood screws and a cordless drill. One of the 10-inch pine boards is the one routed earlier. The groove must be on the free end of the board and visible from the side.

  • Paint polyurethane adhesive on the surface of the U-shaped wood using a paintbrush. Set a 24-by-10-by-1/2-inch white PVC sheet on the U-shaped wood flush with all the edges. Allow the adhesive to cure for two minutes.

  • Paint polyurethane adhesive to the other side of the U-shaped wood using a paintbrush. Set a second 24-by-10-by-1/2-inch white PVC sheet on the U-shaped wood flush with all the edges. Allow the adhesive to cure for two minutes. This is the floating shelf.

  • Insert a string of LED lights inside the floating shelf, leaving the plug hanging out of the side groove.

  • Place the shelf over the cleat with the LED light string hanging out over the outlet.

  • Screw the shelf to the cleat using 1 1/2-inch wood screws and the cordless drill.

  • Plug in the LED lighted shelf.

Tips & Warnings

  • Use any color of PVC sheet or LED light string to add your own design to the shelves.
  • Paint or stain the wood center to contrast the colors of the shelf for a more dramatic effect.

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  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images
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