How to Hang a Shelf

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Adding storage or display space in your home can be a snap. Here's how to mount a simple wooden shelf and two brackets to a wall.

Things You'll Need

  • Woodworking Tools
  • Measuring Tapes
  • Shelf Brackets
  • Shelves
  • Carpenter's Pencils
  • Drill Bits
  • Levels
  • Multiuse Screws
  • Screwdriver Sets
  • Stud Finders
  • Variable-speed Drills
  • Buy a wooden shelf from a home-improvement store. Buy shelf brackets - simple L shapes or something more decorative - making sure that the top leg of the bracket is no longer than the shelf is deep.

  • Buy screws if you don't have a supply at home or if they don't come with the brackets (see Tips).

  • Find the wall studs; you'll fasten the brackets to them (see 'eHow to Locate Wall Studs').

  • Determine where you want the bottom edge of the shelf to sit, then mark the position in pencil, using a carpenter's level as a guide.

  • Line up the top of each bracket with the pencil line and mark the attachment holes on the wall. Set the bracket aside.

  • Test-drill the holes to make sure they are going into wood rather than wallboard. If there is no stud in a convenient place and the shelf is not going to carry more than a few pounds, you may be able to settle for using hollow-wall anchors (see 'eHow to Install Screws and Anchors in Walls').

  • Attach the brackets to the wall, lay your shelf on top, and screw the bracket into the shelf.

Tips & Warnings

  • Choose screws that will penetrate the wallboard and go into the stud about 1 inch. Choose shorter screws for mounting the shelf on the bracket, so they won't penetrate the top of the shelf.
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