How to Make a Shelf Around the Top of the Room

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Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape

  • Level

  • Stud finder

  • Pencil

  • 1-inch by 2-inch lumber

  • Saw

  • 3/4-inch-thick plywood

  • Sandpaper

  • Paint

  • Paintbrush

  • Shelf brackets

  • 3-inch drywall screws

  • Drill

  • Eye protection

Shelving around the top of a room can create a wealth of additional storage space. High shelving also has the added benefit of being out of the eye line, so the items stored on these shelves will be more or less out of sight. This kind of shelving is ideal in workrooms or garages to keep clutter to a minimum and provide a proper place to store all your tools and equipment.


Step 1

Measure down from the ceiling to the desired height of the shelving and mark a level line at this height all around the room. Use a stud finder to locate the position of the wall studs. Mark them on the line, using a pencil.

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Step 2

Measure the length of the entire line and cut enough 1-inch by 2-inch lumber to fit along the line for shelf cleats, or supports. Cut pieces of the 1-inch by 2-inch lumber that are as long as the arms of the shelf brackets and as many as there are stud points on the line.


Step 3

Cut the shelves out of plywood. The shelves should be approximately 10 to 12 inches wide, and in lengths of approximately 36 to 40 inches. Cut the ends of the shelf pieces at 45-degree angles so that when the shelf pieces are placed in a line, the angles on the ends will mate to form a strong join.


Step 4

Sand and paint all the components of the shelves and let them dry.

Step 5

Position a cleat under the level line and secure it in place with two drywall screws through each stud point. Continue around all the line until all the cleats are attached to the wall.


Step 6

Abut the bracket-sized pieces of lumber perpendicular to the bottom of the cleats with one at each stud point. Secure the bracket pieces in place with one drywall screw through each corner of these pieces.

Step 7

Position a shelf bracket over each of the bracket-sized pieces of lumber, with the top of the bracket flush with the top of the shelf cleat. Screw the shelf brackets in place with drywall screws through the screw holes in the brackets into the lumber and wall underneath.


Step 8

Place the shelf pieces on top of the brackets. Alternate the side on which you place the shelf top so the angled ends mate to form a continuous shelf around the top of the wall.


Wear eye protection when cutting lumber.


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