DIY Space-Saving Garage Shelves

Most garages collect clutter like a kid’s closet or that drawer next to the one with the silverware. That’s why you should build some clutter-correcting shelves for your garage. Below are instructions and materials lists for two shelving projects that a do-it-yourselfer can complete in no time.


Want a fast project that can be built with scrap lumber at a fraction of the cost of shelving solutions at the big box stores? These wall shelves can be built in an afternoon and won’t cost you an inch of precious floor space.

Materials: 2-1/2-inch wood screws; six 12-inch, six 10-inch and six 8-1/2-inch pieces of two-by-fours; 1/2-inch plywood, cut into the 16-inch-deep-by-6-foot-long shelf.

Tools: Tape measure; level; drill/impact driver; circular saw; mitre saw; speed square.

Step 1: Using speed square, mark 45-degree angles on each end of the 12-inch bracket cross members, then cut using the mitre saw.

Step 2: Assemble brackets — 10-inch pieces are top of the bracket, and the full length will be in contact with the shelf. Use two screws to attach the top to the wall side of the bracket, two screws to attach the top and wall sides, respectively, to the angled cross members. (Note: a 1-inch piece of scrap lumber can be used to raise the cross member off the floor or table while attaching it, effectively centring it on the other members.)

Step 3: Locate studs (if you’re running the shelf out of a corner, first bracket should be flush. Assuming 16-inch on-centre studs, second bracket at the nearest stud, then skip a stud and place last bracket 48 inches from the first). Pre-drill studs and brackets. Level bracket placement (16 inches below the ceiling for the highest shelf, 16 inches below that for the next shelf). Mount the brackets.

Step 4: Attach plywood shelves, pre-drilling four holes for each shelf support, driving all screws at least flush.


Ana White, an Alaska-based furniture builder and blogger, has a simple design for super-sturdy shelving using only two-by-fours that are adaptable to virtually any length.

Shopping list: Two 10-foot long two-by-fours per leg support (one leg support every 6 feet or less); four two-by-fours per length of a shelf (example, 12 feet); 2-1/2-inch self-tapping wood screws; wood glue.

Tools: Tape measure; speed square; pencil; drill; circular saw; sander; eye and ear protection.

Cuts: (For a 72-inch-tall-by-12-foot-wide shelf per leg support) Two 72-inch sections. Four 17-inch sections.

Step 1: Mark placement of shelf supports on each leg. Attach legs to shelf supports with self-tapping screws and glue. (Note: place uppermost shelf support so that two-by-four shelves, laid flat, will be flush with the top of the leg supports.)

Step 2: Mark placement of shelf supports on four of the shelf boards. With a 12-foot unit and three leg supports, one support would be flush with each end of the shelf boards, the other dead centre. Attach two shelf boards to the top shelf support and two to the bottom shelf support with screws. Adjust for square. Add remaining boards, affix with screws. Attach to the wall with screws to prevent tipping or racking.


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