Bathroom Wall Shelf

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buildsomething added on 1/28/2016

Just about everybody needs more bathroom storage space, but it’s one of the most-challenging rooms to fit another item into. This wall-mounted shelf makes a perfect addition because it’s small, but with two shelves and a towel bar, it packs a lot into a little space. Plus, it looks great.


Follow the steps below to complete this project.


Cut the Wall Brace and Front Legs

Cut two Wall Braces and two Front Legs to size from a 1x2 board, as shown in the cutting diagram. In the Wall Braces, drill two holes where shown for screws that will be used to mount the finished shelf on the wall. In the Front Legs, drill a hole for the aluminum rod that will serve as a towel bar.


Make the Side Rails

Cut four Side Rails to size from a 1x2 board, as shown in the cutting diagram. Then, with your pocket hole jig set for 3/4" material, drill pocket holes in these pieces where shown.


Create Side Assemblies

Begin assembling the sides by assembling the Side Rails, Front Legs and Wall Braces, as shown, using 1 1/4" fine-thread pocket hole screws. Make sure the pocket holes on the Side Rails face to the inside for each side. Plug the holes with glue and wood pocket hole plugs that match the species of wood you use for your project. Let the glue dry and sand the plugs flush.


Make the Slats

Cut 10 Slats and two Back Slats to length from 1x2 boards, as shown in the cutting diagram. With your pocket hole jig set for 3/4" material, drill pocket holes where shown. Note that the 10 Slats get two pocket holes on each end. The Back Slats only have one at each end.


Add the Top Shelf

Add the top shelf assembly by attaching five Slats and one Back Slat as shown using 1 1/4" fine-thread pocket hole screws. It’s easiest if you attach the front-most Slat, and the Back Slat, and then space the remaining Slats evenly in between them.


Add the Bottom Shelf

Now you can attach the other slats to create the lower shelf in the same way.


Add the Second Side

Add the second side to the shelf assembly using 1 1/4" fine-thread pocket hole screws.


Create the Towel Bar

To create the Towel Bar. Cut an aluminum rod to length using a hacksaw, as shown in the cutting diagram. Use #0000 (super fine) steel wool or 400 grit wet/dry sandpaper to polish the rod to a finished look. Mask the holes for the Towel Bar in the Front Legs with painter’s tape, and then cut the tape from the hole with a utility knife. Slide the rod through one hole but leave it shy of the second hole. Add a dab of epoxy to the open hole and a little to the other end of the rod. Gently slide the rod into position. Remove the painters tape before the epoxy sets up. If you need to clean up any excess epoxy you can use denatured alcohol or lacquer thinner.


Finish and Install Your Shelf

With everything assembled, you can apply a finish of your choice. To bring out the color of the cherry wood we used for our shelf, we simply finished it with a natural oil. Then you can install the shelf. First, locate where you want it on the wall. While holding it in position, poke a sharp object through the mounting holes to indent the wall. Then, drill holes according to the instructions with your wall anchors. Install the wall anchors, and then mount the shelf using four #12 x 2 1/2" stainless-steel sheet metal screws.

Tools Used:

Materials Required:

Wood Products:

(4) 1x2, 96", Board  


(1) 1/2" x 36" aluminum rod Shop Online
(60) 1 1/4" fine-thread pocket hole screws Shop Online
(16) wood pocket hole plugs Shop Online
(4) #12 x 2 1/2" panhead stainless-steel sheet metal screws Shop Online
(1) #0000 (super-fine) steel wool Shop Online
(4) auger-style wall anchors Shop Online

Parts/Cut List:

(2) Front Leg, 3/4" x 1 1/2" x 14"  
(2) Wall Brace, 3/4" x 1 1/2" x 16 1/2"  
(4) Side Rail, 3/4" x 1 1/2" x 11 1/2"  
(10) Slat, 3/4" x 1 1/2" x 18 1/2"  
(2) Back Slat, 3/4" x 1 1/2" x 18 1/2"  
(1) Towel Bar, 1/2"-diameter x 20"  


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