The Turning Point–DIY Corner Shelves

My office redo has got me all like “what am I doing with my life?!”  Seriously, do you ever get to that point where you can’t figure one tiny thing out and suddenly you start irrationally questioning ALL of your life choices?


For example: I can’t figure out if I like these shelves here.  And I don’t know where to hang our diplomas.  Now I’m not sure it was a good idea to buy those jeans three months ago.  Or make macaroni and cheese for supper last night.  It was probably a terrible idea to wash my car last week.  I shouldn’t have trashed that milk jug a year ago.  Why didn’t I buy more wrapping paper when it was on sale after Christmas?  THIS IS CRAZY!!!


So, sometimes I just have to walk away.


When I decided to redo the office, I first pulled everything out and painted the walls.  Then I built a window bench and some cabinets along one of the walls.  As I mentioned in a previous post about my new desk, I changed my mind about my plans for the room at that point.  I put everything on hold until the desk was built so I could get a feel for what I wanted in the room after that.  After the desk was in the room, I LOVED it.  BUT, the walls were empty.  I had a few things to hang, but I also needed some shelves for my books and odds and ends…and my massive collection of mason jars…


So I built some shelves.  I’ll get back to this madness right after I show you how I built these shelves.


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First you will need:

1x8x8 (you can use a 1×10 or 1×12 for a deeper shelf if you want)

Miter saw (or chop saw)


Kreg Jig for Pocket Holes

1 1/4″ pocket hole screws

L-brackets for hanging

1 1/4″ wood screws

Cut pieces of DIY corner shelves to size

When I built these, I used 9′ of board.  I will show you how to use only 8′ so you can save having to buy another board just for one foot.  I cut two pieces of board 28″ long and four pieces 10″ long using my miter saw.


Assemble long side of shelf

I screwed the 28″ pieces onto the ends of one of the 10″ pieces with 1 1/4″ wood screws.  I could have used pocket holes and screws here, but this is cleaner (you wont see pocket holes) and it would be hard to get the drill in after the first 28″ piece was on.


Add the short side to the shelf

Then, I used pocket holes and screws to attach the two 10″ pieces to the other end of the 28″ pieces at a 90 degree angle.  See picture below.  NOTE: Think about how you want to hang your shelves and have the pocket holes face up.  This way, you can set something on the shelf to cover the hole on the bottom pieces and you wont see the top of the top piece if you hang it eye level or higher.

Then, I screw the last 10″ piece between these two short boards using 1 1/4″ wood screws.


Now, you can stain it or paint it before you hang it.  I hung it first then took it down later to stain it because I was so eager to see what it looked like on the wall.


I screwed L brackets into the studs (if you don’t have a stud where you want your L bracket, use a drywall anchor), then placed the shelf on the brackets and screwed them into the L bracket.  You can see the brackets in the picture below.


Now that the shelf is hung, enjoy the pictures before I continue with the madness as mentioned before…you didn’t think I would forget to come back to that, did you?


Don't let those corners go to waste! Build these easy DIY corner shelves to add storage and make a statement--Woodshop Diaries


Don't let those corners go to waste! Build these easy DIY corner shelves to add storage and make a statement--Woodshop Diaries

Now, here’s where the crazy happened.  I made only one of these and hung it up.

Don't let those corners go to waste! Build these easy DIY corner shelves to add storage and make a statement--Woodshop Diaries

But, then I thought it looked unbalanced and needed one on the other side.

Don't let those corners go to waste! Build these easy DIY corner shelves to add storage and make a statement--Woodshop Diaries

Then I didn’t know if it looked too busy or too crowded.  So I rearranged and rearranged and added my massive collection of mason jars.


And here we are.  I can’t decide if I like it.


I asked several friends and my sister their opinion.  My sister thinks it’s cramped looking and some friends think it is okay.  Well, I let my crazy get the best of me last night and I took them down.  But now I think I want them back up. I mean, for real, I got the heart racings and the sweats last night trying to figure out what to do with this room!  I took everything off the wall and just walked away. But, not before I moved everything around a billion times trying to see what it looked like here instead of there.  SOMEONE STOP THE MADNESS!!!  Danny thinks I’m being silly.  He could be right….but he’s never been right before, so I doubt it 🙂


Note: Good news you guys! I finally made a decision about the shelves.  You can see my final decision in my office reveal here.


PS Happy DIYing…it can become frustrating (as seen above), but it’s always worth it 🙂  So, go build some shelves! Even if you don’t know where to hang them 🙂


Don’t forget to pin for later!

Don't let those corners go to waste! Build these easy DIY corner shelves to add storage and make a statement--Woodshop Diaries

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24 Comment

  1. Tom Clarke
    March 9, 2016 at 12:56 pm

    I vote for just the one on the right. To balance it out put a picture on the left. One other thing – do you ever do projects that don’t have pocket screws? I hate pocket screws but understand sometimes they are a necessary evil

    1. Shara, Chasing A Dream
      March 9, 2016 at 1:31 pm

      I do use a lot of pocket screws. They save ALOT of time and I don’t have to use anything fancy to join boards. I hate the holes they leave, but otherwise, I don’t have issues with them, so I use them for quick, strong joints.

    2. Shara, Chasing A Dream
      March 10, 2016 at 1:13 pm

      Thanks for your input! I may try that for a few days and see if I like it that way!

  2. chris aka monkey
    March 9, 2016 at 2:57 pm

    okay shara my dear, first off you are awesome the stuff you do with wood is utterly amazing, i happen to like both of the shelves up put the globe on your desk and hang the cross picture under the mason jars remove the box or case from the book shelf and move the books from the mason jar shelf to the top of the book shelf in the corner then leave everything for at least a week then you will know if you have to move something or if it can stay xx

  3. Kelly
    March 10, 2016 at 6:04 am

    I think one of the reasons you feel that this is visually cluttered is that they are hanging above a bench designed to be a place to sit. The room is office size aka small with regular height ceilings… I think if you followed your original plan for a set of built in bookshelves it would have had a more formal style but items on the shelves could still have been “visual” clutter.
    I think you need to decide on the feel you want for this room… formal traditional “office” or I think like the rest of your home relaxed modern farmhouse. If it the latter then take them both down and if you need storage build a “bookcase” unit using the right side of the room so it isn’t the first thing you see, you will still have storage and who needs two walls of window bench 🙂
    You are crazy talented and you will make a good decision that fits your style.

    1. Shara, Chasing A Dream
      March 10, 2016 at 1:16 pm

      Thank you for your input! I am going to play around with it for a little bit and see if I can figure out what makes me happy in here haha. I feel my style is changing and I want this room to tie into the others in the house, but I also want some quirkiness to it as well. We will see what happens…I have a feeling I’m going to have to live with it several different ways and see what I like best.

  4. unreddecor2decor
    March 10, 2016 at 9:23 am

    I agree with Tom Clarke. One shelf with a picture of some sort will keep the room occupied without cluttering. I recommend decorating the shelf as you did in your first picture and don’t put anything else on them. I find the more shelves I put up/use the more junk or as I say decorative items they accumulate. Simple is better.

    1. Shara, Chasing A Dream
      March 10, 2016 at 1:17 pm

      Thank you for your input! I think I may try this idea for a few days and see if I like it 🙂

  5. Starving artist
    March 11, 2016 at 8:45 am

    In the photo they look to me like they are placed very high and sometimes symmetry is just boring. While you’re trying different options, try assymetrical – put both shelves on the same side (on the right) so the effect, combined with the bench underneath, is more like a bookshelf. Then balance the other side with a (fairly large) picture and other objects. Just my two cents ….

    1. Shara, Chasing A Dream
      March 11, 2016 at 10:19 am

      Thank you! I may try that idea!

      1. MarleneKidman
        March 11, 2016 at 11:46 am

        Love your shelves. If this was my place, I would remove the shelf on the right and place a large potted plant such as a fiscis tree on top of the bench in the right corner; or I would hang a large hanging plant such as a Boston or Asparagus fern above the bench in the corner. I feel the room needs something large and flowy (is that a word?) by that gorgeous window such as the greenery suggested above. I also feel this will soften the hard lines of the shelf and your beautiful desk as well as bring a little outdoors into the room. Just my opinion. Keep up the good work!?

        1. Shara, Chasing A Dream
          March 11, 2016 at 2:26 pm

          I think you are right about adding some plants. I think plants add a lot to a room. The only issue is I’m terrible at remembering to water and take care of them haha! Maybe I will try something inexpensive first and see if I can even keep it alive 🙂 Thank you for the ideas!

  6. Val
    March 11, 2016 at 11:12 am

    I have no talent for decorating and can’t “visualize” a finished room, but … since the window wall is smaller, … could the “short” side of the shelves be put on the “window wall?”

    1. Shara, Chasing A Dream
      March 11, 2016 at 2:23 pm

      That’s a good idea! I may try that!

  7. audreydalley
    March 11, 2016 at 2:27 pm

    Great job! Thank you for sharing your terrific plans. I did not read all the comments so, please forgive me if I have repeated another’s thoughts. My opinion – the shelves are congruent with the desk & bench, but not with the window trim, crown, or chandelier. Perhaps painting the shelves to match/blend into the wall? Too much going on with the various trim, wood, sheld decor, etc.

    1. Shara, Chasing A Dream
      March 13, 2016 at 12:08 pm

      Thank you for your suggestions! I had considered painting the shelves. I may try that!

  8. Suzanne Lee
    March 13, 2016 at 7:19 am

    Do you have a “how to” for your work table? I would certainly make one.

    1. Shara, Chasing A Dream
      March 13, 2016 at 12:07 pm

      Yes I do! You can find a link on my projects page 🙂

  9. […] then I built a desk.  Then I built shelves.  Then I got all excited and started “decorating.”  As you can see, I had some […]

  10. […] a remodel that included a new desk and shelves, we had this (and I have to say I LOVE how this room turned out). I still sometimes come stand in […]

  11. Donna
    February 7, 2017 at 2:03 pm

    I just came across your site through a pin. Love the shelves and as soon as I saw them, I realized that’s what my overstuffed office/craft room needs. I happen to like the look of both corner shelves installed, but agree with a reply about using a plant. So a Spider Plant or a fluffy Asparagus Plant will sit on top and help clean the air. I am quite excited to make this, however, I will wait until it isn’t 20 degrees C. below zero and I can use the garage to do this without turning into a peoplesicle. Thanks for the inspiration! I’ve signed up for your newsletter.

    1. Shara, Woodshop Diaries
      February 7, 2017 at 2:30 pm

      Thank you so much!! So glad you enjoyed the post and will try these yourself! I’d love to see how they turn out 🙂 PS I agree with waiting until it’s a little warmer outside…woodworking in 20 degrees is not fun 😉

  12. Georgiana
    February 23, 2017 at 8:40 am

    Cool blog! Is your theme custom made or did you download it from somewhere?

    A design like yours with a few simple adjustements
    would really make my blog jump out. Please let me know where you
    got your theme. Appreciate it

    1. Shara, Woodshop Diaries
      February 23, 2017 at 9:01 am

      Thank you!! I purchased my theme from etsy. It’s called Maryanne by BlogShopbyGeorgiaLou. I highly recommend it and the service I got from them while installing and customizing it was very good as well.

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