How To Build Free Standing Shelves

If you’re looking to create more space in your home or office, building free standing shelves can be a great solution. In this article, we’ll walk you through the process of building your own shelves. Whether you’re a seasoned DIYer or a beginner, we’ve got you covered. Let’s get started on how to build free standing shelves.

Tools and Materials

Before we begin, let’s gather the tools and materials you’ll need to build your shelves. You’ll need a saw, a drill, a measuring tape, screws, wood glue, sandpaper, and wood of your choice. You can choose to use plywood, MDF, or solid wood. You’ll also need a level to ensure your shelves are straight and sturdy.

Step 1: Measure and Cut the Wood

To start building your free standing shelves, measure and cut the wood according to the desired size of your shelves. You’ll need to cut the wood for the sides, shelves, and any additional supports. Use a saw to cut the wood to your desired measurements.

Step 2: Sand the Wood

Once you’ve cut the wood, sand it down to ensure a smooth finish. Sand the edges and corners to avoid any sharp edges that could cause injury. Sanding also helps the wood to absorb stains or paint better.

Step 3: Assemble the Shelves

Next, assemble the shelves by attaching the sides to the shelves using screws and wood glue. Use a level to ensure that the shelves are straight and sturdy. Add additional supports if needed for extra stability.

Step 4: Finish the Shelves

Once the shelves are assembled, you can choose to paint or stain them to match your d├ęcor. Apply a coat of paint or stain evenly and allow it to dry completely before placing any items on the shelves.


Q: Can I make these shelves taller or wider?

A: Yes, you can adjust the measurements to make the shelves taller or wider. Just make sure to adjust the number of shelves and supports accordingly.

Q: Can I use different types of wood?

A: Yes, you can use plywood, MDF, or solid wood for your shelves. The type of wood you choose will depend on your budget and desired look.

Q: How much weight can these shelves hold?

A: The weight capacity of your shelves will depend on the thickness of the wood and the number of supports. Make sure to use sturdy wood and add additional supports if needed for heavier items.


Building free standing shelves is a great way to add storage space to your home or office. With the right tools and materials, you can create beautiful and functional shelves that fit your needs. Follow these steps and you’ll be on your way to building your own shelves in no time. Happy building!