Do you need more storage space but don’t have enough room to fit in a whole bookcase? A made-to-measure DIY ladder shelf will solve your problem. This step-by-step tutorial will show you how to make your own shelving unit.
Ladder-shaped shelves are not only functional but provide a great solution for small rooms or spaces. Visually, they look less bulky than a bookcase, but they’re also lighter. This means you can easy to pick them up and move them to a new location whenever you like, placing them wherever suits you best.
Tools and materials
To make this ladder shelf you will need the following tools
You will also need the following materials:
- Panel of wood measuring 2000 x 600 x 18mm
- 2 wooden planks measuring 70 x 1800 x 18mm
- Screws or coach screws
- Wood glue
- Oak varnish
Cost, time and difficulty
The approximate cost of materials is less than £50.You can purchase some of the tools and materials used in this project here, by clicking on this link.
This DIY project is ideal for beginners or those who would like to start making their own furniture. The project can be completed in less than a day, although this will depend on the finish and the drying time of the specific varnish or paint used.
Measurements and plan
This shelving unit is comprised of 2 legs and 5 shelves. To make the shelves you will need to cut up the wooden panel with the circular saw. The following image illustrates the measurements used in this projects.
Once cut, the pieces should be assembled as per the plan below:
Step-by-step DIY ladder shelf
This DIY project features shelves of different depths. These allow you to make the most of your available space. The shorter shelves are ideal for books, while the lower shelves are more suitable for boxes, baskets or binders.
Step 1: Cut and assemble the shelves
First, cut the pieces for the shelves following the measurements above. Next, use the mitre saw to cut the legs at an angle of 8 degrees. We recommend following the cutting order below, as it will be easiest to cut the smaller pieces from a larger one.
- 3 × 8.5cm (2 pieces)
- 5 × 8.5cm (2 pieces)
- 5 × 8.5cm (2 pieces)
- 5 × 8.5cm ( 2 pieces)
- 23 × 8.5cm (2 pieces)
Next you’re going to assemble the pieces in two steps:
- Glue and nail the small 30 × 7cm pieces to each shelf base (30, 25, 20, 15 and 10cm).
- Do the same for the sides, positioning them on the edges width-wise.
Step 2: Varnish the shelves and legs
The next step requires you to varnish the shelves and legs. Although it is also possible to do this once the shelves are assembled, it will be much easier to do it now, before assembly. Otherwise, you run the risk of the varnish pooling in the various corners and recesses.
To protect the wood we’ve used an oak-tinted varnish, which adds a touch of rustic chic to the shelves.
Step 3: Assemble the shelving unit
Lastly, you’re going to assemble the shelving unit. To do so, place the shelves on a smooth, flat surface, leaning them on their back.
Next, lie each leg on either side of the shelves, and attach with screw clamps. Finally, screw in the coach screws using the drill driver.
Once you’ve completed these steps, all that’s left to do is position the shelving unit against the wall and fill it up with your baskets, boxes, books, decorations…In short, whatever you’d like to store on it.
So, what do you think of our DIY ladder shelf? Your storage problems now have a solution thanks to being able to fill up the shelves with a wide variety of objects on a small space. Apart from being functional, they look great too. What more can you ask for?!
Looking to build more functional items for your space? With our series on how to build your work space, you can make a floor lamp from a plant pot, a fold out desk disguised as a framed photo, or a designer inspired chair!
This article was written by: Bricoydeco and translated. Mari Luz authors the blog ‘Bricoydeco’, she is a DIY fanatic, lover of recycling and customising furniture. Her passion is giving a second chance to turn once forgotten things into unique pieces!