Make a decorative bookshelf

Perfect for displaying artwork, photographs or light books, these shelves can be adapted to suit your personal needs. You can paint them in your choice of colour using Plascon acrylic PVA.

shelf 1

This project should take you about 4 hours to complete, excluding painting, an cost around R400 if you buy half a sheet of 16mm MDF. If you have any offcuts lying around this is a great project for using these and then you only need to buy a few supplies for this project.


3 of 120 x 1000mm 16mm MDF
6 of 4 x 60mm smooth shank cut-screws
4 of 5 x 25 nylon wall plugs and 4 x 30mm screws*
Aluminium bar 3 x 22mm x 1 500 mm long
Acrylic paint of choice and paintbrush
180-grit sandpaper
Jigsaw and clean-cut blade
Router, or multitool and plunge accessory, plus bits
Hacksaw and metal file
Drill / Driver plus assorted bits
Countersink bit
Spirit level
Tape measure and pencil


*The screws used with the wall plugs for mounting the aluminium frame to the wall should always be at least half a centimetre longer than the plug an the hole needs to be drilled to this depth.


You will find all the supplies needed for this project at your local Builders or hardware store.


shelf 4

1. Measure twice and mark to drill the screw holes in the notches - as per the drawing.

2. Use your router to cut a groove to hold books in place on the shelf. You can also round the front edges, if so desired.

shelf 5

3. Sand until smooth to remove any sharp edges and prepare for painting. It is particularly important to sand the cut edges smooth.

shelf 3
4. Cut, mark and drill holes in the aluminium bar as per drawing. Countersink the holes in the bar to suit the screw heads used to mount the shelves to the bar and mount the bar onto the wall.

5. Paint the shelves and aluminium supports to suit decor. Assemble and mount to wall using nylon wall plus and screws.



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