If you’re lucky enough to have a garage, but you don’t have any shelves, you’re probably missing out on storage potential. DIY wooden garage shelving can increase the storage capabilities of your garage while leaving enough space to pull the car. Best of all, these shelves can be adapted to make the most of any space, unlike store-bought shelves that come in one size that might not be right for you.
This wooden bookcase is easy to build without any special tools or templates. Plus, it uses cheap, easy-to-find materials that will save you money and time. Get started with your DIY garage shelves today to maximize your space.
How to choose a size for garage shelves
The dimensions of this shelf are designed to produce the largest shelf while wasting the least amount of wood possible. However, the depth, width, and height are fully customizable. Because these shelves will be anchored to the wall, you can make them skinny and tall without worrying about them tipping over.
Determine the overall dimensions of your shelf by looking for underused places in your garage. Have an awkward wall gap between a door and an appliance? Build a shelf that fits in this spot. Do you have an unusually tight spot next to the garage door? This is the perfect area for storage. Plan the size of your shelf, then use the materials list as a guide for purchasing your materials.
how to build garage shelves
The materials and steps below produce a shelf that is 8 feet long, 8 feet high, and 2 feet deep. Adjust the materials as needed to change the dimensions of your shelf. Also, all of the cuts can be made at most hardware stores if you don’t have the necessary tools.
what you will need
- 2×4 x 8′ pine boards
- 4′ x 8′ x 7/16 OSB Siding Panel
- 3-1/2″ self-tapping wood screws
- 1-1/2″ self-tapping wood screws
- 4′ level or laser level
- Study Finder
- Measuring tape
- Drill bits
- miter saw
- circular saw
- trigger clamps
Step 1 – Find and Mark Studs
Find and mark the studs along the wall you plan to mount the shelves on. To make it easier to attach each shelf, use a level or laser level to mark the full length of the stud.
Step 2 – Mark the Walls for Shelves
Now that the posts are marked vertically, mark level horizontal lines at each point where you want a shelf. This bookcase is 8 feet tall and each shelf is 18 inches apart, so place the first horizontal line at 8 feet, then each remaining line every 18 inches until you reach the lowest shelf.
Step 4 – Cut the Frame Pieces
Each shelf frame consists of two full-length 2x4s joined by four 21-inch 2x4s. To cut boards to 21 inches quickly, set the miter saw stop to 21 inches instead of manually measuring and marking each cut.
Step 5 – Partially Assemble Shelf Frames
Mark a full length 2×4 at 32 inches and 64 inches. Attach the four 21-inch boards to the full-length board by screwing through the back of the full-length board and into the end of each 21-inch board with at least two 3-1/2 self-tapping wood screws. inches . Attach boards flush with each end, then one centered on each mark. Repeat for each shelf.
If you plan to store items with significant weight, consider adding more 21-inch racks and placing them closer together.
Step 6 – Attach Partial Frames to the Wall
Attach each partial frame to the wall by sliding the top edge of the full-length board up to the pre-scored horizontal lines and screwing into the studs with 3-1/2-inch self-tapping wood screws. Drive at least one screw into each stud.
Step 7 – Finish Shelf Frames
Attach the remaining full-length board to the 21-inch boards sticking out from the wall. Secure them using the same method as in Step 5.
Step 8: Attach the Legs
Attach legs to each end of shelves by screwing full-length 2x4s to shelves with three 3-1/2-inch wood screws at each joint. To ensure shelves are level, place a 2 foot level on end and adjust before screwing into place. For added strength, place your legs back and forth.
Security note: If you plan to make your shelves wider than 8 feet, add an extra leg in the middle of the shelves.
Step 9 – Cut the Plywood Shelf Inserts
Create plywood shelf inserts by cutting two OSB sheets in half lengthwise. The easiest way to do this is to brace a spare 2×4 across the length of the plywood. Adjust the 2×4 so the saw fence can move along the board, placing the blade exactly in the center of the board. Then raise the plywood with scrap wood to make room for the blade under the board and cut.
Step 10: Slide Shelf Inserts Into Place
Slide shelf inserts into each shelf and screw in with 1-1/2-inch self-tapping wood screws.
How to maintain garage shelves
To ensure that your garage shelves last for many years to come, there are a few things you can do. If your shelves will be used to store items that could leak, consider sealing the wood with a waterproof sealant. If you plan to store things that could damage the edge of the plywood when placing and removing items, consider placing a second horizontal board that covers the edge of the plywood to prevent damage.