How To Make Wooden Shelf Brackets In 6 Easy Steps

Are you tired of flimsy shelf brackets that break at the slightest touch? Or perhaps you’re looking to add a touch of rustic charm to your home decor? Whatever your reason may be, creating your own wooden shelf brackets is an easy and satisfying DIY project that anyone can accomplish. In just six simple steps, you can craft sturdy and stylish brackets that will add both function and flair to any room. So grab your tools and let’s get started on this exciting journey of woodworking!

Shelf brackets play an essential role in supporting shelves and preventing them from sagging or falling. They distribute the weight of the objects placed on the shelves evenly and provide stability to the overall structure. Additionally, well-crafted shelf brackets can enhance the aesthetic appeal of your shelves and the room they are in.

Material Required

Making shelf brackets made of wood requires a few simple materials:

  1. Wood (such as oak, maple, or pine)
  2. Pencil
  3. Ruler or measuring tape
  4. Saw
  5. Sandpaper or sanding block
  6. Stain or paint (optional)
  7. Paintbrush or foam brush (optional)
  8. Drill or screwdriver
  9. Screws or nails

The wooden material needed will depend on the size and weight of the bracket. For smaller wooden shelf brackets, suitable wood could be pine, walnut, or cedar. Thicker wooden shelves may require oak or mahogany to provide enough strength and stability. Drill bits should match the type of wood used as different woods need different-sized holes drilled into them for screwing in the wooden pegs or dowels – these provide sturdy support when hanging items from the wooden shelf bracket. With some planning and basic tools, it is easy to construct a wooden shelf bracket that is both beautiful and functional.

wooden shelf brackets

Steps for making wooden shelf bracket

Before we get into the details, here is a recap for all you quick skimmers.

Step 1: Measure the length of the bracket you want to make and mark it on the wooden board using a pencil. Cut the board with a circular saw or handsaw to the desired length. Repeat this process for each bracket you want to make.

Step 2: Use the measuring tape to measure and mark the angle for the bracket. The angle should be the same for each bracket. Common angles for shelf brackets are 90 degrees, 75 degrees, and 60 degrees.

Step 3: Use the circular saw or handsaw to cut the angle on the wooden board. Repeat this process for each bracket you want to make.

Step 4: Use sandpaper to smooth the edges and surfaces of the brackets.

Step 5: Use a drill to create pilot holes in the bracket where it will attach to the wall. Make sure the holes are slightly smaller than the wood screws you will be using.

Step 6: Attach the brackets to the wall. Hold the brackets up to the wall and use wood screws to attach them to the wall through the pilot holes. Make sure the brackets are level and securely attached to the wall.

Optional step: Stain or paint the brackets. If desired, apply stain or paint to the brackets to match the color scheme of your room.

That’s it! You now have homemade wooden shelf brackets that you can use to support your shelves.

Step 1: Choose the type of wood for your brackets

There are several types of wood that you can choose from for your wooden shelf brackets, including oak, maple, pine, and more. Each type has its unique characteristics, so it’s important to choose the one that best fits your needs.

  1. Oak: Oak is a dense and durable hardwood that is resistant to wear and tear. It has a distinctive grain pattern that adds character to the brackets. However, oak can be relatively expensive and challenging to work with.
  2. Maple: Maple is a light-colored hardwood that is known for its strength and stability. It has a fine, uniform grain that makes it easy to work with and a popular choice for furniture. However, it can be slightly more expensive than some other types of wood.
  3. Pine: Pine is a softwood that is light in color and affordable. It is relatively easy to work with and has a rustic look that makes it a popular choice for DIY projects. However, pine is not as strong as some hardwoods and may not be suitable for heavy-duty shelving.

When choosing the type of wood for your shelf brackets, it’s essential to consider your needs, budget, and woodworking skills. If you’re looking for durability and strength, oak or maple may be the best choice. If you’re on a budget or prefer a rustic look, pine may be more suitable. Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide which type of wood will best fit your project.

Step 2: Create a template

Creating a template is an essential step in making your own wooden shelf brackets. It ensures that all your brackets will be the same size and shape, which is crucial for maintaining stability and uniformity in your shelving. Additionally, creating a template helps to reduce the risk of errors and can save you time and money in the long run.

To create a template, you will need the following tools:

  • Pencil
  • Ruler or measuring tape
  • Paper or cardboard
  • Scissors
  • Utility knife
  1. First, measure and mark the dimensions of your bracket on a piece of paper or cardboard.
  2. Cut out the shape of your bracket using scissors or a utility knife.
  3. Hold the template against the wood and trace the shape onto the surface using a pencil.
  4. Repeat this process for each bracket you need to create.
  5. Once you have traced all the brackets’ shapes, use a saw to cut out each bracket from the wood, following the template closely.

Creating a template may seem like an extra step, but it’s an essential one to ensure your shelf brackets are the correct size and shape. So take your time, follow the steps, and you’ll be one step closer to creating your own custom wooden shelf brackets.

Step 3: Cut the wood

To cut the wood for your wooden shelf brackets, you will need the following tools:

  • Saw
  • Sandpaper or sanding block
  • Pencil
  • Ruler or measuring tape

You can follow these steps to cut the wood according to the template

  • Place the wooden board on a flat surface and secure it with clamps.
  • Use the template to mark the outline of the bracket on the wood with a pencil.
  • Cut along the marked lines with a saw, following the template closely. Be sure to use a sharp saw and cut slowly and steadily to avoid mistakes.
  • Sand the edges of the bracket to smooth any rough edges, using sandpaper or a sanding block.

Here are some tips for accuracy and precision:

  • Always use a sharp saw to ensure clean and precise cuts.
  • Take your time and cut slowly and steadily to avoid mistakes.
  • Measure twice and cut once to avoid any errors.
  • Make sure your saw blade is perpendicular to the wood to prevent angled cuts.
  • Sand the edges of the bracket to smooth any rough edges and ensure a perfect fit.

Cutting the wood is a crucial step in creating your wooden shelf brackets. So, take your time, be patient, and follow the instructions carefully to ensure accurate and precise cuts.

Step 4: Sand the wood

Sanding the wood is a crucial step in the process of making wooden shelf brackets. Sanding helps to create a smooth and even surface on the wood, which is important for ensuring that the brackets fit securely against the wall and the shelf. It also helps to remove any rough edges or imperfections on the wood, creating a finished and polished look.

Tools needed for sanding the wood:

To sand the wood properly, you will need the following tools:

  • Sandpaper (medium-grit and fine-grit)
  • Sanding block or sanding sponge
  • Dust mask
  • Eye protection

How to sand the wood properly:

  1. Put on a dust mask and eye protection to protect yourself from sawdust and debris.
  2. Start with a medium-grit sandpaper (such as 120-grit) and wrap it around a sanding block or use a sanding sponge.
  3. Sand the surface of the wood in a circular motion, making sure to sand evenly across the entire surface.
  4. Once you have finished sanding with the medium-grit sandpaper, switch to a fine-grit sandpaper (such as 220-grit) and repeat the sanding process.
  5. Use a soft cloth to wipe away any sawdust or debris from the surface of the wood.
  6. Repeat the sanding process if necessary, until the surface of the wood is smooth and even.

By properly sanding the wood, you will ensure that your wooden shelf brackets have a polished and professional look.

Step 5: Stain or paint the wood (optional)

Staining or painting the wood is an optional step in the process of making wooden shelf brackets, but it can add a lot of character and style to the finished product. Staining can enhance the natural grain of the wood and give it a more rustic or aged appearance, while painting can add a pop of color and complement the décor of the room.

Tools and materials needed for staining or painting the wood:

To stain or paint the wood, you will need the following tools and materials:

  • Stain or paint of your choice
  • Paintbrush or foam brush
  • Clean cloth
  • Painter’s tape (if needed)
  • Drop cloth or newspaper (to protect your work surface)

Tips for achieving the desired finish:

  1. Prepare the wood surface: Make sure the wood surface is clean and free of sawdust or debris before applying the stain or paint. Use a clean cloth to wipe the surface down.
  2. Choose the right stain or paint: Consider the overall style and color scheme of the room when selecting a stain or paint color. Test a small area of the wood first to ensure you like the color and finish.
  3. Apply the stain or paint: Using a paintbrush or foam brush, apply the stain or paint in thin, even coats. If using a stain, make sure to wipe away any excess with a clean cloth. Let each coat dry completely before applying another.
  4. Add additional coats: Depending on the desired color and finish, you may need to apply several coats of stain or paint. Make sure to let each coat dry completely before applying the next.
  5. Remove tape and protect the finish: If you used painter’s tape to protect certain areas of the wood, make sure to remove it carefully before the stain or paint dries completely. Once the stain or paint is dry, you can apply a clear protective finish (such as polyurethane) to protect the wood and extend the life of the brackets.

Step 6: Install the brackets

How to install the brackets properly:

  1. Position the brackets: First, locate the spot where you want to install the brackets. Position the brackets on the wall, making sure they are level and straight. Use a level to check the alignment.
  2. Mark the screw holes: Use a pencil to mark the location of the screw holes on the wall through the holes in the brackets.
  3. Pre-drill the holes: Use a drill bit slightly smaller than the screws to pre-drill the holes in the wall. This will make it easier to insert the screws and reduce the risk of splitting the wood.
  4. Attach the brackets: Hold the brackets up to the wall and use screws to attach them to the wall through the pre-drilled holes. Make sure the brackets are level and secure.

List of tools needed for this step:

  • Pencil
  • Drill
  • Drill bit
  • Screws

Tips for ensuring the brackets are secure:

  • Use screws that are long enough to go through the bracket and into the wall at least 1 inch.
  • Use anchors if you are installing the brackets into drywall or plaster.
  • Use a level to ensure the brackets are straight and level before attaching them to the wall.
  • Tighten the screws firmly, but be careful not to over-tighten and strip the screw holes or damage the wall.
  • Check the brackets periodically to make sure they remain secure and in place.


Making your own wooden shelf brackets can be a fun and rewarding DIY project. With the right tools and materials, you can create custom brackets that perfectly match your shelves and décor. When installing the brackets, be sure to take your time and carefully measure and level them to ensure they are secure and stable. Also, don’t forget to apply a coat of stain or paint to the brackets to protect the wood and add a finished look to your project. Good luck and happy DIYing!

Bonus Tip: If you’re looking for extra security, consider adding metal L-brackets underneath the wooden shelf bracket. This will prevent the wooden shelf from shifting and provide extra support for heavier items!

Happy crafting!

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