No Sweat Wooden Shelves

My friend, Betty, invited a few ladies over to her house to create this super easy project. After I got home and put my essential oils away, I realized I was already out of space! Thankfully, she showed me her blog post on Remodelaholic with full instructions on how to recreate this project. I couldn't help but share with y'all my weekend project.

Keep in mind you can make this shelf whatever size you want. The instructions on Remodelaholic and in my post are examples. I made three additional shelves to add in my office. One shelf is identical to Betty's instructions and the other two are for what I specifically needed. My original shelf was no where big enough to hold all of my oils.


For this project, you will need the following:

Wood glue

Wood stain


Sand paper

Hanging hooks


Wood cut to your specifications and desired amount of shelves

Heads up: when I built my original shelf, I used wood glue and metal clamps. You do not have to use these two items if you can’t find them at your local hardware store. I built the rest of my shelves without them and they’re working just fine.


Building the frame of the shelf is the easiest way to go about this project. Take two pieces of wood and put the ends together like in the picture. For the bigger shelf, I used three nails on each side to make it more sturdy. On the smaller shelf, I used two nails. Check to make sure the edges are flush with one another and nothing is crooked. It may take the help of another person to do this. I employed the skills of David while Ava supervised us. Do this for all four sides.

If you want to use wood glue and a metal clamp, now is when you'll use them. Apply glue to the wood in the places where each piece meets. Attach the clamp across the outside wood pieces where you glued them. Leave the pieces alone for about ten to fifteen minutes. Keep the clamp on while you nail each piece together so they won't move around. Repeat all of this for the next step as well.

Before you get too hammer crazy, measure the spacing between your shelves. The bigger shelf is going to hold my carrier oils in these cool glass jars I found at my local dollar store. The smaller shelf is for more oils and blends I have already made. Make sure the shelves are exactly how you want them before you start nailing them to the frame. You can eyeball this or use a ruler to measure it precisely. David found his flight planning ruler. We are both pretty anal about things being even.

If you want, you can also use a level to make sure your shelves aren't tilted. Because of the carrier oil jars, I wanted to make sure the shelves didn't tilt. Glass and is not exactly fun to clean up. If this is important to you as well, I have a suggestion. Use one nail on each side of the shelf so that way it stays where you want and all you have to do it tilt it into place. Then use the second nail on each side to secure it in place. Repeat this for all the shelves you're going to include on your own creation.


I sanded the wood down by hand, but you can use a mouse. I unfortunately left mine back in the States. Either one works just fine. You're just trying to smooth out the wood a little bit. Be sure you sand every area you want to use wood stain on. Sanding the shelves outside is suggested to cut down on how much you need to clean your floors inside. I made sure I got the corners good so they didn't hurt if I accidentally bumped into them. I can be a clumsy person and it doesn't get any better when I'm in a rush.


It's up to you if you want to stain your shelves outside or lay down a towel workspace inside. It started raining while I was sanding, so I brought mine back inside. I used gloves and a paper towel while staining. I should have used a rag because the paper towel ripped and broke into a thousand tiny pieces. Stain every side that will be visible if someone were to look at your shelf. Apply however many coats you want to the wood. I only did one so you could still see the natural grain in the wood.

If it's windy and not super humid where you're at, it's totally fine to leave your shelves outside to dry. Today was a bad day for outside projects, so that was out of the question for me. We have two wall air conditioning units in our living room. I made sure one was on and pointed towards the shelves so they were getting some kind of air flow. The wood stain doesn't take long to dry. I was able to do a few quick chores around the house in the time it took for them to finish up drying.


This is your last step! It's time to attach the hanging hooks to the back of your shelves. Keep in mind that it's important to make sure they are attached evenly. This will make it easier to hang on the wall. The hanging hooks I picked up required a screw driver. Yours may require one as well or possibly just your hammer. Once they're attached, use whatever your heart desires to hang these new shelves on the wall. We have painted concrete walls, so we have to use outdoor Japanese command hooks. Again, make sure they're level so your shelves hang evenly on the wall.

Ta da! You have now completed these beautiful shelves. I restocked mine with my essential oil collection and extras. You've also got the skills to build more shelves as you need them instead of buying them at the store.

I hope y'all had fun building these shelves and I would love to see your creations! Be sure to include a picture in the comments.

Until next time,