- Arts and Design»
- Crafts & Handiwork
Make Your Own Decorative Shelf Brackets
Decorative Shelf Brackets
While shelf brackets function primarily as shelf supports, they can also make their own decorative statement as they prop up books and home décor for display. Decorative shelf brackets can transform a simple shelf into an accentuating piece displaying a certain design style such as classical, ornate, contemporary or art nouveau. Adding decorative features to the brackets increases the aesthetic appeal of hanging a shelf on the wall.
How-to Books for Shelf Brackets and More
Learn how to make useful things for the house, barn and stable.
Things You'll Need
1- by 6-inch wood board, 1 foot long
Compound miter saw
Decorative trim molding
Use a decorative shape to make a template of the bracket design. The main shape of a bracket is an upside down right triangle – the horizontal side supports the shelf and the vertical side is the point of attachment to the wall.
Trace the design of the bracket on the wood with a pencil. Make the length of the bracket’s two perpendicular sides -- the side that will line up to the wall and the side that will support the shelf board -- at least half the width of the shelf board that it will support. The bracket will work as an adequate support for the shelf if its end lands at or beyond the center of the shelf. If it is less than this, the shelf may lean away and fall off the wall.
Cut the 1-by-6-inch wood board in half with a compound miter saw, and place one piece of the uncut bracket wood on top of the other. Wear goggles while operating the compound miter saw.
Brace the wood pieces together with a clamp and then clamp the wood to the work surface. By placing the two pieces of wood together, you can cut two brackets at a time, which will yield an exact set of brackets.
Trace the design of the bracket on the wood with a pencil. Make the length of the bracket’s two perpendicular sides -- the side that will line up to the wall and the side that will support the shelf board -- at least half the width of the shelf board that it will support. The bracket will work as an adequate support for the shelf if its end lands at or beyond the center of the shelf. If it is less than this, the shelf may lean away from and fall off the wall.
Cut along the decorative outline of the bracket pattern with a jigsaw. Wear goggles to protect your eyes while operating the saw. Use a sander to smooth the edges.
Load the router with a decorative router bit. Finish all the edges of the bracket with a decorative finish, giving it a professional appearance. Lightly sand the edges to give it a smooth finish.
Make the brackets more substantial by flanking both sides of the horizontal side of the bracket with decorative wood trim. Measure the length of the side and cut two pieces of wood trim. If you want to trim the vertical side of the shelf bracket, cut two more pieces of trim and miter the ends that meet at the corner with opposing 45-degree angles.
Apply wood glue between the molding and the bracket, and nail it into the shelf bracket.
Stain or paint the shelf brackets once the wood glue dries. Select a stain to match other room accents, or paint it an accent color that coordinates with the room’s décor.
Attach shelf mending plates to the vertical side of the shelf bracket. Mark and drill holes into back of the shelf bracket to receive the screw heads. Hang the shelves to the wall by screwing the screws into the wall, leaving just enough of the head exposed to lock into the mending plate.
“25 Projects for Horsemen: Money Saving, Do-It-Yourself Ideas for the Farm, Arena and Stable”; Jessie C. Shiers, Jason Shiers; 2009