DIY Modern Plywood Shelf

Sharing the last DIY from Lincoln’s room today! This modern plywood shelf is one of my favorites from his room. He’d been asking for shelves of some sort for quite a while. I wanted something that would fit baskets for storing things, have display space for the things he wanted out, and fit in with the look of his room. Making shelves is one of my favorite things to make! I feel like it’s one of those projects I keep coming up with ideas for, but don’t have space to put them if I made all the ones I wanted to! 😆 (You can see different ones we’ve made here). We kept things very simple and basic with this shelf – just using plywood that we cut to size and then cut notches in to slide pieces together. We finished our shelf with clear polyurethane, since we love the look of natural wood, but it can easily be painted if that’s your preference!room with desk and wood shelf plywood shelf against blue wallplywood shelf against blue wallplywood shelf against blue wallMaterials:

– 4 x 8 sheet 3/4” maple plywood
– circular saw
– jig saw
– straight board at least 8’ long
– clamps
– speed square
– sand paper
– clear polyurethane finish

Using your circular saw and straight board (use clamps to clamp the straight board to the plywood), cut four pieces 10” wide by 8’ long. Cut two 68” long pieces from two of these boards. Cut five pieces 31-7/8” long from the other two boards.

Starting from the top of one of the 68” pieces, draw a mark 3” down and then another line the thickness of your plywood from that line, about 3-11/16”. From that line, leave a space of 14-3/4” and draw another line, and then another line the thickness of the plywood away from that. Continue with this pattern until you mark out the bottom shelf which should be about 3 inches from the bottom of the board. Use a speed square to draw a square line over from each of these marks to the center of the board, 5”. Draw a perpendicular line between the 2 lines at this point, continue to mark out lines for all of the shelf cutouts. Repeat the procedure on the other 68” board.

Mark out the cutouts on each of the shelves by making a mark in 2-1/2” inches from each end and then another mark the thickness of the plywood from that line. Use the speed square to mark out these lines over to the center of the board and draw a perpendicular line between the two lines at that point.

Use the circular saw to cut along each of the lines in to the 5” line. Make sure to cut on the correct side of each line so that you end up with a cutout the same width as the thickness of your plywood.
Use your jig saw to cut the perpendicular cut between the two lines.

Sand shelves as needed.

Assemble the shelf by placing the 68” sides on their back edge with the cutouts facing up. Slide the shelves into the slots with their cutouts facing down, repeat until all of the shelves are in place.

Apply finish to shelf, following directions on can.

(We recommend attaching the shelf to a wall for safety)
wood with measurements on it and tool cutting woodtool cutting wood and the after of the wood with cut in itclose up of plywood shelf against blue wallplywood shelf against blue wallAnd a little before and after shot of this corner of Lincoln’s room:room with old desk and bins in it and same room with new desk and bookshelfYou can see the whole room tour here, and the DIY for the wall, desk and bed.


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