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One-of-a-Kind Letter Shelves for my Boys’ Room


diy letter shelvesI’m really bad at tutorials for DIY projects.  And I’m bad at following them.  I’m much more of a “figure-it-out-as-you-go” DIYer.

And this project definitely falls into that category.  File it under the labels No Tutorial and Trial and Error.

I think of it sort of like Legos.  You can buy the super expensive kit and follow the directions to build something really cool.  Or, you can design and build your own creation (as my boys call it) that is unique, one of a kind, and not exactly replicable, the way Master Builders do.

I like to think of myself as a Master Builder. Except my woodworking skills and (lack of) attention to detail would make Norm Abram cry.

(Sorry, Norm.)

Anyway, that was a long way of saying that I do NOT have a tutorial for this project, just some general guidelines and inspiration pictures.

Materials for DIY Letter Shelves


letter I shelf

The I Letter Shelf was definitely easier to build than the A, so we started with that one.  I drew an I on 1/4 inch plywood and cut it out with the jigsaw.  Then, we used pallet wood to build the sides of the shelf.

pallet wood shelfLittle boy's room with dark walls

Tip: The easiest way to tear apart pallets is to have your husband do it for you. He likes to use the sawzall and cut right through the nails.

 working with pallet wood

My friend and I measured and cut the pallet wood to fit the shape of the I, then glued and nailed the frame together.  2015-02-21 14_00_49

Then, we attached the frame to the backing with the finish nailer.

how to build a letter shelf

And voila! The I was finished in no time.

DIY letter I shelf from pallet wood

The A, on the other hand, took a bit more thinking.DIY letter A shelf

I started the same way – by drawing an A on the 1/4 inch plywood.  I used a tape measure and straight edge, and drew the parallel lines first, then connecting them with the diagonals, measuring to make sure everything was symmetrical.Letter A Shelf


Building the frame required that we figure out the angles.  We did it in a super scientific way – cutting scrap wood at various angles until we got it just right (22.5 degrees.)

stained trim and dark walls

I have good news for you here, though.  THE ANGLES ARE ALL THE SAME! Once you figure it out, it’s the same for each corner.

pallet wood and dark walls

The shelf is now FULL of Lego creations from my little Master Builder. (I guess he takes after his mom…or maybe it’s the other way around.)

DIY pallet shelf

If you want a real tutorial for letter shelves, it just so happens that Home Stories A to Z has one!

Little boy's shared room

Check out the other projects in this room:

closet makeoverchicken feeders forward facing bookshelves










Shared at Home Stories A to Z

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