DIY : Hanging Shelf


a few monts ago my home was featured on Style Me Pretty.  before the photo shoot, i did a few updates throughout the house to spruce it up a bit.  i thrifted, found a few things online, and did a little DIY.  and, by little, i mean little, because i’ll be the first to admit that i am no DIY queen.  i just dabble in it here and there, and admittedly only try if i have enlisted the help of someone craftier than me or . . .


if the project is so easy (or abstract) that i can’t go wrong.

i saw a similar little hanging shelf somewhere on the inter-webs with no DIY attached.  somehow, no directions made me think it was doable.  directions can be dibilitating.   i enlisted the mister, because i like to pretend i can’t use a drill.  i’m sure i could learn quickly, and i do love learning new things except when it comes to drills and grills and math and mowers.  i’m so very 1952 in those ways.

we pulled out the inspiration, the supplies and with no tutorial took our best guess.

since i don’t want to inhibit you with directions, and because it was late at night when we made this and i didn’t take enough pictures (another reason i’d be a terrible DIY blogger), here is a very loosely guided guide of my hanging shelf.  if you enlist someone who can use a drill or measure or do math (if you are not that person) you will do just fine!


here is what you will need :

1 / a wood or laminate shelf (mine is 35 1/2″)

2 / leather cord /rope

3 / measuring tape

4 / pencil

5 / a drill + a wood drill bit (we used 1/8″)

6 / ceiling hooks

7 / dry wall screw anchors 



step 1 – turn your shelf over and measure and mark 1″ in on all four corners.  we measured 1″ in from the top and side.  then repeat on all four corners.


step 2 -using a wood drill bit, drill 4 holes where marked.  we used a 1/8″ drill bit (pictured above).

step 3 – take one long piece of leather cord (between 60-65″ depending on how long of distance you’d like your shelf to hang from the hook), create an “A” like shape and string the cord through the back left hole and the front left hole (doing this from the topside of the shelf).  this will leave you with dangling ends on the bottom, front and back, of the shelf.  repeat on the right side, with another leather cord of the exact same length.

note : because i did this last minute, on a late night whim, with no linked list of supplies i just ran to hobby lobby looking for leather cord.  all i could find was the kind in the jewelry making section.  when i got home i noticed that most of the strands were different lengths (and some i could tear/pull apart).  i had to tie mine together to make them longer (which is the knots you see at the top, near the wall hooks, in my photos).  i’m not bothered by things like this, so i just left it.  however, if you can get a spool of sturdy leather cord, that would be best.  

step 4 – from underneath the shelf, tie a very secure knot (another time to enlist a champion knot tying friend or former boyscout of a husband or boyfriend) that is taut right up to the shelf.

step 5 – hold up the shelf to see where you’d like to hang it.  the distance between my shelf and the hook is approx. 20 inches.  measure and mark where the hooks should be placed.  screw in the dry wall screw anchors (the shelf is pretty heavy, so these are really important) and ceiling hooks.  next, loop the leather around the hooks and there you have it.

to be honest, i didn’t know if my shelf would hold up (mainly because of the leather i used), but it’s been up since july!  as you can see if haven’t displayed anything heavy on it, and probably won’t, just to play it safe, and because i love the simple, clean look.

tell me, do you do DIY’s often?  or just pin a bazillion like me?  what have you made recently?  share some links in the comments!

ps – be sure to check out my DIY Yarn Art featured in the same room.

image by Yazy Jo Photography for SMP Living


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