If you need a free woodworking plan to create a quality shelf, on this page we present one to help you build a wall shelf with a vintage look.

An old shelf on the wall of an ethno house has served us as an idea for its design. Such shelves can be often seen, both old and new, because of their universal design that has always been “in“. Wall shelves are inevitable addition in each room of the home. They save space, displays things with the special meaning and value and in the same time they provide an efficient home organization.
Wall shelf plan
Project type
Project difficulty
Skill level
for DIY enthusiasts
Level of workshop equipment
Hobby – Hand tools, power tools and machines
Applied woodworking joints
Round mortise and tenon joint
Keyed mortise and tenon joint

This wall shelf, when completed, takes up a wall space 1250mm (49.21'') wide by 939.5mm (36.99'') high, and extends out 150mm (5.91'').

The construction is very simple and consists of two side boards (sides) between which the shelves are fastened with keyed mortise and tenon woodworking joints. These joints are not too difficult to produce, and they give the shelf a decorative and antique look. Rods were added to the two lower shelf levels to prevent things from falling off. The Front part was decorated by cutting simple design elements. Decorations and rods on a type of shelf like this one are not necessary, but they certainly make the shelf look nicer and also increase its functionality.

This plan can serve as a starting point for creating a different shelf according to your taste and dimensions that suit you. If you carefully study the plan, you can easily:

  1. - make a wider or narrower shelf - increasing the width can lead to sagging of the shelf due to the weight of the items on it if you don’t increase shelf thickness or use a better quality wood to make it from; increasing wood thickness should be handled cautiously because it can negatively affect the proportionality and aesthetics of the shelf;
  2. - add or decrease the number of shelf levels;
  3. - reduce or increase the vertical distance between shelves;
  4. - increase the shelf depth;
  5. - decorate shelves as it suits you;
  6. - use a different way of joining the shelf to the sides


Exploded view and parts list
Wall shelf - Parts list
Assembly drawing
Wall shelf - Assembly drawing

The wood you use depends on the purpose of this shelf. If you want to keep heavy objects on it, we recommend hardwood, if you don’t, then softwood is also fine. You can fix the wall shelf in various ways, and we have suggested just one in our plan .

As you can see in the picture, the shelf is nice looking and stable, and it possesses antique charm and a functionality that has been tested throughout history. All this guarantees that the making of such a shelf is cost-effective. You can place it in any room in the house, and the only disadvantage is that it matches only classic, vintage design of other surrounding furniture pieces.


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Submitted by Ceh Jan