How to Build Alcove Shelves – In 3 Easy Steps
If you’re wanting to use up the alcove space in your home for something useful, then finding out how to build alcove shelves will give you the knowledge of the easiest and quickest way of doing so.
Especially if you combine it with other custom made furniture; for example…
Why not have a small alcove cupboard that takes up the bottom half of the alcove and the top half of the alcove features a number of shelves to help use up this space and add extra functionality to the room?
That’s just one idea I’ve come up with off the top of my head, they’re plenty more things you can do with your alcove space depending on what you’re looking to add to the home when considering the style and functionality of the interior.
How to Build Alcove Shelves: Step by Step Instructions
Now let’s assume you have 3 walls to work with, as standard with an alcove space.
These instructions (which I have used in my own home) will give you a precise way of adding your very own DIY shelving to the alcove space in your home.
I’ll walk you through how to build alcove shelves just below in an easy step by step guide; and if you’re wanting to add more then just one layer, repeat the steps provided below
1. Make and attach the back batten
The first step of how to build alcove shelves is the back batten…
You’re going to want to attach it to the back of the wall at the height you want the shelf to be.
Doorstop timber works perfectly here.
Be sure to keep in mind how many shelves you’re going to want and what their ultimate purpose is going to be.
If you want it for storage, then having room for multiple shelves would be perfect.
If you’re using it to show off something, such as photo frames and ornaments or your favourite action figures – then keeping it at eye level might be better for you.
When measuring the length against the back wall, be sure to leave a gap on either side so that you can place the other battens in neatly.
You’re going to want to use rawl plugs and screws (depending on the thickness of the wood) to attach it to the wall. I used 8gs with the doorstep timber.
However, if you’re not placing heavy items on the shelves you’re making then you could also use something like Gripfill or No Nails to attach the batten o the wall – although keep in mind this takes 24 hours to properly dry so it is a little awkward to keep them in place for this long.
Note: But please, before you go ahead and fix it to the wall, ensure that there are no sockets or cables where you are drilling. If you’re completely unsure use a cable locator so that you know you can go ahead with this mini-project safely.
2. Measure, Cut and Fix the side battens
After attaching the back wall batten, you’re going to now want to measure up the two side battens.
I kept mine a little away from the front edge of the wall; this was so the top shelving wouldn’t need to stick out from the walls to properly cover up the battens
There’s nothing much to say here, since you’re carrying on the same process as you would with the back wall batten.
If you’re struggling to understand what I mean by leaving a gap from the edge of the alcove wall, take a look at the image below to get a better idea of what I mean.
3. Cut, paint and place the shelf
Finally, you’re going to want to cut the actual shelf where your objects will sit. You’re going to want to use a material that is fairly cheap, just to keep costs down but one that is also relativity easy to paint.
MDF is the perfect material to use from my experience as it ticks both these boxes.
All you need to do it take the measurements of the entire shelf, bot its width and length is going to be needed here so it can fit snug on top of the battens you have already attached to the wall.
There is no need to attach this shelf with screws if you’ve measured correctly, as any objects you place on top of the shelf will be all you need to keep the wood secured.
Although this is optional, you can place a couple of screws through the top to the battens if you want to have peace of mind – this is not something I have done myself.
TIP: It should really go without saying but if you want to paint the shelf, you’re best of painting it before placing it in the alcove, this also goes for the batten’s you have drilled in – be sure to paint them before you attach them to the alcove.
Now that you know how to build alcove shelves, you should now be able to see why they are one of the easiest ways to use this space for a functional purpose and to also help add decorative style of your choice to the area.
As I’ve also said, this can be one of many changes you can make to the alcove, adding something like a small cupboard below these shelves can give you even more practical and decorative space.