How to Install a Shelf

How to Install a Shelf

Skill Level: Intermediate | STANLEY Pro Project Guides

How to Build Custom Shelves 

Gain storage space in your garage or workshop by installing a shelf. It’s perfect for storing seasonal items or for keeping your work space organized.

What You Should Wear: 

Step 1: Locate and Mark Stud Locations

Measure and Mark Studs 

To get started building and installing your custom shelves, first use a stud finder to locate wall studs and draw reference marks.




Step 2: Measure and Mark Shelf Heights


To determine the height of your shelves, use a measuring tape to measure up from the floor. Use a carpenter pencil to make reference marks. 



Extend the marks by using a level to draw the bottom reference lines for the shelf.



Then, use the level to transfer the stud locations to the reference lines.




Step 3: Make Shelf Brackets


Start by measuring and cutting two small pieces of 2x4 wood with a hand saw or a circular saw. These pieces should be the same in length.Mark with a square


Step 4: Cut Straight Pieces


cut the wood


Step 5: Measure the Angled Piece for Bracket

Dry fit the pieces using a square as a guide. Then, measure from end to end to get the overall length of the angled piece needed to secure the center of the bracket.

Measure Angle 

Transfer the length measurement to a piece of 2x4 wood.


Draw the 45 degree angle marks on both end of the wood.

draw the 45 degree angle


Step 6: Cut Angled Piece

Use the reference lines as a guide to cut both sides with a hand saw or circular saw.



Step 7: Assemble with Screws


To assemble, fasten the straight pieces with 2 screws. 

Then fasten the angled piece with a screw into each end.


Step 8: Assemble and Fasten to Studs


To install, pre-drill and start two screws into both brackets.


Line the bracket up with the reference lines and plumb it using a level.


With the fasteners in line with the stud, drive screws until firmly seated.


Continue to install brackets, place and center shelves, and fasten with four screws per shelf.


How to Build Custom Shelves

See the official how-to video at


STANLEY Pro Project Guides

To reduce the risk of personal injury and property damage, read and follow all related product manufacturers instruction manuals and information before performing any of the applications shown. Some construction-related applications shown may not be allowed in your local area. Consult your local authority having jurisdiction (AHJ) before starting work for information on permits, applicable codes, and other regulations. STANLEY disclaims any responsibility for any damage to property or injury to persons as a result of misuse of the information provided.