How to Build an Entryway Bridge

Create an overhead display surface in a foyer with these step-by-step instructions.
By: Matt Fox

More and more homes are being built with grand entrances, and a shelf over an entryway is a perfect way to add some detail to these great display spaces. 

Here's how to build one:

SH04A079ROOMBYROOM

SH04A079ROOMBYROOM

Materials and Tools:

circular saw
lumber
trim
cordless drill
hammer
4d finish nails/or nail gun
spackle
multipurpose primer
semigloss interior latex paint
four 4-inch L-brackets
torpedo level
toggle bolts
decorative brackets

Steps:

1. Measure the distance the bridge will span and cut a piece of lumber to that length with a circular saw, allowing a gap of 1/8-inch on each end for expansion (the cut of the saw will allow for this if you cut off the line of measurement). A piece of 1x10-inch pine was used for the pictured project.

2. Cut the trim the same length as the shelf. Attach the trim to the shelf so that the bottom of the trim is flush with the bottom of the shelf. The trim will rise above the shelf once installed to create a lip. Attach the trim with finish nails. Countersink the nails and spackle over them. Prime the shelf and the trim with multipurpose primer, followed by two coats of semigloss interior latex of the color of your choice.

3. Attach a pair of L-brackets at each end of the bridge. The L-brackets should be on the top of the shelf so they'll be hidden when the shelf is installed.

4. Determine where the shelf will be installed. Use a torpedo level (a level that's about 8 inches long and can be slipped into a pocket) and place a level line to give yourself a guide while installing the shelf. With the help of an assistant, set the shelf in position using the guidelines. Make a mark where the L-brackets' screw holes are positioned.

5. Drill pilot holes at the marks. If you don't hit a stud, use toggle bolts that are strong enough to hold the weight of the shelf and the accessories that will be placed on it.

6. Hold the shelf in position and attach with screws (if you hit studs) or the toggle bolts.

7. Embellish as desired. For the pictured project, two brackets designed as candleholders were attached to both serve as decorative pieces and add some extra support for the shelf.

Keep Reading

Next Up

How to Build a French Drain

If you're having problems with standing water in your yard or a leaky basement, improper drainage is the culprit. Fix your water drainage issues once and for all by adding a French drain in just a few short steps.

How to Build a Wood Pergola

Pergolas provide some much needed shade from the summer sun. Learn how to build a pergola with these step-by-step instructions.

How to Build a Fire Pit

Embrace one of the hottest outdoor living trends by building a fire pit. Learn what steps to take before getting all fired up.

How to Build a Retractable Canopy

Control the shade by making your own retractable canopy. Open it up to create a shady retreat or close it to let the sun in.

How to Build an Outdoor Pizza Oven

Add a wood-fire pizza oven to your outdoor kitchen. Learn how to create the base and install it with our step-by-step DIY guide.

How to Build a Gas Fire Pit

A DIY gas fire pit gives you opportunities to express your creativity. Learn easy options for building your own gas fire pit.

How to Build an Outdoor Minibar

Build an outdoor bar complete with a miniature refrigerator, bottle opener and towel hooks.

How to Build an Outdoor Stacked Stone Fireplace

Add fireside ambiance to your backyard with an outdoor fireplace made with stacked stone.

On TV

Shop This Look

Found a living space you love in HGTV's Photo Library? Get the look in your own home with products from Wayfair.

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.