How to Build Beach-Inspired Bamboo Wall Shelves

Carter Oosterhouse combines wavy-patterned acrylic panels with earth-friendly bamboo to create an exotic display shelf.


Candles are placed behind the frosted acrylic panels to give the room a warm glow.

Candles are placed behind the frosted acrylic panels to give the room a warm glow.

Materials and Tools:

3/4" bamboo plywood
1/4" bamboo plywood
1/4" clear acrylic glass
frosted spray paint
wood glue
2" cabinet screws
pin nails
table saw
chop saw
brad nail gun
screw gun
laminate trimmer
stud finder
pin nailer
3/8" dado blade
utility knife



1. Using the table saw and chop saw, cut the 3/4" bamboo plywood into the following dimensions:
two at 10-1/2"x12" for the sides
two at 35-1/4"x12" for the top and bottom

2. Cut the 1/4" bamboo plywood to 36"x12" for the back of the box.

3. Attach the 3/8" dado blade to your table saw and make a dado cut the length of both the top and bottom pieces starting 1/2" into the piece of wood.



4. Attach the two sides to the inside of the top and bottom using wood glue and 1-1/2" brad nails. Make sure the dado cuts are lined up on the inside of the box.

5. Carefully make a 1/4" rabbet cut along the back edge of the box with a laminate trimmer. The dado cut side is the opposite side, toward the front.

6. With wood glue and pin nails, attach the back piece to the open box inside the rabbet cut. When finished, the exact measurements of the box should be 36" x 12"x 12".



7. Determine where the studs in your wall are located and attach the unit to the wall using 2" cabinet screws.




8. Use the protective plastic that comes on the acrylic to help create an etched-glass look. With a utility knife, freehand any design you wish on the plastic coating. Peel off the plastic where you want the frosted to be.



9. Tape the edges of the acrylic to protect them, then spray frosted spray paint (or any color you wish) onto the acrylic and allow it to dry.

10. Flip the acrylic over and repeat the two previous steps to create a cool layering effect.

11. Remove the tape and peel off the remaining protective plastic and you will be left with a frosted design.

12. Using the table saw, cut the acrylic panel into two 12"x12" squares.

13. Insert the acrylic panels into the dado cuts inside the box, becoming "fake" doors. These doors are for decoration and design and are not meant to be able to close anything off.

Next Up

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Wood shelves turn an awkward angle into an architectural feature.


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