Dish-Display Shelves

Show off your prize pieces with this simple project.


Create a clean, elegant display with your favorite dishes and these instructions.

Materials and Tools:

2¾-by-9/16-inch solid pine crown molding
2-by-4-inch lumber
wood glue
18-gauge 1-inch nails
½-by-3½-inch lumber
2 paint trays
3-inch drywall screws
lightweight spackle
damp cloth
miter saw
18-gauge nail gun
router with a ¾-inch groove-cutting bit
spackle knife



1. Cut a piece of crown molding to desired length and miter both ends at 45-degrees. Tip: Hold the crown molding at the same orientation at which the crown will be assembled.

2. Cut the two end pieces with the miter saw so that from the bottom of the crown they are 1½ inches from the inside corner of the miter. Tip: Cutting them at exactly 1½ inches will allow room for a 2-by-4-inch cleat.

3. Cut a 2-by-4-inch cleat to the inside dimension of the mitered piece of crown with the miter saw at the zero setting.


4. Glue and nail the crown pieces together with wood glue and 18-gauge 1-inch-long nails.

5. Use the router to cut a ¾-inch-wide groove into the ½-by-3½-inch wood plank. This will make a slot to hold your plates.


6. Cut the routed wood to fit perfectly on top of the crown, keeping the miter saw at the zero setting to create 90-degree angles on both ends. Glue and nail in place to form the top of the shelf.

7. Paint the shelf and cleat with primer and let dry.

8. With a drill, fasten the cleat to the wall with 3-inch drywall screws into studs. Once the first screw is in place, make sure the cleats are level.

9. Set the shelf on top of the cleat and nail into place. Nail in from the top instead of the face of the shelf so that the nails won’t be visible. Fill the nail holes with lightweight spackle. Once spackle is dry, touch up the paint for a flawless finish.

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