An Easy, Inexpensive DIY Garden Shelf

Use this versatile project in the garden or as a pleasantly portable plant stand.

Photo By: Photo by Mick Telkamp

Photo By: Photo by Mick Telkamp

Photo By: Photo by Mick Telkamp

Photo By: Photo by Mick Telkamp

Photo By: Photo by Mick Telkamp

Photo By: Photo by Mick Telkamp

Photo By: Photo by Mick Telkamp

Photo By: Photo by Mick Telkamp

Photo By: Photo by Mick Telkamp

Photo By: Photo by Mick Telkamp

Photo By: Photo by Mick Telkamp

Photo By: Photo by Mick Telkamp

Photo By: Photo by Mick Telkamp

Photo By: Photo by Mick Telkamp

Photo By: Photo by Mick Telkamp

Photo By: Photo by Mick Telkamp

Photo By: Photo by Mick Telkamp

DIY Garden Shelf

This simple piece of garden furniture packs a lot of punch. When working in the garden, we too often find ourselves balancing pots on fence posts or misplacing tools as they are obscured on the ground. An easy-to-build garden helper is small enough to carry with one hand, yet substantial enough to hold entire plant flats with enough room leftover for a few hand tools and a cold drink. Use it when working in the garden or as a porch perch for potted plants that can be moved indoors at the first hint of frost.

You Will Need

Two 1”x4”x25-¾” boards / two 1”x4”x24” boards /  five 1”x4”x22-½” boards / two 1”x2”x12” boards / two 1”x2”x8” boards/ One 1”x2”x24” board /one box 1-1/4” utility screws paint or stain /measuring tape /circular saw (or hand saw) / drill with #8 countersink bit and Phillips head bit /paint brush

Measure and Mark Angled Leg Base

On a 25-¾ 1”x4” board, measure and mark 1-¼” from one end. Using a straightedge, draw a line from marked point to the opposing corner on the same end. 

Measure and Mark Top of Angled Leg

On the same 25-¾” board, measure and mark 10-¼” in from the opposite end along the same side. Draw a straight line from marked point to opposing corner on same end.

Cut Along Marked Lines

Use a circular saw to cut along marked lines.

Measure and Cut Second Angled Leg

Repeat steps three and four to produce a second angled leg. These legs will pair with two 24” boards to form the sides of the garden shelf. 

Assemble Bottom Shelf

Evenly space three 1”x4”x22-½” boards (shelf) on top two 1”x2”x12” boards (cleats) so that the corners are flush and square. There will be about ¾” of space between boards. Mark two spots on each end of the three 1”x4”x22-1/2” boards ¾” in (a total of 12 marked spots). Use drill with #8 countersink bit to drill holes through each 22-½” board into the 12” cleats at the marked spots. Use drill with Phillips head bit to drive 1-1/4” utility screws through holes to affix.

Assemble Top Shelf

Place two 1”x4”x22-½” boards (shelf) on top two 1”x2”x8” boards (cleats), making sure the corners are square and flush. Mark the board corners as with the bottom shelf, drill pilot holes and secure top to cleats with eight 1-1/4” utility screws.

Assemble Side

Place the long cut of one of the prepared 25-3/4” boards against a 1”x4”x24” board so the corners meet at the angled edges' longest point. Measure 2” down from the top of the 25” board and mark the side. Drill a pilot hole using the #8 bit and drive a 1-1/4” utility screw through the hole to affix sides. 

Assemble Second Side

Repeat step nine using the other set of 24” and cut 25-3/4” 1”x4” boards. These offset “V”s are the legs to which the shelves will be attached.

Attach Bottom Shelf

Measure 2-¾” from the open end of one “V” and mark. Place the larger shelf on its shortest edge on the “V” at the marked height so that one edge is flush with the straight leg (the other end will overhang the angled leg). Mark four spots on the cleat centered on the board, two spaced evenly over each leg below. Drill pilot holes into cleat at marked points and attach shelf with utility screws.

Place Top Shelf

Measure 12-3/4” from the end of the open end of the “V” and place the 8” shelf parallel to the lower shelf, also with the short edge flush to the straight leg. 

Attach Top Shelf

Mark two points evenly spaced over each leg on the cleat, drill pilot holes and attach top shelf with utility screws. 

Attach Second Side

Lay the second “V” flat on the work surface and place the assembled portion on top if it. Use the same measurements to position the shelves and attach with the same screw configuration used in previous steps.

Add Handle

Drill two pilot holes in each end of the 1”x2”x24” board spaced ⅜” from the sides and end. Attach the handle to the point of the “V” on the non-angled leg, squared at the corners.

Assembly Complete

Stand upright and make sure all screws are secure and legs rest squarely on the ground.

Paint or Stain

Paint, stain or decorate, as desired, and your garden shelves are ready to use. Attractive and portable, this simple piece of furniture is just the right size for resting plant flats, pots, hand tools or a cold drink as you tend to the garden. 

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