Easy DIY Hanging Shelf

Project pictures and instructions courtesy of Jon Fagley.

Make Your Own Easy DIY Hanging Rope Shelf

This self is amazing!  Our son-in-law made this awesome hanging shelf.  He kindly agreed to share step-by-step instructions.

Grab your tool belt and let’s build a shelf.

This project cost about $30 and takes about 3 hours if you are a new DIYer or 1 1/2 hours if you have intermediate DIY skills.

It seems like I am always looking for more storage or display space.  This idea is super cute and functional.  I love the kind of nautical, beachy look + it would work with rustic and farmhouse decor and if you change the rope to braided or wrapped cord this would work with shabby chic and cottage interiors.  Love it!

Easy DIY Hanging Shelf Uses

This shelf will add extra space for displaying treasures or storing books or craft supplies.

Right now I’m looking around my house and thinking of all the ways I could use an easy DIY hanging shelf.

  • Store craft supplies
  • Display cookbooks
  • Show-off all your treasures
  • Use as a spice rack
  • Store office supplies
  • Hang above the toilet to store cosmetics and toiletries
  • Hang next to bed for extra storage or to place lighting


Chief Mermaid & Mojito Maker

This is me hangin’ out on the boat – it’s an absolutely gorgeous day in the Florida Keys – doing what wannabe mermaids do best…splashing in the waves + soaking up the sun.

Life’s amazing.  Want to learn more?  

How to Make an Easy DIY Hanging Shelf


Make An Easy DIY Hanging Shelf in 3 Easy Steps

It’s amazing what you can create with a couple of hours and a few easy to use tools.  Let’s get to work!  Here’s a quick look at the process.

Grab your Supplies

The first step in any DIY project is to gather everything you will need to complete the project before you get started.  This will significantly reduce the amount of time required to complete the project + will save you lots of frustration.

Check out the supply list below.

Get to Work

Read the instructions – I’m not good at this part, but I’ve learned that reading the instructions all the way through BEFORE I start saves me a ton of time, frustration and rework.

Follow the step-by-step instructions detailed below and you’ll be using your new shelf in no time.

Start Using Your Shelf

Since you’ll be hanging your shelf as part of the build, you’ll be ready to post your pics to Instagram in about 2 hours.

Now it’s time to add your treasures or start storing all those things that don’t seem to have a place to go.

Easy to Follow Step-by-Step Instructions for Making An Easy DIY Hanging Shelf

Experience Tip:  READ ALL THE DIRECTIONS BEFORE BEGINNING. Before you get started, make sure you have everything you need to complete the project.    This will save you time and frustration.

What you’ll need:

Easy DIY hanging shelf | What you'll need for the project



  • Drill
  • A drill bit large enough to drill a hole for the size rope you’ve purchased
  • 8 Screws to secure mending plate – make sure the screws are not longer than your board is thick.
  • 2 Mending Plates (this is what the plates that connect the wood pieces together is really called)
  • 2 Eye Hooks
  • Level
  • Three 1 x 6 or 2 x 6 boards cut to your desired length (Home Depot will cut your board to length when you buy them)
  • White Wax for this driftwood/whitewashed finish or paint if you prefer.
  • Rope or cord to hang the shelves
  • Safety glasses or goggles

Easy to Follow Step-by-Step Instructions for Making An Easy DIY Hanging Shelf


Step 1 - Plan & Measure

  • Experience Tip:  Read all instructions before beginning. Make sure you have all your tools and materials assembled BEFORE you begin the project.
  • Decide how wide you want your shelves.
  • Have boards cut to length when you purchase the boards
  • Determine how tall you want your shelving unit and where would you like the eye hook to be on the wall – there is no exact science to this it’s based on personal preference and how you plan to use the shelves.
  • Once you decide where you’d like the eye hook, put a small mark on the wall and figure out where you’d like the first shelf to start and make a small mark on the wall.
  • Decide how much space you’d like to have between the 2 shelves and mark the wall for the bottom shelf.
  • Now measure from the mark for the eye hook to the mark for the bottom shelf.  Write that measurement down for the next step.
  • How to figure out how much rope you need – Once you have the measurements from the previous step multiply that number by 2 and add 36″ to allow for knots to determine the correct amount of rope to cut for each side.
  • So if you want the self to hang 18 inches from the eye hook to the first shelf and you want an additional  18 inches between the shelves, you multiply 36 x 2 and add about 36 inches for knots and other allowances.  In this example, you’ll need 2 pieces of rope 9 feet in length.

Step 2 - Get To Work Building Your Shelf

  • Connect 2 of the boards together to make a double wide shelf for the bottom.  (This is optional, the shelf will look just as beautiful if you have the same depth for each shelf.  It all depends on your personal preference and/or storage needs.
  • Optional:  Chisel out the area where the mending bracket will connect the two pieces of wood so that it will be flush with the wood.  This looks really nice but it will still look nice if you skip this step.  If you decided to paint your shelves skip this step and just paint the brackets to match the shelf

Easy DIY hanging shelf | Counter sink brackets

  • Finish your boards by either painting, staining or using white wax to create your driftwood finish, by lightly brushing the white wax over the board until you’ve created the desired look.

Easy DIY hanging shelf | white wax and chalk paint brush

Easy DIY hanging shelf | weathered texture using white wax

  • Let boards dry to the touch.
  • Mark your shelves for your holes.  You should be 1 Inch in from each side on the 4 corners of each shelf.
  • Drill the holes.  The size of the drill bit will depend on the thicknes of the rope or cord you’ve chosen.

Easy DIY hanging shelf | Drill holes

  • Touch-up any finish or paint that may have been chipped while drilling and chiseling.
  • Mark the wall for the eye hooks. The distance between your eye hooks should be 2 inches less than the width of your shelf.  Make sure the eye hooks are hung level. Screw eye hooks into the wall.  IMPORTANT – Use wall anchors or other type of anchor to make sure your shelf will be securely fastened to the wall.

Easy DIY hanging shelf | eye hook

  • Wrap eye hooks with rope to create a finished look
    Easy DIY hanging shelf | wrap hook with rope for a finished look
  • Thread the rope through the eye hook.

Easy DIY hanging shelf | start the project by hanging the first shelf

  • Thread the rope through the top board through both front and back holes.
  • Tie a knot at all 4 corners at the desired height.

Easy DIY hanging shelf | knots holding shelf in place

  • Put a level on the board and adjust knots until the board is level.

    Easy DIY hanging shelf | make sure shelf is level

Easy DIY hanging shelf | add bottom shelf and keep it level

  • Repeat with the lower board.
  • You may want to double knot the bottom board, based on your personal preference.
  • Stand back and make sure you are happy with the final result.
  • If you like what you see, cut the rope, leaving about 1/1/2 inches hanging.
  • Sit back and admire your handy work.

Step 3 - Style your Shelf

  • Your shelf looks awesome!  Now go ahead and post your first Instagram pick letting everyone know just how awesome you are at this DIY stuff.
  • Gather all the treasure of items that need storing and style as desired.  Post your next instagram photo.
  • Finally grab a Mojito – You deserve it.  Your shelf now looks amazing!  Sit back and admire your new shelf, snap a few selfies with you a mojito and your shelf, post to Instagram and Facebook.  You rock.  I’m so proud of you.  

DIY Hanging Shelf Final Results

Beautiful and Functional Easy DIY Hanging Shelf


With Just $30 and 2 hours you can Build this easy DIY Hanging Shelf


Simple & Easy - Countersink the Mending Plate if you are Staining or Distressing for a Perfectly Finished Look For Your Hanging Shelf


How The Money Was Spent

$10 - Boards

You can spend more or a lot less depending on how you decide to finish this project.  And if you are like me you just might have some spare boards lying around somewhere from another project, so it’s possible you may not have to spend a dime on boards.

$20 - Rope and mending plates

You can buy 3/8 diameter rope for about $14 for a 25-foot roll.  The coast will be more or less depending on how much you need and the rope diameter.

Mending plates and screws will run you about $6.


$6 - White Wax

You can buy white wax at WalMart for about $6 or do what they did and just use something you already have left over from another project.


  1. Manny

    Cool little shelf, fun weekend project. My wife loves it!


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Chief Mermaid & Mojito Maker

This is me hangin’ out on the boat – it’s an absolutely gorgeous day in the Florida Keys – doing what wannabe mermaids do best…splashing in the waves + soaking up the sun. Life’s amazing.  Want to learn more?  

“Dive deep for the treasure that you see!”

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