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Free up floor space in your bedroom by making these elegant shelves as replacements for nightstands.
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Cut the shelf (A) to length (Bedside Wall Shelf Project Diagram). Then cut oversize pieces of moulding -- two (B) at 11 inches long and one (C) 28 inches long -- you’ll later trim to fit. Drill two countersunk mounting holes on the top of the shelf where shown.
Select the straightest available lumber and moulding for this project.
On one of the oversize side trim pieces (B), cut a 45-degree miter. Then cut a matching miter on one end of the front trim (C). Hold the miters together at one corner and mark the length of the side trim. Cut the side to length, then glue and nail the trim to the shelf.
Hold the front trim (C) in place and mark the length, and miter-cut it to length. Glue and nail the front trim to the shelf. Cut and install the other side trim (B).
Cut two corbel spacers (D) the length of the long edge on a corbel (E). Glue and nail the spacers to the corbels with #11.5 x 2-1/2-in finish nails. The spacer will be slightly narrower than the face of the corbel; it will be hidden by the edge of the shelf once installed.
Nails are designed to keep the spacers from slipping out of position on the corbels, a common problem when clamping parts with curved edges. To simplify nailing into the odd-shape corbels, drive the nails through the spacers with just the points emerging from the other side before nailing them into the corbels.
On the underside of the shelf along the back edge, measure 2-1/4 inches from the inside face of the side moulding on both sides. Glue and nail the corbels and spacers to the shelf.
Putty any gaps between the moulding and the shelf, and at the corners. Sand the shelf and wipe clean. Then apply three coats of paint (Bistro White shown) and let dry overnight.
Cut the wall cleat (F) to fit between the corbels along the back edge. Clamp the wall cleat flush with the back edge of the shelf and extend the pilot holes from the shelf into the cleat. Then drill countersunk pilot holes for mounting the cleat on the wall. Paint the cleat to match the shelf.
Using a level, screw the cleat to the wall where you want the shelf. If possible, fasten one of the screws to a wall stud behind the drywall. Otherwise, install wall anchors as needed.