DIY Home Projects
Crown Molding Shelf
BLACK+DECKER B+D Contributor 193 Projects
Here’s a neat trick: build a shelf that stores, displays, and elevates your favorite collectibles and knickknacks so they’re well within sight but safely out of the way. Building these built-up projects is a fun mix of rough and finish carpentry. This project is a more refined three-part assembly similar to cornice molding that is made with pine and pine moldings and can be painted or left natural. This shelf is a broad, flat surface that performs as a handy display shelf. One skill you may wish to brush up on ahead of time is cutting and coping crown molding. Working with crown molding requires some mental gymnastics, but once you learn the routine you’ll be glad you did. You can hang your new shelves at just about any height, although they naturally look more comfortable higher up on the wall. At least try and position them at or slightly above eye level. Locating the shelves so the bottom edge rests on top of a door head casing is one good strategy.
There are different variations on how the shelf can be installed. For example, you can wrap the entire room with it, simply span from one wall to another, or place it on three walls only, etc. Not only is this built-in totally homemade, but the design is flexible to suit different needs and tastes. And by choosing trim types and styles that already are present in your home you can enhance the built-in look. The trimwork shelves seen here are constructed with simple butt joints for ease of building. If you have the woodworking equipment and skills, consider using dado joints instead of butt joints where it makes sense. With dado joints, the wood parts can expand and contract (as they are prone to) without creating separation gaps.