DIY Sofa Shelf

Last year, I rearranged our entire living room. For a shelf. So, it’s no surprise that it was a bad decision. I wanted a shelf above our couch so much, that I put the rest of our furniture in places that I didn’t really want them. When I put up our Christmas decorations, we were in love with the room. Until I took them down. Without the tree and all the glitter, the room didn’t feel right. I loved my shelf and had so many plans for it. But, I knew it was time to take it down and try to find a home for it somewhere else. *Tears*

DIY above the sofa and couch shelf ledge Please forgive my naked couch, the pillows are getting a makeover.

So, like any normal person would do, I left it up. For months. Didn’t even decorate it except for the few things I threw on there so I didn’t have to look at the brackets holding it up. But in my defense, it was a great place to put our drinks and hide the remote from our daughter. We finally decided on a layout for the room, so now my shelf is officially coming down. Boo! But, I was able to take reverse-pictures while taking it down, so I could put together a tutorial for you. YAYWe went with a shelf, instead of a picture ledge, so this is an even easier DIY! Ready to make one for your home?

You will need:

  • A piece of wood the length of your sofa {ours is treated maple – 1” x 6” x 7’}**
  • {4} L-brackets
  • {8} 3/4-inch screws
  • {8} 2-inch drywall screws
  • Level
  • Stud finder
  • Drill
  • Pencil

**Measure the length of your couch, and use that as an approximate length for your wood. We ended up buying a 7-foot-long piece of treated maple. It was the exact size we wanted, so it didn’t need to be cut {or sanded}. Easy, right?** Start by figuring out where you want the shelf to go and hold it up to the wall. We centered ours between two windows and above our sofa {high enough to not hit our heads on it}.  We got a new sofa after we did this project, so the shelf ended up being way too low. You’ll want to put yours higher, like in the picture at the end of this post. Use a level to make sure it’s straight and a pencil to mark around the edges to make sure you keep it in the right spot later. You can put a few marks across the top too. Then put the shelf down.

Don’t mind the bracket there on the right, I told you I did this backwards!

Use a stud finder to locate your studs. If your husband is doing this part, excitedly agree when he pretends to be one of the studs he found. Mark where the studs are {on the wall in between your two edge marks}. We marked four. Hold your shelf back up and mark the wood where your stud marks are. This is where you will attach the L-brackets. Line the brackets up along the edge {over your marks} of the wood and screw two 3/4” screws through each bracket.Hold the shelf back up and level it again. You don’t want to hang it up crooked so double-checking is a good thing! Use your pencil to mark the two holes in each L-bracket on the wall. Lower the shelf again. Drill pilot holes using a bit that is smaller than the screws. When you hold the shelf back up, the holes in the brackets should line up with the holes in the wall.Now you’re ready to hang it!! Hold it back up there one more time, and use your drill to screw two 2-inch screws into the wall through each L-bracket. Now get rid of all the marks you made {or just cover them up with things like I did} and start covering those L-brackets with something pretty! I found inspiration in the photo below and was planning to buy a bunch of frames from Ikea to create something similar, but never got that far!

Via Through the Front Door

This do-it-yourself shelf is a much more affordable version of a shelf this size. Ours was very sturdy and held a lot of weight. Those mirrors might not look like it, but they’re some heavy suckers.

And here is a bad picture of our old lumpy sofa and shelf with Christmas décor, because I’m sure you really wanted to see it. See how much higher the shelf was? That’s how high you want it unless you want a concussion or two.

I hope you are feeling inspired by this sofa shelf! And I hope you finish decorating it if you take the time to make one. :)

signature

Share.PinterestFacebookTwitterEmailStumbleUponGoogle+

32 Comments on DIY Sofa Shelf

  1. Jen Lyon
    July 5, 2012 at 1:11 pm (2 years ago)

    Such a cute idea!! I love it! I love what you can do with it for Christmas!

    Reply
    • Britni
      July 5, 2012 at 5:58 pm (2 years ago)

      Thanks, Jen! It definitely came in handy for Christmas! I loved having that space to put my decorations :)

      Reply
  2. the cape on the corner
    July 6, 2012 at 10:44 am (2 years ago)

    i love this idea with the shelf, but have you also seen the diy table version? i think i’m gonna try this in our basement reno.

    Reply
    • Britni
      July 6, 2012 at 8:50 pm (2 years ago)

      I have not seen a table version but it sounds interesting! It would probably be more work, but I’m sure it would be worth it. I think the table would be better if you were looking for something more functional that allowed you to put bigger things on it {like a lamp or two}. But if you’re just looking to display pictures and/or smaller things on your wall like I was, the shelf would be perfect. It’s so fast and easy to do. Oh and keep the amount of space in mind too… you can keep your sofa close to the wall with the shelf, if you don’t have a lot of extra room. Tell me what you end up doing! Can’t wait to see it!

      Reply
    • Britni
      July 6, 2012 at 11:28 pm (2 years ago)

      Thanks, Kathryn! I will be stopping by soon to party with you! :)

      Reply
  3. Erika
    July 7, 2012 at 10:26 pm (2 years ago)

    Wonderful idea, thanks for sharing it. THanks also for the tutorial, I want to try it myself.

    Reply
    • Britni
      July 7, 2012 at 10:54 pm (2 years ago)

      You’ll have to let me know if you do try it! Thanks so much for stopping by, Erika!! :)

      Reply
  4. Julie
    July 8, 2012 at 9:11 am (2 years ago)

    This is a great idea! I just redid my front room and the wall behind my couch needs something added to it. I was thinking about doing a shelf. I may do this. It’s simple yet stylish. I love it!

    I would love for you to link this to my Marvelous Mondays party. I will be opening it this evening!

    Julie
    http://www.jamscorner.com

    Reply
    • Britni
      July 8, 2012 at 12:50 pm (2 years ago)

      It’s definitely stylish if you actually decorate it, unlike I did! Throwing a few mirrors and a vase up there, didn’t do it justice. So I’m sure you could turn this idea into something lovely! :)

      And I love to party, so you can count me in! See you tonight! :)

      Reply
  5. Becca
    July 9, 2012 at 8:29 am (2 years ago)

    Very cool. I was just thinking about doing something similar around my bathtub. Looks great! Found you through Craft-O-Maniac

    Reply
    • Britni
      July 9, 2012 at 2:39 pm (2 years ago)

      That’s such a great idea!! I would of never thought of putting shelves around the bathtub! Too bad I don’t have one in my house I could do that to… I would so steal your idea! :) Thanks so much for stopping by from Craft-O-Maniac. Love her blog!

      Reply
  6. Tamsyn
    July 10, 2012 at 6:54 am (2 years ago)

    Oh, I’m sad that it’s coming down. I really liked it, especially all decorated for Christmas. Your little dog is so cute too :)

    Reply
    • Britni
      July 11, 2012 at 1:45 am (2 years ago)

      Me too! I think we are going to use it on the same wall, just in a different way! So I am really hoping it works out! :)

      Reply
  7. six sisters
    July 10, 2012 at 3:15 pm (2 years ago)

    We love this shelf!! So pretty with all the lights (and the pup). Thanks for joining us for “Strut Your Stuff Saturday”. We loved having you and hope you’ll be back soon! -The Sisters

    Reply
  8. Julie
    July 10, 2012 at 7:03 pm (2 years ago)

    Thanks so much for sharing this on Marvelous Mondays! I really do love this little shelf. :)

    Julie

    Reply
    • Britni
      July 12, 2012 at 1:34 am (2 years ago)

      It WOULD look great in a hallway! You guys keep coming up with even better ideas!! Thanks so much for visiting me and I’m on my way to your party! :)

      Reply
  9. Erin @ Out on a Limb
    July 13, 2012 at 6:08 am (2 years ago)

    Hi Britni,

    I love the way the shelf looked and even more that it’s an affordable, easy to tackle project. I do understand the whole after Christmas furniture arrangement thing though. Two years ago, my living room had a gaping void where the tree was. In a fit of decorating tourettes, I dragged my dresser out of my bedroom and rehung a ginormous mirror to anchor that space. I just can’t seem to sit still in my room when something feels off.

    Thanks so much for stopping by my blog and for your sweet and supportive comments. I am really happy to follow along here and I will link up a past project. Great idea!

    Have a great weekend.

    Reply
    • Britni
      July 13, 2012 at 1:06 pm (2 years ago)

      That’s exactly what happened to my living room when the tree came down! But I couldn’t figure out how to fill it like you did. That was a great idea to use your dresser! I would have never thought of using something from another room. I will now! And I’m right there with you, it’s impossible to feel comfortable in your room when something is off. My living room is long and narrow and I’ve had the worst time figuring out how to arrange it! And it drove me crazy!! But I think I finally figured it out recently… hopefully anyway! :) Thanks so much for visiting me and I’m so happy to have you join the party!! I’m happy to have found your blog :)

      Reply
  10. Kathryn Griffin
    July 14, 2012 at 8:42 pm (2 years ago)

    I so need to do this! Thank you for sharing this at my Make it Pretty Monday party at The Dedicated House. I’m really enjoying what I’ve seen on your blog. Hope to see your prettiness again on Monday. Toodles, Kathryn @TheDedicatedHouse

    Reply
    • Britni
      July 14, 2012 at 10:47 pm (2 years ago)

      Yes you do!! It’s one of the fastest projects ever! And I’ll be back to join your party every time I have a new project! :)

      Reply
  11. Jocelyn
    July 16, 2012 at 9:30 pm (2 years ago)

    Ok, I had to laugh at your “advice” to laugh with your stud finding husband…my hubby does this every single time:-) Very cute sofa shelf I love the b/w pictures you have on there too!!!

    Reply
    • Britni
      July 17, 2012 at 12:17 am (2 years ago)

      Mine too! Men!! :) Those are actually mirrors with vinyl or something over it… I guess they do look like pictures though! It must be my mad reflection-hiding photography skills. :)

      Reply
  12. megan
    July 18, 2012 at 9:02 pm (2 years ago)

    It looks fantastic! I love how you have set it up. :) Megan

    Reply
    • Britni
      July 18, 2012 at 10:24 pm (2 years ago)

      Thanks so much, Megan!! :)

      Reply
  13. Christine
    July 29, 2012 at 12:56 am (2 years ago)

    At least you had the shelf for a little while. :) It looks (looked) great!!

    Thanks so much for sharing this at The DIY Dreamer.. From Dream To Reality!

    Reply
    • Britni
      September 6, 2012 at 12:31 am (2 years ago)

      I got behind on my comments and just saw this, I’m going to have to hunt that down :) Thanks for sharing it, Barbara!

      Reply
  14. Talitha
    November 1, 2012 at 1:59 pm (2 years ago)

    So I’ve seen this post before, but this time I have to take in your pretty couch! I love the shape and its little legs! Where did you get it!?

    Reply
    • Britni
      January 18, 2013 at 12:52 am (2 years ago)

      Thanks, Jennifer!

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *






Comment *