Open shelves are a contemporary solution for holding dishes, cups and anything else you would like on display in the kitchen. When you make it bespoke to your space, you can add any additional storage or features you like, and paint it in keeping with the rest of the kitchen’s décor.

Here’s a guide towards making your own.

Tool list Hardware list Cut list

Table saw

Saw blades

Coping saw

Wood drill bit

Forstner bit

No.8 screw bit

Phillips screwdriver

Try square

Tape measure



Brassed Cup Hooks and Dresser Hooks

Flush mounts

Wood glue

Selection of woodscrews (30mm, 40mm and 50mm)

Oval wire nails

Wood stain

Oak or birch cuts are ideal. Please note that measurements are approximate:


2 x Top Rails (19mm x 38mm x 1334mm)

2 x Bottom Rails (19mm x 38mm x 1334mm)

2 x Sides (19mm x 38mm x 305mm)

2 x Sides (19mm x 38mm x 303mm)

18 Dowels  (13mm x 203mm)

7 x ‘Stretchers’ (19mm x 38mm x 248mm)

2 x Faceboards  (13mm x 25.5mm x 1422mm)

1 x Shelf (plywood) (9.5mm x 229mm x 1346mm)


Step 1.

Create a clear workspace and use relevant safety wear.

Step 2.

Using a table saw, cut all the wood to the desired lengths.

Step 3.

Cut a 9.5mm dado into the face of each bottom rail, down the centre.

Mark a point 76mm from one end of the two side pieces and cut similar dadoes from those points to the ends of the boards, down the centre of each face. Clean and square the ends of the dadoes with a chisel.

Step 4.

Mark nine points 152mm apart and centre down the narrow edge of each bottom rail, and the face of each top rail, beginning at a point 57mm from one end.

Use a Forstner bit to drill 9.5mm deep sockets at each of these points.

Glue the dowels into the sockets, making certain the dadoes on the bottom rails are facing each other.

Step 5.

Fasten the 305mm side piece to each of the top rails so that the forward rail is flush with the end, and the rear edge is of the back rail is 57mm from the opposite end.

The lower edge of each side should be flush with the bottom of each top rail.

Fasten with 40mm wood screws countersunk into the side pieces.

Step 6.  

Slip the plywood between the bottom rails into the dadoes.

Fasten the 303mm side piece to each of the bottom rails so that the forward ends are flush with the front rail’s face and the back rail is centred 57mm from the opposite end.

Step 7.

Mark seven points 165mm apart on the upper faces of the top rails starting from one end.

Centre one stretcher at each of these points, drill, and fasten with glue and one 30mm wood screw per joint.

Step 8.

Rough the ends of the face boards with a coping saw to roughly a 22mm radius.

Fasten the face boards to the front of the top and bottom rails so there’s a 6mm downward overhang from the top and one upwards from the bottom. Use the oval wire nails set below the surface.

Step 9.

Sand the wood and finish with a wood stain.

Step 10.

Fasten flush mounts to the wall end of the upper side pieces with 30mm wood screws.

Use 50mm wood screws to fasten hangers to the wall studs.

Attach decorative hooks to the face board as desired.