This hanging shelf combines the floating shelf idea with a boho concept. The rope gives the floating shelves some character adding a rustic, earthy feel. They are suspended by rope, but still give the illusion that they are floating.
DIY home decor is the best because you save money, learn new skills, and feel proud each time you walk past that finished product. Like most products that I teach you how to make, this is a trendy, multi-functional piece.
You can hang these in any room, but they would look particularly cute in a hallway, bathroom, or by a window to hold your succulents.
Like any DIY project, these shelves can be customized. This tutorial simply gives you a foundation for the design. Just another benefit to DIY home decor. For this project you can use any size and kind of rope you like, you can make the shelves any width, stain them any color, and adjust the height between shelves to fit your needs.
The project is easy. All you need is a 2×4, some rope, a saw, and a drill. You could even have the boards cut for you, but if you are learning or know woodworking, you’ll likely want to do that yourself.
Here is the full list of materials:
- one 2×4 (at least 4 feet long)
- Tape Measure
- Drill (with drill or spade bit)
- 1 Nail
- Painter’s Tape
DIY Home Decor Hanging Shelf Building Instructions
Cut the Wood
First, I suggest cutting about 2” off of the 2×4 to remove any cracks in the wood.
We’ll be using about 4’ of the 2×4. Start by measuring 20” for your first board, then make your cut. Repeat for your second board. That’s all the cutting and wood you need for this project!
Again, you can customize your DIY home decor shelves to fit your specific needs. If you’re using your shelves for plants, you may want to keep it wider, but if you’re using it for small accent pieces, you may prefer to make it more narrow.
Drill the Holes
To make holes for the rope, you’ll want to use a spade bit or a drill bit that is slightly wider than the rope you’ll be using. I used a ½” spade bit for my ⅜” rope. I like to use a spade bit because it seems to be quicker.
Mark your boards for 2 holes on each end of each board, so you will have 8 holes total when you’re done. Each hole will be 1” from the end and ¾” from the edge.
Tip: go ahead and get your hole started and once you see the bit poking out just a little bit, flip it over and finish the hole from the backside. You will get a cleaner cut because it reduces all of the tear out that can happen.
If you prefer to sand and stain the shelves, I suggest doing that before assembling with rope. Leave the boards natural for a more boho vibe. Stain them for a more rustic appeal.
Prep for Assembly
Once we have the holes drilled, we are going to start assembling them. For starters, grab 2 pieces of scrap wood at 7” long. These will be used as spacers, so the distance between the shelves will be 7”.(You can adjust the spacers to whatever height you would like.)
Tip: bring the bottom shelf to the edge of the table, so it’s easier to keep square and even. You can also clamp the bottom board, so it doesn’t move around as much during the next process.
Cut 2 pieces of rope at 7’ each. You can also customize the rope to whatever length you would like, but I wouldn’t go any shorter than 6’ if you are building the shelves exactly like the ones in the tutorial. Wrap the ends of your rope with some painter’s tape, so it’s easier to thread them through.
Hammer one nail in your worktable about 16 inches up from the top shelf to make a pretend hanger. This will help you keep the rope as even as possible on both sides.
Thread and Tie the Ropes
Start by threading the rope through the backside holes first. Tie a knot on the bottom of the top shelf, then thread through the bottom shelf and tie a second knot. Repeat on both sides. Then, follow the same process for the frontside holes.
Tie the knots as closely to the bottom part of the shelves as possible. If the knot is a little too low, just work it up so it sits evenly at the bottom of the shelf on both sides. If the tails of the rope are a little uneven, don’t worry because the last step is cutting those off to make them even!
Watch this quick video to see the entire tying process:
This project, like any other DIY project, will take some adjusting and re-adjusting. The good part about this one is that there is no glue, staples, or screws so it can easily be fixed. Everything isn’t going to stay perfectly aligned during assembly, but it will come together. Just trust the process!
Sell Your DIY Home Decor Woodcrafts
This DIY project could easily make you some money as well. If you’re interested in selling woodcrafts like this one I suggest building yourself a backdrop to take more professional looking product photos. I purchased this brick one from Menards. Brick or shiplap are always classic. It will definitely save you time as well.
These rope hanging shelves could be easily made in different sizes and sold as a set. The possibilities of selling woodcrafts are numerous.
If you’d like to learn more trending craft ideas and DIY home decor projects, check out the Wood Craft Blueprints Membership. Don’t worry about being a beginner because I’ll show you all of the tricks of the trade that I learned over years of experience.
If you’re still nervous check out this blog post where I share my top 3 tips for getting started, then come join our sisterhood of professional crafters!