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DIY - Basement Shelves with video

This post is sponsored by The Home Depot.
How to build shelf storage in the basement - free standing shelves.

Basement storage is king to keep the sanity in that part of the house. Building a set of shelves was not only an economical project, but it also brought order to our basement. 

Last year I tweaked the area in the basement where the boys have their computer room. My son had asked for a new computer table and after building it, I had to give the entire space a clean-up.

The picture below is how neat that small man cave looked afterward.

However, what I didn't show you was the area where I put all the other things that I took out of there.
DIY - Pipe Desk

Well, all that stuff... mostly cables and electronics that belong to my husband, were shoved off just five feet away and stacked in the big pile you see below.  Yikes!

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I promised Mr. RLC that I would build some shelves for all those items, but he first needed to sort them out and get rid of stuff he didn't use any longer.

A couple of weeks ago he did so and then it was my turn to build his shelves.

This is a very economic project for the amount of storage space you get. And let's not even talk about how sturdy is this entire unit.  I bought better materials,  instead of buying the $3.50 studs I got the ones that cost $5.48, and that brought the numbers around $130 for me.

The materials for a 10-ft. x 6-ft. x 2-ft. shelf: 

(12) 2 x 4 x 10'
(5)  2 x 4 x 6'
(3) 4' x 8" - ½" OSB cut lengthwise in the middle - You will only use 2½ sheets.
2½" Self-tapping, flat-head Screws (I used these ones that were left from building the deck)
1" flat-head screws

The Tools:
Dewalt Cordless drill/driver and impact combo kit + drill bits
Dewalt Cordless circular saw
Angle Square
Measuring tape

The cutting list:

You can get each of your OSB sheets cut by half, lengthwise, at The Home Depot.
Since my shelves were 10 feet in length, I also needed to cut four - 2-feet sections of OSB to add to the 8-ft I had for each of the four shelves.

You also need to cut four - 2 x 4 x 10' in 21-inch lengths.

Cutting 2 x 4s with DeWalt circular saw

They will be the side and middle bracing support for the shelves.

So, let's put those shelves together!

You can check this quick video about this project, if not, you can continue reading below.


Wooden storage shelves for basement or garage

Each shelf frame consists of two - 2 x 4 x 10' and five - 2 x 4 x 21"

Make a simple frame out of two 10-foot and two 21" pieces. Securing them at each corner with two-2½" screws.


Assembling shelves

Measure diagonally from corner to corner and ensure both measurements are the same. If they're not the same, the rectangle is not square and you have to pull the sides to one side or the other until both measurements are the same.


Assembling the shelves
Ear Muff 

Mark the position of the middle supports at 2½-ft., 5-ft. or center, and at 8-ft.

I made the mistake to install the last support at 7½-ft. but I had to move it to the 8-ft mark because that's the point where both pieces of plywood connect. They both needed underneath support.  Moving those supports was easy though.

A cordless impact driver is key to an easy build! I didn't do pre-dills. Well, the self-tapping screws also played an important role here. But, those are long screws that were driven nicely thanks to the driving and hammering force of the impact driver.


Once you're done building your shelf frames decide the spacing you're going to give each shelf. It's all about your needs.

I decided to leave a big space on the lower shelf because the mister wanted to store heavy equipment on it.


Milwaukee Performance work gloves

I marked the location I wanted for each shelf on the five posts.

For the two front posts, I made those marks on both sides.

And don't forget to write down which is the top part.


It's time to put together the whole thing.
I waited for the mister to come home to tackle this step, I thought it was going to be more difficult or way too heavy for me, but it wasn't. Anyways, it was good to work as a team.

We first placed the two lower shelves, front sides facing down.
Then, we started attaching the three back posts (two in each corner and one in the center), following the measurements for the shelves on each post.

Once those three back posts were attached to the two lower shelves, we pulled up a bit the whole structure and slid the front posts.

They were attached from the back with two 2½" screws.

We continued installing the two remaining shelves in the same manner.

There was one shelf where the last corner to be attached was difficult to align to the mark on the post. We used a long clamp to bring it to its proper place.

Four screws were driven at each intersection.


Building a wooden shelf structure from 2 x 4s

I thought this was going to be such a heavy structure! Ha, I was wrong. Though, it was good to have help bringing this baby up.

Building a wooden storage shelf out of 2 x 4s

And then, the OSB planks were set in place.
I used 1" screws to attach them to the frame. If later on, I want to disassemble this shelf, it's going to be easier removing screws rather than nails.

- Two more 2½" screws were driven on the front part of each shelf.

how to build economic shelves in basement with Dewalt tools

And it's DONE!!

I went ahead and painted the frame with Rust-oleum charcoal chalked paint.
Love it. :)

how to build economic wooden shelves in basement
12-Gallon flip-top clear plastic tote

And hey, look at all that storage!

how to build free standing shelves in the basement - shelves packed with plastic clear totes with split tops

Guess who was super happy sorting cables and old gadgets for an entire day! :D

shelves filled up with cables and electronics in clear plastic totes

Haha, yep. These are the mister's treasures!

electronic equipment stored in basement shelf

How boring! :D

I was driving him nuts telling him to get rid of old CDs and DVDs and Blackberry cables...
He needs to save them just in case. 🙄

Anyways, that's his storage!

how to build free standing shelves in the basement -

For more Home DIY ideas check these out:

Build-ins in the Dining Room

how to build a set of build-ins with bench in the middle

How to make a wooden door mat with 1 x 3 wood material - Spring home decor

bed, curtains, rugs and all the elements to create a bedroom in an unfinished basement.

I acknowledge that The Home Depot is partnering with me to participate in the promotional program described above (the “Program”). As a part of the Program, I am receiving compensation in the form of products and services, for the purpose of promoting The Home Depot. All expressed opinions and experiences are my own words. My post complies with the Word Of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA) Ethics Code and applicable Federal Trade Commission guidelines.

*This post contains affiliate links.*

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  1. My husband needs to save things "just in case" too, and it drives me crazy! No one will ever need a 20 year old cell phone or its charger, I promise.

    1. Haha yep, that's exactly my reasoning! I have to keep reminding him, if you haven't used it in a year or two, you don't need it anymore, get rid of it!

  2. I see we are twinsies with the basements. Mine looks pretty close to yours! That shelf is wonderful, you did a awesome job!

    1. Thanks Christine! I haven't noticed yours, maybe because I'm always drooling at your patio and outdoor projects! :D It's a good size basement that can get messy real fast.

  3. Wow,this is some project! I would love to have a storage area like this one, but I think the Mr. would have to do it. Power tools scare me a bit. This is fantastic and congrats on a job well done.

    1. Hehe nothing to be scare of, Sandra! The main tools for this project, the drill and the circular saw are basic tools and most probably your husband already have them in his shop. So yeah, a good project for him. :) Thanks!

  4. I also have that bad habit of saving things "just in case I need them" in a year or ten! This wonderful storage space is to die for! And, you make it look easy enough for me to attempt! Keep up the great work, please!

    1. Aww thanks so much Diane! Yes, you can do it! And I guess, up to certain point, we're all guilty of saving those trashures! :D

  5. Cristina,
    You rock! I love how this came out and your husband is a techie guy like my husband. We need a bigger space just for him to put all his belongings. This is one project I will remember to make with him. LOL, gotta love are techie husbands.

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