I love the idea of making storage out of unused space, and one way to do this is to build a storage shelf between the studs in your wall.
I knew our pantry project was the perfect place for a shelf like this. We have built-in shelving on two walls, but there wasn’t enough space for shelving along the third wall. We need to be able to walk into our walk-in pantry, after all.
So my husband built a between-the-studs shelf!
You can see in the picture below exactly where the shelf is located:
If I were to do it over again, I’d move the light switch. Oh well.
Before he put the drywall up, my husband nailed horizontal 2×4’s where the top and bottom of the shelf would be. Then he hung drywall, completely covering the inside and outside.
After the drywall was taped, textured and painted, we carefully cut a rectangle shape into the drywall. The cuts were made along the inner edge of the studs all the way around. You can find studs in your wall by using a stud finder and double, no triple checking your measurements. You also have to be careful to cut little by little… you don’t want to go sawing through wires! We knew exactly what was in our wall because we built it, but in most situations, you don’t. Proceed with caution!
When we were done, we were left with a hole:
Next came the shelf-building part. Each part of the shelf was cut separately and nailed in place as we went. So for that bottom section, there were two horizontal pieces, two vertical pieces and a back piece. We built it this way so that we’d have something to nail to. The back of this area is the drywall in our living room, so we couldn’t nail anything into the back–only the side studs.
After building the shelves and nailing them all together, we added trim… moulding along the top and bottom with thin slats of wood along each side. We used the same slats (I think they were made for lattice) to add a lip to each shelf.
Here’s a close up:
After a lot of wood filler to cover up all the imperfections and several coats of white paint, we have a between-the-studs shelf!
I love how it turned out! It’s the perfect place in my pantry to store little things… spices, sauces, etc. and of course, our candy jars which are empty at the moment. Boo!
Do you have a place in your house that’s just calling for a between-the-studs shelf? They’d be great in any room… craft room, bedroom, bathroom, entryway. Really. Such a great way to add storage without taking up any floor space!