DIY Shelf Over The Bed

What a simple and affordable project this DIY shelf over the bed was! Could be done easily with a handful of supplies, 1 tool (grab your screwdriver!) and a trip to Home Depot on the bus! I just love the elegant clean lines that a shelf over the bed offers.  Not complicated like some projects, just a beautiful piece of wood that draws in your attention because of it’s placement. And the cherry on top? I was able to do this all for less than $20. DIY Shelf Over The Bed:

Simple shelf over the bed Row House Nest

When we moved into our new apartment (when do I stop calling it ‘new’? We have lived here for 6 months now!), I pinned a few initial pictures to get my inspiration going. The image below from Remodelista of a shelf above a walnut  headboard was once of the first images I pinned.  For several misinformed reasons, I moved the bedroom to the back of the priority list – no VIP status – and talked about ‘dealing with it later’. Well now with hindsight firmly smacking me in the face, I see that I was misguided and should have decorated the bedroom first. Anyways, what’s done is done. For some reason, I was obsessed with creating a clean, simple display shelf for over our bed. I didn’t want our bedroom surfaces to be filled with our keepsake knick-knacks and decided that a beautiful shelf would be a lovely way to bring character to the wall behind our bed while keeping it clean. I was inspired by these particular images:

bedroom shelf inspiration

LeftObjets Mecaniques (from Montreal, Quebec) featured on Remodelista 

Right: Rebecca from Territory’s bedroom featured on Design*Sponge

Materials for DIY Shelf Over The Bed:

-1 knotty pine panel (1 x 8 x 8) – $12.49

-2 Ekby Valter brackets  from Ikea in untreated birch ($2 each, so $4 total)

-wood stain and finish or paint – I used Minwax water based Wood Stain in White Wash Pickling  and water based clear protective finish for the shelf

-sandpaper (smooth that carefully selected piece of lumber out!)

-screws and plugs for installation

DIY shelf over bed Row House Nest (1)

Here is a rendering of my vision.

Instructions for DIY Shelf Over The Bed:

Pretty simple folks! Head on over to your local Home Depot. If you aren’t comfortable, ask one of the folks there to give you a hand picking out a nice piece of lumber. If you need to cut it down to size, there is usually a table available where you can measure your piece of wood and use one of their saws. For real. You don’t even need to own a saw. Or you can ask the person working in the lumber area to cut it to size for you (they will usually do a few pieces for free). Or if the employees are all busy helping others, there are usually a few contractors around who are always willing to help (no joke – a contractor helped me out a few months. Cut some steel down to size for me!!!). Bring it home – sand. Paint/stain your lumber and brackets. Let it dry over night. Install the next day. Done like dinner.

dala horse on shelf ikea brackets

Total cost: This was an incredibly easy and affordable project coming in under $20 CAD! I already had the wood stain and paint so they didn’t add to the overall cost.

Nan with bedroom shelf

Considerations: I picked this size of wood panel based on my bedsize. I measured the width of my bed, added a little to each side and picked the 1x8x8 based on that. That said, if you have a larger bed than mine, you may want a larger piece of lumber.

side view shelf over bed

From the side. These brackets are incredibly simple and do the job. I love the contrast between the whitewashed and black.

Whitewashing: Interested in learning how to whitewash your wood with pickling stain? Read all about that here.  As you can see, I am a little obsessed with that smooth Scandinavian look.

hanging plants in the bedroom

I love the idea of having hanging plants in the bedroom. Right there. Love the texture and visual pop of colour a live plant adds to a space. Actually I am obsessed. I follow 5-10 florists on Instagram just so I can drool over their plants (check out Amazing.

Disclaimer: Some of the products mentioned in this blog post were supplied to me by Home Depot via a gift card. That said, all words and opinions are my own. All images are also my own. Thanks to Home Depot for making this project possible!

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  • Heather – New House New Home

    Looks great and i’m loving the black brackets!

  • Katie Edwards

    Wow! This looks so pretty. This is a great alternative to a headboard, AND it would hold my books!

    • Thanks Katie! It is so handy for books. And my bedroom knick knacks

  • The shelf looks great! I cant have side tables (bed is in a book) and I recently installed some little shelves on either side. Very handy!

    • Oh love that idea! Thanks for stopping by Casey

  • Andrea Hunter

    I’ve been looking for ages for a shelf to put above my kids’ bed where there’s an awkward window in the way. Duh… make my own! Thanks Meagan!

    • Lovely Andrea! Solved the problem 🙂

  • Great job! I also love the brass planter and that pillow. 🙂

    • Thanks so much Vanessa!

  • kay gil

    this is great, I may have to do this in my room. Also, where did you get those bed side lamps?

    • I can help ya girl! They are from Ikea

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