DIY Triangle Shelf

What You Will Need:

  • 1″ x 8″ x 8′  boards. For outer structure, shelves, and Triangle inserts.
    (Depending on the size you would like your shelf, these dimensions may very. The dimensions of mine: all sides are 8 feet. And i believe it is Aspen wood. Also: shelves may be 1/2″ Aspen boards, this will just depend on your preference. I like the dainty shelves, however they aren’t very strong without the triangle/cube inserts.)
  • A 1″ x 8″ board for shelf cuts to rest on.
  • Triangle Trim. For corners of triangle inserts
  • Screw Drievr
  • Nail Gun
  • Nails & Wood Screws
  • Wood Glue
  • 6 Wing Nuts & 6 Machine screws that fit together. Size will very depending on what size hole you drill.

Quick Reminder:
I did not make this shelf, though I have had it for years and have torn it apart, moved it, and rebuilt it several times. This was a fixture at a retail company I used to manage that i got to keep once the season was over. I know the ins and outs, however I did not build it so I’m simply going off of what I know about its structure. I will do my very best to explain the one I had, however you can run with your own design on this as well. Refer to pictures as I write because they will help you understand.

Outer Frame:

Boards 1, 2 & 3

Ok so each picture shows the difference between all three boards. This will make a tad more sense when it starts to come together.

Boards 1 and 3 are the sides. They have the angled pieces to hold the shelves once its put together. 

*Please Note that board 1 & 3 have one side that is a bit different for the tongue & groove attachments. Board 1 has two different sides. You’ll need to remember this when building and attaching your tongue and groove system.

Board 2 is the flat one. That one sits on the floor.

NOTEAll Three boards have a 45 degree angle cut on the ends so they sit flush together.

Tongue & Groove Attachments:

I would start by trying to recreate the tongue and groove inserts for all three corners.

Cut out the triangle blocks all the same size. You will need 6.

Then build the frame those attach to. You will need 3 frames.

(Both sides will need a pilot hole going through for your Machine Screws & Wing nuts to fasten them together. I recommend getting them built, then putting them together and screwing the holes so you know they will line up.)


*Use your nail gun for this process so you don’t have bulky screws everywhere. Add wood glue to help you keep things in place between every piece.


Attach the frame piece with three screws to the outer board on the INSIDE of your shelf (board 2). Make sure your screws aren’t long enough to go through to the outside of your shelf.

On the other side, Just use your nail gun to attach the little triangle blocks to board 1, going through the triangle block at an angle, not from the outside of your shelf… You won’t want visible screws or nails anywhere on the outside of your shelf.
*Reinforce all pieces with wood glue so this lasts.

Ok lets talk about the smaller pieces the shelves will sit on.

These go on board 1 & 3, using your extra 1″ x 8″ board.

Make these each 2″ cuts, with one side being 45 degree angle.

Measure for all 4 shells to sit equally space, or you can customize this as well. Mine were all 1.5 feet apart. But i would recommend measuring and drawing your piece out how you’d like it.

When attaching them, use your nail gun and wood glue the same way you did the triangle blocks. FROM THE INSIDE at an angle, nail gun these into boards 1 & 3.

Once you have all three boards built and dried for at least 24 hours, you can put these together.


Set board two on the floor.

Have one person hold board 1 and slip it into place, while the second person inserts the Machine Bolts & fastens the wing nuts into place on the bottom. Do the same for board 3, fasten the bottom and the top.


Measure the exact length for your shelves once you have the frame put together.

Not that all the sides will be cut at a 45 degree angle so they sit flush against the frame.

Heres an up-close at how the shelves should fit

Triangle Inserts: (optional)

This is where you will need the piece of triangle trim for all three corners.
All corners of mine were clamped together with wood glue… No nails. However, I suggest using your nail gun to put these together. They hold a lot of the weight from the shelves.

NOTE how one side of the triangle is flat on the top so it can slide onto the shelf with ease.

I suggest cutting the sides for the flat side before you build it. Either way would work just fine, but since you are using exact measurements, it would be easier to cut it the size it needs to be in order to fit before putting it together.

The dimensions of these will depend on your shelf distance measurements. I recommend measuring the distance between your shelves at an angle, and then cutting all three sides the exact same  size.

You can add more triangles to get the look you want as well! I only used 4 down the middle in mine. However, you can use up to 10 for this size.

And there you have it!

I don’t have the exact measurements now that I have sold this piece, so some questions may not be able to be answered.

But I can help guide you in your measurements as best as i can or give advice where you might need it.

Be creative with your shelf! I think there are many ways you could build this piece and the design could look different in a lot of ways!

Example: More shelves, less shelves, square inserts, straight board inserts, no inserts at all! 
You can use old barn wood, or pallets to give a rustic charm, PERSONALLY: I would build this with knotty pine and stain it. I love knots in my wood when its stained.
You could use thicker boards to give it a sturdy frame or a chunky look.
The options for this are endless.
Take it step by step and learn as you go.
You can always get a new piece of wood 🙂

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