DIY Block Shelf

By: Missy Sorg

I’ve reached a point where I need to declutter and reorganize my home.  Maybe it’s because I’ve been in this house for over a decade and it’s still missing something that makes it “home.”  Maybe it’s because I realize I have little to nothing for storage options.  

I’ve gone back and forth with shelving solutions for some time.  When we bought our house, I realized the potential offered by the set-in spaces on either side of the fireplace in the living room.  At the time we bought the house, I was considering inset bookshelves, or a built-in writing desk with storage and shelving options.  I have been hesitant to do something “permanent” however, because it would affect my ability to otherwise shuffle the room.  If I have a permanent built-in space, I no longer have the freedom to make the space adaptable.  Alternatively, I like the idea of having something in the space that is a little more than an IKEA bookshelf.  

Needless to say, it’s been a little bit of a task to find just the right thing to work for the space as well as for my preferences.  Until I ran across a DIY wood and stone shelving unit.

All I need is a few pavers (or bricks, or cinder blocks), some wood, and some stain.  

For my particular project, I’m also going to consider brackets – primarily because I’m looking at a floor-to-ceiling unit with a 7’ ceiling.  I wouldn’t trust the upper shelves to not topple over if I did it free-standing.  

Here’s how we’re going to tackle this project:

First of all, you need to measure the space you’re looking at.  For my purposes, I’m looking at an inset space that is 7’ tall, 4 ½’ wide, and 1 ½’ deep.  If I want 6 shelves equidistant apart, that means I’ll need 6 planks of wood 4 ½’ x 1 ½’, 40-50 pavers, and 12 brackets.  I’ll also need to pick up some stain to add some color to the shelves.  

Once I have everything together, I’ll stain the shelves according to the instructions, and let everything dry.  Then, I’ll measure out the proper heights for my shelves, and mark where the brackets will be hung.  Make sure that your shelf space accommodates your pavers.  You don’t want to plan out your shelves to find out that you’re too high (or too low) to have it rest atop the pavers.  Again, for my project, I’m planning to place 5 or 6 pavers between each shelf.  Once I get it all measured out, then it’s a matter of securing the brackets in place – making sure they’re level – and then securing the shelves to the tops of the brackets, and adding the pavers between the shelves at a space equidistant from the edges to offer support.  

For as much as you’d spend on a compressed wood shelving unit from a box store, you can have a rugged, durable, and unique DIY piece instead!

Adapted from