How to Build a Corner Mantel Shelf

What You'll Need
Circular saw
24-inch circle of plywood
Straight edge

A corner mantel shelf can be an attractive way to utilize space in your home that would otherwise be wasted. You can purchase pre-built mantel shelves at most home improvement stores. However, building your own mantel shelf can be very rewarding. You can customize it to fit your needs and decor and take pride in the fact that you were able to design and create an important fixture in your home. The best part is that building a corner mantel shelf is very simple.


Step 1 - Preparation

Although in the materials a 24-inch circle of plywood has been suggested, you can use a plywood circle of any diameter. You could use a more expensive wood, but for your first few tries you should stick to plywood. Keep in mind that very large and very small circles may be difficult to work with, so you should take care not to wander so far from your comfort zone that you botch the project.

Using a straight edge, draw a line across the center of your circular board. It should be exactly at the center. Be very careful. You don't want a crooked or wavy line. Once you have drawn this line, drawn another line. This new line should be perpendicular to the first line.

Step 2 - Cutting the Shelves

Using your circular saw, cut along the lines that you drew in the first step. Be very careful that your cuts are not crooked. Although you will almost inevitably be unable to make perfect cuts when first attempting this project, it is important that your lines are straight as possible. If your lines are not straight, it will be difficult or impossible to properly install your corner mantel shelf.

This process will leave you with 4 quarters that can be used as circular corner shelves.You can paint or stain them in any way you wish. If you will be painting them all the same color, you may wish to paint the circle of plywood before cutting it into quarters. If painting the shelves for use outdoors, or if you will be painting them a light primer, be sure to use a good quality primer before painting. This will help to make your shelf more durable by protecting it against the elements and ensuring that the color's integrity is established.

Step 3 - Customization During Installation

The installation process is very simple for corner mantel shelves. You simply affix the bracket to the wall using either a professional grade adhesive or, preferably, screws, and then use the bracket to support your shelf. Because the process is so simple, it is very easy for you to customize the process so that your results better suit your aesthetic. You can use different kinds of brackets made out of different kinds of materials or even attach wrought iron or wooden designs to the brackets and shelves during installation. The possibilities are virtually infinite.