Free plans to build a Number 1 Shelf - from Ana-White.com
8-9 feet of 1/2" thick plywood cut into strips 7-1/2" wide (width can vary depending on desired depth of shelf)
1/4" plywood or other material for the back - minimum size 14-1/2" x 28"
CUT LIST - ALL 1/2" plywood 7 1/2" width
1 - 1/2" plywood @ 7-1/2" x 12-1/2" long
1 - 1/2" plywood @ 7-1/2" x 21" long
1 - 1/2" plywood @ 7-1/2" x 7-1/2" long
1 - 1/2" plywood @ 7-1/2" x 11" long
2 - 1/2" plywood @ 7-1/2" x 14-1/2" long
1 - 1/2" plywood @ 7-1/2" x 7-3/4" long (long point measurement, one end cut at 45 degree bevel)
1 - 1/2" plywood @ 7-1/2" x 4-5/8" (long point measurement, both ends cut at 45 degree bevels)
1 - 1/2" plywood @ 7-1/2" x 4-3/4" long (long point measurement, one end cut at 45 degree bevel)
1 - 1/2" plywood @ 7-1/2" x 6" long
Back plywood minimum size is 14-1/2" x 28"
Please read through the entire plan and all comments before beginning this project. It is also advisable to review the Getting Started Section. Take all necessary precautions to build safely and smartly. Work on a clean level surface, free of imperfections or debris. Always use straight boards. Check for square after each step. Always predrill holes before attaching with screws. Use glue with finish nails for a stronger hold. Wipe excess glue off bare wood for stained projects, as dried glue will not take stain. Be safe, have fun, and ask for help if you need it. Good luck!
There's countless ways to put this shelf together - the deeper your shelves - and if you are hanging it on the wall - or if you are planning on placing especially heavy objects inside like books - then you should definitely error on the side of overbuilding. Screws recommended, or you can use a pocket hole jig on the 1/2" setting with 1" pocket hole screws.
If you are planning to use this shelf without hanging, then you could get away with nails or staples and GLUE.
This plan calls for using 1/2" plywood, but you could also use cedar fence pickets, 3/4" stock (1x boards) or alter the depth - you may need to alter some of the cuts, though.
Start in the middle and work your way outward, so it's easy to assemble. Remember, this plan assumes your boards are 1/2" thick.
Then from the middle portion, add the next rows of shelves.
NOTE: For a hanging shelf, I recommed adding a 1x2 on the underside of this top shelf, attached inset, flush to back. Then you can just screw through that 1x2 into your wall hanging system.
Cut these guys and fit. When you are ahppy with them, attach.
Now let's build up the base with the two sides.
NOTE: For wall hanging, I recommend adding another 1x2 cleat between these two side pieces, flush to inside, top, back.
Trace the shelf out on your back and cut out. Glue and nail or screw to back of shelf.
It is always recommended to apply a test coat on a hidden area or scrap piece to ensure color evenness and adhesion. Use primer or wood conditioner as needed.