How to Build a Laundry Shelf

How to Build a Laundry Shelf

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Our laundry room makeover is complete and the project that I’m most proud of has to be the DIY laundry shelf over the washer and dryer.

When I was pulling together the design board for this room, I knew that I wanted something over the washer and dryer. We had already used that space as a landing area, the laundry shelf would make it feel more intentional. It would also help muffle the sound of the washer and dryer a bit.

This post contains some affiliate links – meaning if you click through the links and buy anything, the retailer will pay me a small commission at no additional cost to you! I never link to anything that I haven’t actually used. 

DIY Laundry Shelf

The plan was fairly simple. Line the surrounding walls with 1×2 boards and lay common boards on top to make the shelf. Here are my tips for creating a DIY laundry shelf.

1. Invest in sawhorses. If you don’t already have them, get some. They will make staining and cutting infinitely easier.

laundry shelf stain one coat

2. Measure obsessively. I was so worried that I was going to mess this part up that I probably would have finished the project a lot faster if I only measured twice. Labeling the back of each wood piece helped me keep track of what went where. Leave room for any hoses or cords that are above the shelf.

laundry shelf cut mounts

3. Cut everything first. We had the large boards cut at Home Depot. The wall supports and the hose cutout I did with a jigsaw. Be picky when you are buying your wood. Make sure your 1×2’s are straight and that your common boards are not warped and have some character to them.

laundry shelf home depot

4. Sand down the edges – it will give everything a more finished look.

laundry shelf sanded

5. Stain last. Follow the directions on the stain container and stain the edges and under parts if there is any chance it can be seen. I used the Minwax Polyshade in Espresso.

laundry shelf stain options

laundry shelf steel wool

6. Use a good level and stud finder. All of the support boards were mounted at 30 inches high using either stud screws or drywall anchors/screws.

laundry shelf mountslaundry shelf mounts installed

7. Connect the boards underneath to prevent sagging. Attaching a small piece of 1×2 across the boards will help support them. Pre-drill the hole through the support and be careful not to go too far into the common board.

Laundry room shelf for over the washer and dryer that makes a huge impact. An easy DIY project that creates storage and folding space. This stained wood shelf is perfect for small spaces. See our full laundry room makeover for more ideas.

See more pictures of the finished room here.

DIY Laundry Shelf

Laundry Room Update – The Reveal

Laundry Room Update – The Reveal

The laundry room is finally done and you guys, I am so beyond thrilled with how it turned out. Is it possible that the smallest room in our house is now my favorite space to be in?

It all started with a post on Nesting with Grace about a $20 light she found. I literally looked up from reading that and looked right at my laundry room light. From there, the laundry room plan  came together pretty quick, I just needed that one little bit of inspiration. Funny how those things work.

This post contains some affiliate links – meaning if you click through the links and buy anything, the retailer will pay me a small commission at no additional cost to you! I never link to anything that I haven’t actually used. 

Laundry Room Before

This is where we started. A small space that can barely be considered a room but with high traffic and high visibility. My plan was fairly simple – paint the cabinets, change out the lighting and hooks and build a shelf. Easy peasy right?


Laundry Room Makeover After

Let me preface all of this with this – I love doing DIY projects but honestly, I’m not that good at it. So tackling this kind of project was a bit daunting. But I did it. It’s not perfect, but I did it. My husband helped with the shelf a little bit but really, this was all done during my kid’s nap times.

And I have all the heart eyes for this room.

Laundry Room Makeover DIY

The light that inspired it all.

Laundry Room Makeover DIY

I painted the cabinets and added some new hardware – I’ll have a post soon about all the things I learned with that little project. Sign up for my email updates on the side of the page so you don’t miss a post (promise, it’s just for new posts).

These are the puck lights that I used – another inspiration from Nesting with Grace. (Search her site for her magic light trick – mind blowing). They are stick on and battery operated. Amazing. Affordable. And I’ll be putting them all over the house.

I used this temporary wallpaper from Target and the corresponding color for the cabinets. While I LOVE how it turned out, you can read my full review of the experience here.

Laundry Room Makeover DIY

Laundry Room Makeover DIY

The clothesline adds a bit more functionality to the space. I bought it from Amazon and spray painted it gold to match the pulls on the cabinets.

Laundry Room Makeover DIY

The shelf was a labor of love deserving of it’s own how-to blog post but aside from a few minor hiccups, it was fairly easy to build and install. It would have gone in a lot faster but I obsessively measured. All the DIY details coming soon.

Laundry Room Makeover DIY

Another functional part of the space were the hooks behind the garage door. These alphabet hooks worked perfectly and I hung the kids lower so they were easy to reach. Sure, I wanted a beautiful space but it has to be functional for our everyday life or else it’s just a waste of time and money.

Laundry Room Makeover DIY

The rest of the accessories are from Home Goods and Target. I love the candles from Hearth and Hand, they smell so good.

Laundry Room Makeover DIY

There are a lot of imperfections but I did it. There just isn’t anything like that feeling of doing a big project like this for yourself. Which makes this beautiful space, even more special.

Laundry Room Makeover DIY

Laundry Room Update – The Plan

Laundry Room Update – The Plan

Calling this a laundry room makeover is generous. We don’t really have a room per se. It’s more like a walkway from our garage entrance to the main living area. So when I saw this post on Nesting with Grace about this $20 light, I got inspired to do something about this eye sore of a space.

Laundry Room Makeover Before

This is where we are starting with the laundry room, these are unedited and exactly how this space looks on any given day. It’s a high traffic area and it goes without saying that it gets a lot of use. And I look at it every time I sit on my couch….


There are great (original) cabinets above the washer and dryer that provide critical storage. Given my short stature, they are hard to reach so I’m going to paint them and add some pulls to modernize the cabinets and make them easier to reach.

Also needed in this space is a countertop. We tend to pile things up in here on top of the machines and then items fall off during the spin cycle. I’m also hoping that installing a countertop will muffle a little bit of the sound when the machines are running.


There is also a small bathroom here – we’re gonna leave that alone…for now. I’m sure this design will dictate what I do with that little powder room when it comes around time to update it. And no, the baby didn’t get into the toilet. She tried to sit on it to read her book. HA!


Probably one of my most important tasks with this project is moving our growth chart. I started to record the girls growth when we moved in 3 years ago. I will transfer this to a ruler growth chart that I’ll install on the back of a closet door.


This is the view when you come in from the garage.


That’s where we are starting with this room and I’m hoping to do this entire makeover for under $300.

This post contains some affiliate links – meaning if you click through the links and buy anything, the retailer will pay me a small commission at no additional cost to you! I never link to anything that I haven’t actually used. 

The Laundry Room Makeover Design Plan

Target has a line of removable wallpaper that is peel and stick. It’s $30 per roll and if I don’t like it, then it’s easy to take off. I’ve always loved the large palm leaf wallpaper at the Beverly Hills Hotel, and this pattern reminded me of that but in more muted beachy tones. I found this print online but our local store had a few limited patterns in stock. Lots of options online though.

The wallpaper comes with a few corresponding paint colors so I went with the greenish gray for the cabinets. This I picked up at my local Target once I had decided on the wall pattern. The gold pulls I found on clearance at Target as well and the hooks are from Anthropologie and are my splurge item.

If you read about our dining room or our stair remodel, then you know that we are not DIY people but I think this wood countertop is doable for us.

We have family coming into town so I don’t think we’re going to get this project started until after Easter but I’m really happy with our plan.

UPDATE! The laundry room makeover is done and I couldn’t be more thrilled….or shocked….by the transformation. See it here.

Laundry room makeover design board. Small, DIY and on a budget this remodel will include painting cabinets, installing a stained wood farmhouse countertop and peel and stick wallpaper in a bold print. #DIY #makeover #laundry #smallspace