How to Install Custom Wood Wall Shelves

woman installing custom wood wall shelves

Real wood sends a message about a space. In fact, you can transform the aesthetic of an entire room with one single wood feature. 

Another upside—a wood shelf is both functional and fashionable. So, if you buy one,  you end up more organized too. 

But if you're installing shelving for the first time, it can be intimidating to figure that out by yourself. That's why we’ve put together this comprehensive guide to help you easily install your wood wall shelves. Trust us—we’ve helped enough customers to know—it might seem difficult, but it’s not once you do it. Actually, it’s quite simple. 

So grab your tools and take a deep breath. You can do this.

Secure the Bracket to the Wall with the Screws Provided

The foundation of your shelf’s sturdiness lies in the brackets and how well they are secured to the wall. Once you’ve selected the perfect place to hang your shelves, follow these steps to secure the bracket to the wall:

  1. Unwrap each shelf and remove the hidden bracket. It is essential to keep each bracket paired with the shelf it was wrapped with. 
  2. Use a stud finder to locate your wall studs. If you’re mounting on drywall, secure at least one screw into a stud to ensure your shelf can bear weight without pulling away from the wall. If no studs are available, heavy-duty wall anchors are recommended.
  3. Mark the spots for your brackets with a pencil. Hold each bracket against the wall and use a level to ensure they’re horizontal. 
  4. Secure the brackets to the wall using the screws provided. The “teeth” of the bracket go face up toward the ceiling.

Slide the Shelf onto the Bracket

You’ll do this in a sliding motion, fitting the bracket inside the holes pre-drilled on the back of your wood shelf. Carefully slide the shelf onto the brackets, ensuring it’s level and securely resting on the supports. An extra pair of hands may be beneficial for this part, especially if the shelf is heavy or particularly long.

Screw the Small Set Screws into the Holes in the Bottom of the Shelf

This will secure the shelves in place on the brackets. 

The set screws are inserted into holes on the bottom of your shelf to hold it firmly against the brackets. This often-overlooked step will prevent the shelves from shifting or falling. 

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Locate the set screw holes on the bottom of the shelf—these should line up with holes on the brackets. 
  2. Insert the set screws and tighten them until the shelf is snug against the brackets. Be careful not to over-tighten, as this could damage the wood or the brackets.

Set Up Your Shelf Display

Go on a shopping spree, dust off your memory box in the attic, or frame some family photos—this is the fun part! Arrange books, greenery, artwork to elevate your space with details that are uniquely you. 

Keep in mind the weight distribution on your shelves. Heavier items should be placed closer to the brackets to prevent bowing or bending, while lighter items can be placed toward the ends of the shelves.

There's a Video

If you're a visual learner, never fear. Our guide includes a video that walks you through each step of the installation process. Click here to watch the short video and see the installation in action.

Installing custom wood wall shelves is simple when broken down into steps. The most important parts are securing the brackets properly and ensuring the shelves are level and stable. Be patient! If you follow the directions, it’ll pay off, and in the end you’ll have a room with that look you were going for when you bought the shelves. 

Get Started

Order online or set up a consultation with our design consultation service. If you have a quick question, you can also email us at

Local shoppers interested in purchasing a collection of handcrafted shelves for a renovation can schedule an in-house appointment with us to get started. 

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