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Corner Rope Shelves DIY

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The next project I completed for Ellie’s Nursery:  Corner Rope Shelves.  I cannot even tell you how much these shelves add to the room.  This corner was like a giant black hole, sucking up all the life and light.  It desperately needed something and something bold. I wanted to do the rope shelves because they really fit in to my theme in just the right way, and they were so unique and fun.  And of course I’m gonna share the shelves DIY directions!

corner rope shelves nursery

Also they were easy and cost effective.  Actually I’m going to come clean…they weren’t THAT easy.  But they would have been if I had hung them with the help of someone else.  Hanging corner rope shelves is definitely a 2-person job!  But all it took were 6 planks of wood and some rope, and a few other accessories.  The whole project costs less than $50.

Rope Shelves

They are so wonderful and really make the whole space work so well.  And now that they are up, the whole room finally just pulled together.  I am SO close to finishing this room and show you the whole reveal! I didn’t take a whole lot of pictures of the actual process because it wasn’t really prudent for all the steps, I think explaining what I did will help you more.

rope shelves in a nursery

Corner Rope Shelves DIY

Here are the supplies you need:

  • 6 boards (mine were 36 inches long, 7 inches wide)
  • Rope: You will need to determine exactly how much you want but I got about 300 inches, 25 feet
  • 2 boards 1×2’s: one was cut 36″ and the other was 35″
  • Screw hooks
  • Safety Pins or dowel bits
  • Spade or Auger Drill bit

First you prep your boards by cutting, sanding, staining or painting.  Then you use the spade drill bit to drill large holes in the ends.  First I laid out the boards how I wanted, in the corner ‘v’ formation with the boards overlapping.  One end of each shelf has two holes in the normal spots.  But the other end has holes in a diagonal line (visualize the ‘2’ on a die).  When using a spade drill, you drill the hole mostly from one side, then flip it over and drill from the back.  You get a much more even hole this way, that doesn’t chip any of the edge of the hole.

drilling holes

After drilling you will be threading the rope through.  I laid out my shelves again in the ‘V’ formation and started threading from the bottom.  I tied a knot at one end then started threading.

laying out rope shelves

I measured the distance between the shelves at 14″ and put a safety pin in the 14″ mark of the rope (after threading through the first hole.)  Each shelf is 14″ apart from the other.  The rope hangs with a 16″ drop from the screw hook.

threading the rope

The safety pin is pushed through, just catching the rope a little bit so nearly the whole thing is around the rope.  With sisal rope, you can push a small piece of a dowel rod through the middle of the rope to hold it up.  However, my rope is very thick and that would have been impossible, so I just used the safety pins and they work like a dream!

safety pin shelves

Thread both ends first and then do the middle holes.  Don’t worry if the shelves aren’t completely level, it’s pretty easy to adjust after you hang them up.  Another tip:  When you cut the rope to tie off at the bottom, burn it with a lighter a tiny bit to prevent fraying.

hanging rope shelves

Hanging the shelves:  First make sure your 1×2’s are prepped by being painted the same color as the wall.  Then find the studs in the wall and mark dots about 4-5 inches below the ceiling.  Then with the 1×2’s, add your screw hooks about 1-2″ in.  Make sure the screw hook that will go in the corner is a little further in.  I discovered that to make the 1×2’s make a nice corner and still fit the shelves, I had to cut off another inch from one.  You could miter the corner but I had already screwed one board in the wall.  You only need three screw hooks, two in one board, one in the other.  Lay it all out on the floor like it would be on the wall so you can make sure everything will be right.

Screw the boards into the studs in the wall after drilling pilot holes (you’ll need pretty long screws, mine were probably about 2″.)  After the 1×2’s are up, have someone help you raise your shelves and hang them on the screw hooks.  Then you can use a level to fix the shelves, merely by repositioning your safety pins.

attaching rope shelves to the wall

Finally, to help the shelves stay close to the wall, I drilled two more holes for screw hooks at the bottom of each side of the shelves.  Then I secured the rope in the hook.

Corner rope shelves

I’m proud to say I did this project 100% by myself.  I mean seriously, my husband did NO part of this.  Actually, my husband has not done too many home DIY things this year because of his very busy work schedule.  And it’s good because it’s forced me to not rely on him and just do it myself.  I assembled an 8-drawer IKEA Hemnes dresser by myself this year and that was a very important lesson to me:  first of all, IKEA Hemnes dressers are a pain to build, but more importantly, I could do it myself!!  I am not afraid to ask for help but I also being held back by the idea of needing to WAIT for other people to be home to help me.  So I probably make things harder for myself in this way, but it’s also nice to know that most things I can do by myself.

Check out the other items from Ellie’s Nursery!

Linked up with Katherine’s Corner, Tidy Mom, The Pin Junkie and Saving 4 Six.


    1. Heidi @ Honeybear Lane says:

      Thanks so much Holly!

  1. Chante LaGon says:

    What a fantastic project! I’ll be linking to it on our Living Rooms pinboard. Check it out at pinterest.com/homedepot!

    – Chante

    1. Heidi @ Honeybear Lane says:

      Thanks so much!!

  2. HI. I to love the hanging shelves and am thinking about doing this project. A question though- is the only thing that keeps the shelves stationary while hanging on the rope are the safety pins? Thanks for the clarification.

    1. Heidi @ Honeybear Lane says:

      Yes, but it’s really enough! That being said, these shelves are almost 100% for decoration rather than to constantly be taking things on and off. If I were using them in that way, I’d choose a more secure shelving system. But they are still going strong 1.5 years later!

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