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How to put up a shelf

Putting up a shelf is deceptively difficult, and if you want to display your books, pictures and ornaments on yours with confidence, it needs to be installed properly.

Of course, with the right tools and knowhow, it’s easy to do a job you can be proud of.

Note: this general guide is only applicable to drywall installations of bracketed shelves. Please refer to your shelf manufacturer’s instructions for further guidance.

You will need:

•Pencil
•Power drill + drill bits
•Wood screws (Length: depth of plasterboard & bracket + 30mm)
•Hammer
•Nails

Step 1 - Check your Studs

As a shelf requires substantial support, you’ve got to anchor its brackets to the wooden frame (studs) behind your drywall.

Finding where they are is easy. Simply knock along your wall until the pitch changes - when the knock becomes short and sharp, you’ve found a stud (if you want to play it extra safe, you can purchase a multifunctional stud detector to scan your wall and locate studs with more precision).

When you find a stud, make a vertical marking to indicate clearly where it lies. Then, repeat the process to make another vertical guide along the stud either to the left or right of the first stud, leaving you with 2 adjacent vertical stud guides.

Step 2 - Place your bracket

Hold one of the shelf brackets at the height you’d like your shelf to be along one of the stud guides. Once you’re happy, make sure the bracket is vertical using the spirit guide, then make a mark with a pencil through its holes so you know where to drill.

It’s also useful to make a dent in each of the marks with the hammer and nail to improve drilling accuracy.

You’ll find all the parts you need for this step in the VonHaus 53pc Household Tool Set, which features a hammer, a spirit level and 51 other accessories to make sure you’re equipped to take on the most common DIY tasks.

Step 3 - Begin drilling

First of all, it’s important to choose a screw that’s long enough to effectively anchor the shelf to the stud - ideally, it should be around 30mm more than the depth of the plasterboard and the bracket put together.

Choose a wood drill bit that’s one size smaller than the screw you’ll be using to anchor the brackets. If you don’t have a power drill or drill bit set, we’d recommend the VonHaus 18V Cordless Drill Driver, which comes complete with a 26pc accessory set (including drill bits) to cater to most household DIY tasks.

Drill into each hole as far as the length of the screw, minus the thickness of the bracket.

Step 4 - Screw the first bracket into the holes

Step 5 - Mark out the second bracket

Next, you’ll use the first bracket you’ve installed to help you mark out the position of the second bracket.

Grab your shelf and balance one side of it carefully on the first bracket with the spirit guide placed on top. While ensuring it’s completely straight, make a pencil mark across the second stud guide along the underside of the shelf.

This line indicates where the top of your second bracket needs to be.

Step 6 - Install the second bracket

Put down the shelf, and hold the second bracket underneath the mark you just made on the second stud guide.

Make marks with a pencil through the bracket’s holes, and repeat Step 3 & 4 to install the second bracket.

Step 7 - Add the shelf

If you’ve followed the steps carefully, each bracket should be perfectly level. Simply balance your shelf on top, and screw it in (if that’s how it’s been designed).

Congratulations! You’ve just installed your shelf.

When you’re ready to take on your next DIY project, check out our full range of tools to make sure you’re fully equipped for the task.

Putting up a shelf is deceptively difficult, and if you want to display your books, pictures and ornaments on yours with confidence, it needs to be installed properly.

Of course, with the right tools and knowhow, it’s easy to do a job you can be proud of.

Note: this general guide is only applicable to drywall installations of bracketed shelves. Please refer to your shelf manufacturer’s instructions for further guidance.

You will need:

•Pencil
•Power drill + drill bits
•Wood screws (Length: depth of plasterboard & bracket + 30mm)
•Hammer
•Nails

Step 1 - Check your Studs

As a shelf requires substantial support, you’ve got to anchor its brackets to the wooden frame (studs) behind your drywall.

Finding where they are is easy. Simply knock along your wall until the pitch changes - when the knock becomes short and sharp, you’ve found a stud (if you want to play it extra safe, you can purchase a multifunctional stud detector to scan your wall and locate studs with more precision).

When you find a stud, make a vertical marking to indicate clearly where it lies. Then, repeat the process to make another vertical guide along the stud either to the left or right of the first stud, leaving you with 2 adjacent vertical stud guides.

Step 2 - Place your bracket

Hold one of the shelf brackets at the height you’d like your shelf to be along one of the stud guides. Once you’re happy, make sure the bracket is vertical using the spirit guide, then make a mark with a pencil through its holes so you know where to drill.

It’s also useful to make a dent in each of the marks with the hammer and nail to improve drilling accuracy.

You’ll find all the parts you need for this step in the VonHaus 53pc Household Tool Set, which features a hammer, a spirit level and 51 other accessories to make sure you’re equipped to take on the most common DIY tasks.

Step 3 - Begin drilling

First of all, it’s important to choose a screw that’s long enough to effectively anchor the shelf to the stud - ideally, it should be around 30mm more than the depth of the plasterboard and the bracket put together.

Choose a wood drill bit that’s one size smaller than the screw you’ll be using to anchor the brackets. If you don’t have a power drill or drill bit set, we’d recommend the VonHaus 18V Cordless Drill Driver, which comes complete with a 26pc accessory set (including drill bits) to cater to most household DIY tasks.

Drill into each hole as far as the length of the screw, minus the thickness of the bracket.

Step 4 - Screw the first bracket into the holes

Step 5 - Mark out the second bracket

Next, you’ll use the first bracket you’ve installed to help you mark out the position of the second bracket.

Grab your shelf and balance one side of it carefully on the first bracket with the spirit guide placed on top. While ensuring it’s completely straight, make a pencil mark across the second stud guide along the underside of the shelf.

This line indicates where the top of your second bracket needs to be.

Step 6 - Install the second bracket

Put down the shelf, and hold the second bracket underneath the mark you just made on the second stud guide.

Make marks with a pencil through the bracket’s holes, and repeat Step 3 & 4 to install the second bracket.

Step 7 - Add the shelf

If you’ve followed the steps carefully, each bracket should be perfectly level. Simply balance your shelf on top, and screw it in (if that’s how it’s been designed).

Congratulations! You’ve just installed your shelf.

When you’re ready to take on your next DIY project, check out our full range of tools to make sure you’re fully equipped for the task.