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DIY :: Triangle Shelf

if you want a simple idea for creating an inexpensive shelf, this DIY is for you. i love that you can create this triangle or the single shelf below without being a perfect woodworker!

here's all you need:


5/16" drill bit

1/4" rope

1 piece (single shelf) or 3 pieces (triangle shelf) of poplar hobby board wood

( 0.25" x 2.5" x 2' size of each board)

sandpaper ( i used 1000 grain so it didn't eat too much into the soft wood )



scissors or plant clippers

white spray paint ( or your own color choice )

screw hook ( for hanging the shelf )

and here's how to put it together!

i bought the poplar wood pieces at home depot, but you can also find them at your local craft store.

i don't own a saw, so i wanted something that was pre-cut and ready to use.

when buying the wood, be sure the pieces you select are straight. close one eye + look down the longest length of the board. if you see any curvature or warping in the wood, choose another.

measure from end of each wood piece + place a small mark at the

1-inch point.

draw an even, straight line across

mark 1/2 inch from each of the outer two edges.

move the ruler out of the way and extend mark down to create a cross point where the drilled holes will go.

do this for each of the 6 ends on the wood pieces. here are 3 ends shown as examples.

use the 5/16" drill bit. you'll want it to be one size larger than the rope you're using to make the threading of the rope easier.

carefully place the wood piece you're working on evenly across the other two pieces to give yourself some leverage when drilling. i placed them on some outdoor rugs that i didn't mind getting wood shavings on.

using the cross marks as your guide, gently drill through each piece. the cleaner the holes, the easier it will be to guide the rope through the holes later.

poplar wood tends to flake a little. use your sandpaper to smooth the edges of each drilled hole.

place your wood slats in a safe painting area. again, i'm using my large painting box to contain the overspray. you'll find that poplar boards absorb a LOT of paint. you'll have to do several coats. take your time + allow plenty of time to dry between coatings. also, be sure to hold your paint can at least 12 inches from the surface or the paint won't go on evenly + it'll create drip marks on the wood.

spray all sides.

once the wood pieces have dried, it's time to assemble your shelf with the rope.

pull the end of the rope through the first hole + tie a single knot.

the rope holds really well when you tighten the knot, so there isn't any need for anything fancier than a single.

from here on, there are two options for creating a triangle shelf.

FIRST OPTION: single rope shelf

SECOND OPTION: triangle rope shelf


measure the rope from the board out to 28 inches. it doesn't have to be perfect. we only want enough to create the amount needed to hang the single shelf.

my plant clippers worked well for cutting the rope pieces.

repeat the above steps for all four holes. then skip to the step further below for tying the TOP KNOT for hanging.


measure 6 rope pieces + cut each one at 16".

again, they don't have to be perfect as you'll simply want enough to thread through the boards to create the 4 small rope pieces holding together the bottoms of your triangle shelf.

and you'll use 2 rope pieces for the TOP KNOT of the triangle.

for each of the bottom 2 corners of the triangle, thread through your 2 rope pieces each.

you can tie off one side right now. ( we'll need to leave the other side loose + wait to tie them off after tying the top knot to allow us to move the boards + adjust the triangle shape as needed. )

pull the bottom triangle board corners together, while again, leaving one side untied, for now. do this to both bottom corners of the triangle.

it'll look like this as we work on the top knot.

now we'll work on the TOP OF THE TRIANGLE to CREATE THE TOP KNOT pieces + tie them together.

start by threading your last 2 pieces of rope through the top holes.

cut yourself one more 16" long piece of rope. use it to tie a single knot around the four ends.

tighten the single knot as tightly as you can.

pull one end of the single knot through the loop + pull the the other end between the open ends.

and tie another very tight single knot over the previous knot to create a secure hold for the wall hook used to hang your triangle shelf.

once your top knot is tied, then you can carefully adjust the wood pieces to form an even triangle + tie the single knots that were left open at the two bottom corners of the triangle.

once you've adjusted the shape of the triangle then tighten the knots as close to the wood as you can at this point to maintain the shape of the shelf.

snip off the excess rope about 1 inch or so from the knot.

make sure they look fairly even.

insert your wall hook + hang your new shelf.

decorate as desired.

this will probably end up being an evolving decor space as the modern bohemian in me likes to change up my space now + again. but i loved this simple project! let me know if you have any questions about materials, assembly, anything + i'll share any additional advice needed! and show me pics of your finished project by tagging @_wanderandwonder_ on Instagram!

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