The dowels can also be used as bookends.

Project notes

  • Ask your timber merchant to cut the wood to size – it will make your task so much easier.
  • Sand your timber beforehand.


Hard labour 3/10

Skill level 4/10

Time needed 1 to 2 hours

Do it yourself for less than R500 (wood and screws R450)

You will need


  • one sheet of 18mm plywood, cut to:

one 820 x 660mm (backing board)

one 600 x 200mm (shelf)

one 360 x 200mm (shelf)

  • one 19mm wooden dowel
  • four 10mm Rawl bolts
  • 120-grit sandpaper


  • cordless drill, 8mm wood drill bit and 19mm spade bit
  • 54mm hole saw
  • pencil
  • tape measure
  • ruler
  • 10mm spanner
  • electric drill and 10mm masonry bit

Get started...

Measure and make the following marks across the length of the backing board: 80mm, 240mm, 400mm, 560mm, 720mm. Measure and make the following marks across the width: 100mm, 215mm, 330mm, 445mm, 560mm. Join these marks with pencil lines to form a grid. Using the spade bit, drill holes where the lines cross. Also, drill four 8mm holes for the Rawl bolts.

Tip To prevent the wood from splintering, only drill the holes halfway (until the sharp point of the drill bit pushes through the back). Then turn the board over and drill each hole through from the other side.

Measure and make marks at 130mm, 245mm and 360mm in the middle of the 600 x 200mm plank. Using the hole saw, drill a hole at each mark – these are ideal for holding small pot plants. Now sand all the planks thoroughly.

Make marks and, using the masonry drill bit, drill holes into the wall for the Rawl bolts. Place the backing board over the bolts and tighten them firmly with the spanner.

Cut the wooden dowel into eight lengths of 200mm each and place them in the board at the desired height for your shelves.

Tip: The dowels can also be used as bookends.

A Rawl bolt is an expanding anchor plug forfixing items to masonry. Tightening thebolt causes the plug to expand and anchor itself into the wall.