How to Build a Decorative Plate Shelf

Written by ehow home & garden editor
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Plate shelves are a decorative way to show off your collector plates or the plates your grandmother gave you. When making a plate shelf, you can use as many of the details as you like, or you can keep it very clean for a more contemporary look.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Wood
  • Crown molding
  • Small railing
  • Router
  • Drill
  • Screws
  • Wood glue
  • Paint or stain

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  1. 1

    Determine how long and wide you want your plate shelf to be and cut a rectangular piece of wood to that size.

  2. 2

    Cut a trench where the plate can sit using your router saw. Center the trench on the plate shelf, and end the cut about a 1/4 inch before either edge of the shelf.

  3. 3

    Create a base around the bottom of the shelf using crown molding. Build it up elaborately or keep it as simple as your style dictates.

  4. 4

    Paint or stain each individual piece of your shelf, as it's easier to do this now than it is when the piece is fully assembled.

  5. 5

    Use wood glue and screws to assemble the base to the shelf and to add the railing.

  6. 6

    Cover the screws with wood putty and touch up the paint or stain if needed.

  7. 7

    Drill through the back of the base and into the wall to secure your plate shelf. Make sure the shelf is level. Drill into a stud or use wall anchors so your plate shelf doesn't come loose and fall.

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