In this post, I’ll show you how I built shop shelves with a pegboard in my garage using custom wooden shelf brackets.

We’ll transform this space:


into this:


Step 1: Prepare the struts

In this design, 2×2 boards are used as struts for the shelves. These struts are drilled into wall studs and serve as the main anchors for the shelves.

Use a square to size the 2×2 boards per the dimensions of your space. For my space, I need (4) 2×2 struts 5 feet in length.

Next, use a mitre saw to crosscut the 2×2 boards to size. To speed up the cutting process, I secured multiple boards on the saw when cutting.

Step 2: Mount the struts

Use a stud finder to mark the locations of wall studs using a pencil. When using the stud finder, start from the left and move right to identify the left edge. Then repeat from the other direction. Mark the center with an “x”.

For my space, I identified and marked four wall studs.

Use a drill to mount the struts directly into the wall studs. I used self-drilling SPAX screws. Use a level when adding each strut to ensure all struts are level and at the same height.

I ended up with four struts on the primary wall for my shelves. I also added a strut to the adjacent wall for additional shelving.

Step 3: Create shelf brackets

Metal shelf brackets are expensive so I decided to make my own custom shelf brackets using 1×2 boards.

For my space, I created two types of brackets:

11″ x 6.5″ (for larger top shelf, shown in the picture to the left)

4.5″ x 3″ (for lower shelves)

To make these brackets, first use a mitre saw to crosscut the lower and upper bracket components to size from 1×2 boards. For the larger shelf bracket for my space, the upper component is 11 inches, and the lower component is 6.5 inches.

Next, use a Kreg jig to create two pocket holes in the lower shelf components using the 3/4 setting.

Use a Kreg face clamp to secure the upper and lower components for joining. Use 1.5″ Kreg screws and drill into place.

In total, I created:

(4) 11″ x 6.5″ brackets (for 1 top shelf)

(12) 4.5″ x 3″ brackets (for 3 lower shelves)

Step 4: Mount shelf brackets

Mount the shelf brackets into the struts using 3″ SPAX screws.

For a cleaner look, mount the brackets on the right side of the struts to hide the pocket holes (as shown).

Step 5: Mount top shelf and pegboard

For the top shelf, I used a jig saw to cut the length of the board to 64 inches. The shelf is 12 inches deep.

I used 1.5″ SPAX self-drilling screws to secure the shelf to the brackets by drilling through the top of the shelf directly into the bracket.

Next, I drilled a 2ft x 4ft peg board into the struts to create a space for hanging common tools.

Step 6: Mount lower shelves

Mount the shelf brackets for the lower shelves to the struts below the peg board (as shown). Each shelf has 4 shelf brackets.

For my space, I wanted to have at least three lower shelves. I separated the height of the shelves just enough so that a drill would fit between them.

Next, secure the lower shelves to the lower shelf brackets using 1.5″ SPAX screws.

I cut the lower shelves to 64″ in length. Because my space is tight (I park a car next to this space), the lower shelves are 6″ deep. This gives me enough room to freely open my car door.

For the lower shelves, I wanted the shelf to be flush with the wall. To do this, I cut out the struts location in the shelf using a jig saw.

Step 7: Organize your tools

Now you’re ready to organize your tools!

Here’s the finished product for my space.

These materials are specific to my design and space requirements. Please adjust the materials you need per your space design.

Item Size Quantity
1x2 Boards (for brackets) 8ft 2
2x2 Boards (for struts) 6ft 4
MDF Board - 1/2 thickness 4ft x 8ft 1
SPAX Wood Screws (for struts) 3" 50
SPAX Wood Screws (for brackets) 1 1/2" 50
Kreg Screws 1 1/4" 50
This cutlist is specific to my design and space requirements. Please adjust the cutlist per your space design.

Item Cut Dimensions Quantity
1x2 Boards (top shelf upper bracket component) 11" 4
1x2 Boards (top shelf lower bracket component) 6.5" 4
1x2 Boards (lower shelves upper bracket component) 4.5" 12
1x2 Boards (lower shelves lower bracket component) 3.5" 12
2x2 Boards (for struts) 5ft 4
MDF Board - 1/2 thickness (top shelf) 64" x 12" 1
MDF Board - 1/2 thickness (lower shelves) 64" x 6" 3

Please share your feedback or post your questions on how to tailor this plan to your specific space below. Happy building.

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