Jordan's Blog - How to hang a shelf

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How to hang a shelf

Jordan 2021-03-26

I purchased these shelves to mount on our bedroom wall so that we could put some plants there and clear up space on the desk.

The shelves came with triangular mounting pieces, screws, and drywall anchors. The screws are used to attach the shelf to the mount, and the mount to the wall. To attach the screws to the shelf you don’t need a drill, you can actually just use a screwdriver because the wood is soft enough. Then to attach the mount to the wall, you have a few options. You could:

a) Drill a small “pilot hole” just smaller than your drywall anchor. Then hammer the anchor into the hole, and screw the screws into the anchor. The anchor splits apart as the screw goes in, adding stability. This kind of anchor is called an “expansion anchor.”


b) If you want to create a pilot hole for the anchor but don’t have a drill or drill bit, you can just hammer a nail approximately the size of the hole you want into the wall, and then pull it back out. This is also a nice way to create pilot holes for screws going straight into the wall, and helps align the screw.

c) Skip the drywall anchor and just screw your screws right into the wall. This can be okay but it’s best practice to use the anchors, especially if you want to make sure the shelf won’t fall in the future.

d) Use a stud finder to find where the studs are, then drill or nail into the stud, which will be sturdier than drywall.

I initially went into this small project thinking it would be very simple, but once the pieces arrived I found myself questioning basic things, like “do I need to drill a hole before I insert screws?” “are studs made of wood or metal?” and “is there a standard width of screw?” So I think it’s probably smart to double back and revisit basic handy things to cement my understanding, because it is useful to be able to assemble shelves.