DIY Recessed Shelving

I love that these shelves are tucked out of the way a bit, unlike our large built-in bookshelves.

Leave exterior walls alone; they have insulation in there that you don’t want to lose. This area didn’t have insulation in it at all… or wiring.

Step 1

Step 2

You want to identify where your studs are. You can drill a hole with a large drill bit in an area WHERE THE STUDS AREN’T to eyeball what your situation is… a peep hole.

My husband used a utility knife to widen the areas to get a better view, then a jig saw once he knew there weren’t any wires to hit. The utility knife was used by the studs as well.

Step 3

Step 4

Don’t cut the studs. Clean up. This means dusting, washing curtains and pillows and blankets in the room, vacuuming, mopping, etc.

The back of the dry wall is the back to our bookshelf. He used his nail gun to add them to the stud. The piece of scrap wood underneath is to help make sure each shelf is the same height.

Step 5

He placed a 1×10 board for the bottom of each shelf. Once those were up, he added the top/middle shelves. Finally decorative molding was added around the edges to give it a finished/framed look.

Step 6

I was uncertain about painting the back of drywall, but I used Behr Premium Plus Multi-Surface Primer & Sealer first. Then I painted everything with a few layers of white paint.

Step 7

There’s an area under the column that my husband didn’t remove the drywall. It looked more natural this way and there’s a bit of a hidden alcove there if we want to use it like that.

Step 8

For more tips and ideas, visit DIY Danielle

Danielle Pientka

Danielle is a DIY/craft/sewing blogger on  She loves to write about projects that she makes for her small farm, her children, and her home.