Use your wall space!

Hey Guys!

So after taking a long hiatus from the blog I am pleased to say I have hammered out a TON of projects! I’ve just been too busy to post them all! I’m going to try and post them all before I start any new crafts…. (or at least that is the idea ;).

So big changes with the New Year! I moved from Vancouver to Kelowna (about 4hrs away) to be closer to my family and to see what another city had to offer! One of my newest projects I did was for my kittens I adopted! (Oh yeah… I forgot to tell you guys! I adopted kittens!!)


Here they are at 3month old! 😀

Anyways… I wanted to put up some wall shelves to give my cats somewhere they could climb. I wanted to put up some floating shelves but my boyfriend was less thrilled that we wouldn’t be able to display anything on them because the kittens would knock stuff off. So it was actually his idea that inspired this project. He said, “What if we made [shadow] boxes? That way they could walk on top and we could put stuff underneath.” I liked the idea, but instead of a bunch of random shadow boxes I thought… What if we interlocked a couple of boxes and make them look like art in and of it by themselves?

So after playing with different sizes and shapes I came up with a plan and headed to the hardware store with my dad (he’s done a lot more woodworking than I have). We decided to go with pine because it is light and affordable, and has a nice homey feel. It was his suggestion that we use different widths of wood to give it some interest. So we used 10″ wide and 8″wide planks (you can buy them in different lengths to suit your own projects). I then snagged a free scrap of carpet (something that would compliment the wood finish) and we got to work!

Like most of my projects I got carried away and too focused to actually take step by step photos so this is blog is going to be more about sharing my design idea and then giving tips and pointers and letting you guys run with it! 🙂

Materials and tools used:

– 10″ wide knotty pine

-8″ wide knotty pine

-Table saw

-Router (to cut key holes on the back of your shelf to hang and create a floating look)

-Cordless drill and screws

-Electric rotary sander

-Hand sander

-180 and 320 grit sand papers

-Nail gun and nails

-Staple gun

-Utility Knife and metal ruler


-Wood glue

-Wood filler

-Oil based satin polyurethane (I used Varathane brand)

-Pure bristle brush 2″ wide

-Paint thinner (for clean up)

Basic instructions:

-Measure and cut out all of your pieces (Use as little pencil as possible! This will save you time sanding!)

-Assemble each box individually first using a nail gun and wood glue. Clamp boxes and let dry over night.

-Sand all of your boxes and clean off the dust

-Mark the corner of the (8″ wide- or less wide if you are using different widths of wood) and cut out those corners using the table saw.

-Screw the remaining box to the larger box from the inside (the screws will be covered up by the corner you will reinsert later)

– Trim up the corner you cut off. Then using wood glue and clamps, glue it inside the adjoining box (to create your interlocking looking boxes). Let dry over night.

– Set up your jig to the correct size of keyhole for the thickness of your wood. Mark your keyholes the same on either side of your boxes and router them out!

– Apply one coat of satin finish and let dry. Sand in-between coats with 320 grit. Apply one more coat for a total of 2 coats.

– Using the staple gun, attach the carpet to the top of the shelves.

-Using wall anchors and screws, level and hang your shelves!

-Voila! You’re done!


– This is an ADVANCED project!!! I did get A LOT of help from my dad. I am pretty handy but I still have a lot to learn when it comes to woodworking (plus and extra pair of hands is super helpful when you are putting together the corners!) So find a friend who is good at this stuff and is willing to give you a hand or hire a woodworker to make you some if you don’t think you can tackle this one. This project took about 20-30hrs or so for the both of us.

– Be very careful when selecting your project wood. Pine is a very soft wood so it marks up easily and is prone to cupping (warping). We had some problems along the way with this. If you can afford a hard wood it will definitely make your project easier to put together but will add some weight.

– If you plan to stain your wood DON’T use pine! I stained one of my boxes and it stained so unevenly I’m going to have to use it for a planter box now. Pine DOES NOT stain evenly, it turns out blotchy no matter how you condition it. This is why I went with a clear finish in the end.


Finished product!


Gluing and screwing in process!


Clamped in place and ready to dry!


Some more boxes drying


Box set number 3. All finished and hung!


Box set number 2


Box set number 1


Showing the kitties around their new jungle gym 🙂


Lilo and Stitch hanging out up high.


Lilo checking out the view.


Can you tell Lilo is more curious?



Saying Hello 🙂



Lilo napping in the designated kitty box 🙂


Designer tip of the week: Take advantage of your wall space even if you don’t have cats. By maximizing your wall space you will actually ADD floor space, decrease clutter, and create storage by making a less usable space- USABLE!

If any of you guys attempt this one send me pics! I would love to see as always! And if you get stuck- holler! I’m here to help!



18 thoughts on “Use your wall space!

  1. Love this. Good for you for making this all by yourself! it looks so stylish and looks like they enjoy it. My cat would have loved to watch everyone from above. Looks super comfy.
    my favorit photos are the say Hello ones

  2. These are *exactly* the kind of cat shelves I was looking to make! But I’m a newbie at woodwork projects; can you explain more what you mean by keyholes and routering, and how you hung the boxes on the wall? Or what alternative method you’d use to hang them if you didn’t have a router? Thanks!

    • Rachel,
      I am considering using “French cleats” instead of keyhole – you don’t need a router… only drawback is that they are big, you have to figure out a way to hide them. The folks at Lowes were very helpful, google the cleats so you know how to describe them.

    • All of the sizes are random. I did however stick to even rounded numbers. Ie 12″, 16″, 18″, 20″ the great thing about this project is you can make them any size you want! The benefit of using even numbers though is you can pretty much use the entire board length, rather than having left over scraps. As well as the boxes fit well together with even numbers- everything looks proportional. Good luck! I’d love to see pictures if you end up making them!

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  7. This is absolutely wonderful and I am totally making these for our herd of rescues! I had one question for you. How did you secure the boxes to the walls. I definitely want to secure them to the studs but wasn’t sure how you did yours.

    Thanks – Jack

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