Swinging Shelf Project

E fell in love with a “swinging shelf” at Pottery Barn Kids for $69.00 that consisted of a piece of wood and rope.  A little overpriced in my opinion.  I later found out that they don’t make the shelf anymore anyway.  To the wood shop!

Potterybarnkids shelf

Pottery Barn’s $69.00 shelf

My version.  Less than $10.00!

My version. Less than $10.00!

I had some left over maple from building our little guy’s crib, so I found a piece about 38″ x 7″.  I jointed/planed it flat, squared it up, and drilled 4 – 1/2″ holes for the rope.

To keep the shelf from sagging in the middle over time (and to help hang the shelf) I drilled a 1/2″ hole in the back of the shelf.  I then installed an anchor in the drywall with a screw sticking out about 1.5″.  It is the same idea as the floating mantle mount that I used here.  It may not be necessary, but better safe than sorry.

Four holes for the ropes and one hole (on the back) to support the middle of the shelf.

Four holes for the ropes and one hole (on the back) to support the middle of the shelf.   Finished with 3 coats of General Finishes’ Water Based Polyacrylic semi-gloss top-coat.


Two hooks to hang the rope and one screw to support the shelf.

Polyacrylic can 250pxI used three coats of General Finishes’ Water Based Polyacrylic semi-gloss top-coat (sanded with 320 grit between each coat).  This is the same finish I used on the crib so I didn’t have to buy any for this project!  I like the water based polyacrylic for maple because it won’t yellow the wood like an oil based stain will.

And the finished product!


Supply List:

  1. Wood (I used leftover Maple) – 38″x7″ – or whatever dimensions you want
  2. Rope – This rope from Home Depot was $8.81 (for 50 ft.) – (Actual amount used $.70)
  3. (2) Hooks – These hooks from Home Depot were $3.92/pair
  4. General Finishes Water Based Polyacrylic Top-coat (semi-gloss) – $14.49/pint at Woodcraft (used less than half) 
  5. 2″ to 2 1/2″ screw/anchor for the middle support (if desired)

A quick weekend project!