This DIY is not for the faint of heart – you should be comfortable using some power tools! Modern, raw plywood walls are a nice way to update the cottage that might have old and tattered particleboard wall paneling (you know the faux wood kind you find in grandma’s basement?). Here we took the plywood wall paneling a step further and added a grid of flexible dowel shelving. You can swap the format of the wall by pulling out the wood dowels and popping them into alternate holes in the plywood – have as many or as little shelves as you like.
1. Pick up sheets of maple veneer plywood at your local building or hardware supply store. They should be a minimum of ¾” thickness – ideally 1” thick. Also buy ¾” solid wood dowels – they usually come in long lengths you need to cut to size.
2. Apply the sheets of plywood onto a wall – you could be replacing out dated cottage wall paneling or you could be going right over existing drywall – either way you need to make sure you are drilling these sheets of plywood into studs. Some strong bonding agents like PL Premium glue will also help in fastening the plywood directly onto your studs. You can wood fill over any screws – so be sure to sink them in a little deeper than the surface of your plywood with your drill.
3. Once you are happy with your wall of plywood you can decide how you’d like to lay out the holes for your dowels. A grid of 12” spacing is ideal as you don’t want too much space between dowels holding your shelves. Once mapped out, use your drill to create holes through the plywood the same size as your wooden dowels.
4. Decide on a shelf depth – 8”-10” is a nice size – and cut pieces of plywood into your shelf tops. Then cut the wooden doweling so that your dowels are just shy of the front edge of your shelf depth.
5. Sand and seal all the raw wood with a flat clear varnish.
6. Now for the fun part, you can place your dowels and shelves along your new feature wall in whatever format you decide – and the best part is that you can switch it around if you tire of it! Display found objects, old books or maybe hang something from a lone dowel like a cute cloth bag for renters to take along to the local farmer’s market! Your options are endless.