When we were searching for ideas to finish the mater bedroom walls, I just wasn’t finding anything *exactly* like what I envisioned. At least, not in our budget. I love the look of those leather bracket shelves. The ones where the shelf sits inside the bracket. BUT, those shelf brackets are $$$. And with how frequently we move and / or change our minds, big dollars just aren’t in the budget.
But you know what is? $3 EKBY LERBERG brackets from Ikea!
DIY Ikea Hack:
Using Ikea’s EKBY LERBERG Bracket, reversed, for master bedroom shelving.
We already had some spare plywood in the garage from the DIY KURA Bunk Bed Ikea Hack we did for the boys. And I had a rough idea of what I wanted the master bedroom shelves to look like. Kind of. So I grabbed some spray paint, the plywood, my level and some screws and got to work. If I may say so myself, this EKBY LERBERG Ikea Hack turned out SO MUCH BETTER than I had anticipated.
I LOVE how the shelves sit inside the Ekby brackets. To me, it looks incredibly high end and very trendy with right now’s “farm-hemian”. Whether your tastes are more modern / minimalist / farmhouse / boho / mid-century, I truly believe this DIY is perfect for ANY style decor. And I love how easy it would be to customize with the color of bracket or treatment of the wood.
What you’ll need for this DIY Ekby Lerberg Reverse Shelf Hanging Ikea Hack:
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2 EKBY LERBERG Brackets per shelf.
Because we did three shelves, I used 6 EKBY LERBERG Brackets. You can find these for $3 each at Ikea (No, that’s not a typo). Or if Ikea’s too far for a road trip, Amazon has them as well.
Black Spray Paint.
Obviously, there are a lot out there on the market. However, THIS black spray paint is the one we use for all our projects. The spray comes out super evenly and I love the finish. You can also find it here on amazon.
3/4in Birch Plywood.
We used the 4ft long sheet, because it’s cheaper than the 8ft, and we didn’t need the extra footage. If you’re planning on doing a lot of shelving, the 8ft 3/4″ birch plywood may be a better choice. You can find the 4ft sheet at Lowe’s for about $25 or Home Depot has it for about $30. Why do we use Birch plywood? Because it’s a finished plywood. So basically, we’re saving ourselves the extra steps to sand and finish. Plus, I love the color!
1 140 Tooth Plywood Finishing Saw Blade.
Yes, before you ask, you NEED a finishing blade. Because plywood is made up of so many layers, a normal hardwood blade will split up the ends of the plywood. For a nice, even cut and finish, just get the finishing blade. Seriously. The more teeth, the smoother the finish cut. The less teeth, the more rough it will be. I would use the 140 as a minimum!
A Circular Saw Guide.
This 24 in. Rip-Cut Aluminum Circular Saw Guide has been invaluable for Zach. It allows you to cut a perfectly straight line, seamlessly. With all the straight cuts you’ll be doing for this DIY Ikea Kura Toddler Bunk Bed Hack, I promise you it’ll come in handy!
A cordless power drill.
No way would I want to do any of this by hand. A cordless power drill makes life so much quicker and easier. I highly recommend the DEWALT, as that’s what we have experience with and love. However, I’ve heard great things about this Ryobi 18-Volt ONE+ Cordless Drill and it’s under $100!
You need two anchors per each bracket. So one shelf, with two brackets, needs 4 anchors. These three shelves took 12 anchors, so we needed two bags of 6. We used the 5/16″ anchors that were 1-3/4″ long. 1-1/2 would have been fine, but the 1-3/4 were what was available. IMPORTANT: You MUST get this size wall anchors to attach the Ekby brackets. This size wall anchor is needed, because they are the best size to fit through the Ekby brackets’ holes and actually be able to hold the bracket on the wall. If that makes sense? Anything smaller, and the bracket will slip off.
#10 1-1/4 in wood screws.
You will need TWO-FOUR of these wood screws per shelf. So for the three shelves, we used a total of 6 #10 1-1/4″ wood screws. Can you go without these? Maybe, maybe not. But these are what will anchor the shelf to the Ekby bracket. So if you don’t screw them in, there’s no guarantee they won’t shift.
Trust me, especially with inlaying the wood, a level will be your best friend with these shelves. You can find a ton of affordable options here on Amazon. Or, search Facebook Marketplace or ask a family friend. Chances are, someone you know has one. And if they don’t, levels always come in handy for hanging artwork, installing curtains and shades, and so much more.
How to do the DIY Ekby Lerberg Reverse Shelf Hanging Ikea Hack:
Measure the space you have, and decide on how long you want your shelves. We decided 4 feet was the perfect amount of length to fill the space. When it comes to deciding how tall to make your shelves? Think about what you’ll be utilizing this for! If you’re wanting to display framed pictures or plants, make sure to take that into consideration. The brackets are about 11″ tall, so we did 14″ between the shelves. It feels like the perfect amount of space, no matter what I want to display.
Another thing to consider – think about which way you’d like your plywood shelves to lay in the Ekby bracket. Our top two shelves are hung upside down the tall way, so the width of the shelves only needs to be 6.5″ to fit. However, for the lowest shelf we reversed the Ekby bracket the wide way. So our plywood shelf on that one needs to be 10″ wide.
Summary: our top two shelves are 4 ft long x 6.5 in wide, and the bottom shelf is 4 ft long x 10 in.
How to IKEA Hack your EKBY LERBERG brackets:
Spray paint the EKBY LERBERG brackets. For 3 shelves, you’ll need 6 of Ikea’s EKBYs. Let dry overnight.
Cut your shelves to size, and confirm they fit nestled *inside* of the Ikea Ekby brackets. Again, my top two shelves are 4′ x 6.5″, and the lower is 4′ x 10″.
Decide on where you want to hang your shelves. We made markings on the wall with a light pencil, so we could just wipe off when we were done.
Install your brackets! We started from the bottom shelf, and worked from Left to Right for each shelf. I measured the wall and found the center, then went two feet on either side to hang my brackets (since my shelf is 4 ft long). After installing the left bracket, I slid the wood inside the brackets so that I could use a level to ensure the shelf would hang evenly. Before screwing the second bracket in for each shelf, I measured from the side of the bracket to the wall to just double check I was centered each time.
Repeat that for the rest of your brackets!
After all your Ekby brackets are hung, grab your cut plywood shelves and slide wood through Ekbys. Attach the plywood to the Ekby brackets with your 1-1/4″ wood screws. [See picture above] You can choose to secure the shelves with one or two screws per side, for a total of 2 or 4 per shelf.
And there you have it! Each shelf is $6 in brackets, and we had wood leftover for another project after spending $25 on the plywood. We already had the can of spray paint, but if not that’s an extra $5. So for under $50, we have three gorgeous, unique looking shelves AND more supplies leftover for another project. I’d call this an Ikea Hack win! Please let me know if you have any questions about this DIY Ikea Hack with the EKBY LERBERG shelf brackets!