How to Make a Homemade Glass Shelf

What You'll Need
Tempered glass
Tape measure
Twometal brackets
Stud finder
Drywall anchors
Large cloth
Glass cutter
Duct tape
Cutting oil

A glass shelf is a beautiful addition to any room of the house. It offers an elegance and style that is hard to achieve with wood shelves. You can make and hang your own glass shelves in possibly just a day or two.

Step 1 — Design the Shelf

If you don't plan on cutting the glass yourself, you will need to order the shelving from a home improvement or a glass specialty store. Your options for the design of the shelf are almost limitless. The more detailed and intricate the glass shelf, the higher the cost. Therefore if you are working on a limited budget, a simple tempered glass shelf with a seamed edge will work best.

You will be hanging the glass shelves on metal brackets. You can choose from a variety of colors and designs regarding the brackets too.   

Step 2 — Take Measurements

Before you start cutting the glass or head out to place an order for your shelves, you must take accurate measurements. Mark the place on the wall where you’d like to hang the glass shelf and use a tape measure to obtain an accurate measurement.

Step 3 — Cut the Glass Shelf

If you have decided to cut the glass yourself, you will need to clear an area large enough for the glass and cover it with a damp cloth. Make sure the glass is clean and mark it with the measurements for the homemade shelving. Place your straightedge along the areas you want cut and secure it with duct tape. With a well-lubricated glass cutter, score the glass along the straightedge. Make sure to work in one continuous motion.

Remove the tape and the straightedge and tap the back of the glass on the line you marked with the cutter. Place the glass on your workbench with the edge overhanging and apply pressure to snap the edge.   

Step 4 — Install the Brackets

If your walls are drywall, you may want to consider configuring the glass shelf to match the location of the studs. To find the studs, you can use a stud finder.

If you locate the studs and realize that their placement is not going to line up with the desired placement of the shelf, you will have to purchase drywall brackets. 

The glass shelf is going to sit on the two metal brackets. You can find these at local home improvement stores. You will probably be able to find the brackets in a kit with the hardware included.

To install the brackets on the wall, you will first drill pilot holes. Then push the anchors into the pilot holes. If the anchors prove difficult to push into the wall, you can lightly tap them with a hammer. Once the anchors are in place, you can screw the brackets into the wall.

Step 5 — Install the Glass Shelf

With the brackets in place, you will simply place the glass on top. If your brackets contain some type of notch, you will fit the glass into those notches. That’s it. Your glass shelf is now ready for use.