Check out how we made a wall of quirky plywood shelves for our home gym.

Plywood Shelves with an Exposed Edge

Hello! It’s Courtney here today sharing our latest DIY project for our home gym. The past few weekends we tackled a pretty large project for the room, a huge wall of plywood shelves with an exposed edge. With every task we complete in our gym, we are getting more and more excited about how it is coming together and what the end result will look like.

We had high expectations that our home gym makeover would be completed by the first week of November. But as usual life got in the way. Don’t you hate when that happens? We didn’t quite hit our target completion date but we are still plugging away at it little by little.

Plywood Shelves with an Exposed Edge

We had initially intended to have a large piece of art on this wall but I am learning that it is always a good idea to be flexible when it comes to designing and decorating your home because you never know when a better idea could come along.

After giving it some more thought we changed our minds and decided it would be fun to make the shelves into a form of art by creating a design of different shapes. It is quirky but we love it!

Plywood Shelves with an Exposed Edge

Can you believe we made all those shelves with just one piece of plywood? The entire process went smoothly too! As a bonus, the weather is starting to cool off here in Houston so we actually enjoyed working on this project in our shop/garage and didn’t melt in the process.

We filmed our whole plywood shelves making journey to share how these came together. Watch the video below to follow along.

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HOW We Made Our Plywood Shelves

Plywood Shelves with an Exposed Edge
1. We used blue painters tape to first create the shapes of the shelves on the wall. This helped us determine the exact measurements we needed to cut the wood.

Plywood Shelves with an Exposed Edge
2. We bought a large piece of really nice plywood to use for our shelves. We had our local hardware store cut down the piece into smaller sizes so it would be easier to work with and fit in our car.

Plywood Shelves with an Exposed Edge
3. Next, we had to cut down the large pieces of plywood into many, many, many smaller pieces using our table saw. Brent made a crosscut sled to make the process easier and to make sure each board was cut to the exact the same size.

I helped keep the boards steady. To save time and energy, we cut all the boards to be the same size which was the longest side on the shelves.

Plywood Shelves with an Exposed Edge
4. We wanted the shelves to be nice and thick so for each piece of the plywood shelves we glued two of our boards together and then clamped them while they dried in place.

Plywood Shelves with an Exposed Edge
5. After the boards were dry, we used a miter saw to cut the boards down to size at a 45 degree angle so the boards would go together like a picture frame.

We used a backing board to prevent tear out so all the boards would be nice and smooth.

Plywood Shelves with an Exposed Edge
6. We applied glue to each corner of the smaller shelves and then put them together using scrap boards and a ratchet strap that held the pieces tightly in place as they dried.

Plywood Shelves with an Exposed Edge
7. For the large shelf we used the miter saw to cut the piece into two L shapes.

Plywood Shelves with an Exposed Edge
8. We glued the two L shape pieces to the two smaller shelves and then used large clamps to hold the piece in place while the glue dried. This completed the large shelf assembly.

Plywood Shelves with an Exposed Edge
9. Back in the room we used a stud finder to located where each screw needed to go so it was in a stud. We marked these spots with painters tape. We also marked these same spots on the shelves.

Plywood Shelves with an Exposed Edge
10. Before removing the tape on the wall, we used the marks we made with the tape to locate where to secure the screws in the wall and drilled holes in the shelves in the same location to match.

Plywood Shelves with an Exposed Edge
11. We drilled pocket holes to anchor the shelves into the wall with the screw.

Plywood Shelves with an Exposed Edge
12. Finally, we got all of our shelves up hanging on the wall.

Plywood Shelves with an Exposed Edge
I went out one day shopping to try and find items to fill up our new shelves that would fit the right depth, had a vintage/industrial feel, were quirky, and not too expensive.

Plywood Shelves with an Exposed Edge
I am a shopping novice so I was a little intimidated to get all the items in one trip but with my measurements, a tape measure and a photo, I managed to get the exact right amount of items to decorate the shelves.

Plywood Shelves with an Exposed Edge
This bike was a really cool find. I was looking for a decor piece that was unique and looked old and somewhat fitness related to be the prominent feature on the shelves. I must have walked squeezed through the crowded aisles of HomeGoods (why is that place ALWAYS packed?) at least 20 times until finally I spotted this little guy all by itself stuck at the very back of a bottom shelf. I was so excited I might have cheered out loud. I felt like I won a treasure hunt.

Plywood Shelves with an Exposed Edge
I did measure everything depth wise before I bought it to make sure it would fit on the plywood shelves but I didn’t realize the bike would fit perfectly on the one area of the shelf. It was like it was like the bike was made for the shelf or the shelf was made for the bike.

Plywood Shelves with an Exposed Edge
I love playing volleyball so obviously I had to display my super awesome summer 2012 runner-up Parks & Recreation co-ed volleyball team plaque from back when I lived in Dallas. We did win a couple of seasons but somehow when we got runner-up it was my turn to take the plaque home.

Funny how that works…oh well. I have been waiting patiently to find a place to showcase this beauty. Haha.

Plywood Shelves with an Exposed Edge
We are extremely happy with how the shelves turned out. They are quirky and fun which makes us happy. If there was anywhere you could get away with eclectic shelving, I think a home gym is the place.

I would like to report that since the shelves went up in the home gym last weekend I have worked out in there 4 out of the 5 week days this week which is my new record since we bought the treadmill. Is there a correlation? Maybe, just maybe.

The room is shaping up to be a really enjoyable space to spend our time. We only have a few projects left in this room which include building a locker area, new lighting, building a stand for weights, and to do something cool with the window. We can’t wait to get this room finished!

In the meantime be sure to catch up on some of our other home gym projects:
painting a faux brick wall, yoga mat rack, gym details, vintage gymnasium clock, choosing gym floor mats

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Plywood Shelves with an Exposed Edge