DIY Sofa TableDIY Sofa Table - How To Wall Mount A Shelf Behind The Sofa (Against the Wall)

We didn’t set out to make our own sofa shelf table, but as this project progressed, it seemed silly to spend so much money on a table that no one would ever see. The master bedroom sitting area in this project is between 2 walls, in a nook, so whatever piece of furniture was behind the sofa would be completely hidden by the sofa. I figured to save a little money, why not mount a shelf with brackets at “sofa table height” and use the savings for something more fun elsewhere? With that in mind, I headed to Lowes in the hope of finding a decent piece of wood I could paint or stain. The piece I found was 72″ long and 12″ deep. (I tried to find the product on Lowe’s website to add a link but couldn’t) and was around $35. It was finished nicely and I decided I didn’t need to paint OR stain it, which was a huge time saver. I found some reasonably priced Decorative Shelf Brackets. I decided to use 3 because the shelf was decently heavy and I was planning on putting lamps and some books on it.

 DIY Sofa Table - Measure Twice, Then Do It Again

I measured the distance to the top of the sofa and then marked the wall at the same distance for the top of the shelf. I didn’t want the shelf to stick up above the sofa, but I wanted it high enough to be visible. I found the center of the wall and marked where the middle shelf bracket would be mounted. I wanted the 2 outside brackets to be mounted about an 1″ inside the edge of the shelf. Once I had everything marked, I double checked everything to make sure all the brackets would be level. You know the old rule, measure twice, cut once. For me it’s measure twice, then measure again and maybe one last time because I hate having to start over. One of my favorite tools for hanging shelves, curtains & artwork is the 10-ft Beams and Laser Chalklines Line Generator Laser Level. It is reasonably priced at $15, and has a wall attachment (a tiny pin that you poke into the wall) so I don’t need another pair of hands to hold the level while I measure things. Perfect for stair walls too because it can swivel at any angle!


DIY Sofa Table - Drill Baby Drill

Once I was comfortable the marks for the brackets were all level, I used an awl to make pilot holes (starter holes for anchors or screws to grab onto). In this particular project, my bracket locations managed to miss every wall stud (go figure) so I used wall anchors at each bracket to make sure they stayed put. I used another favorite product, the Toggler Self Drilling Anchors to mount the brackets to the wall. (And yes, I do think it’s weird that I have a favorite wall anchor, but as much as I hang things, I suppose a favorite was inevitable). It’s important to use quality anchors when hanging heavy items like shelves or artwork. I always use the Toggler anchors when installing wall art because I have found the anchors that come with artwork and curtain rods are usually very poor quality and end up making install harder or they can’t hold the weight of the object and leave giant holes in the wall when the item crashes to the floor. After the brackets were mounted, I put the shelf across them and centered it on the wall. I then used tiny screws to secure the shelf to the brackets. Make sure the depth of the tiny screws is less than that of the shelf, otherwise you will drill through the shelf. I loaded up the shelf with the lamps and other decorative accessories I planned to use and we were done! This project took me probably 1.5 of shop/travel time and 20 minutes to install. The total cost was $50. A comparable sofa console at HomeGoods would probably have cost $150 and only been 4-1/2 to 5ft long (versus the 6ft shelf we built), so I was thrilled with the result! Looking back, I wish I had taken the time to drill some holes through the shelf so the lamp cords weren’t visiible, but I will plan on it for next time!
PS Please excuse the poor quality of the images. I was out of town on this job and took the pics with my phone. 🙁