How To Make A Curtain Rod Shelf

This is one of those really easy projects that will make a big difference to your room. I made a painted set for my living room last year and this time I wanted to make a smaller, stained version to match my bedroom furniture. The most simple way to describe this is two rectangles and two triangles. That’s pretty much it.

My materials for this project are:

  • 6′ of 1×12 (a Lowes “project panel” was cheaper for me)
  • Seven 1-1/4″ pocket hole screws
  • Two 2″ screws (you could actually use nails if you do not have any screws this length)
  • Two 1-1/4″ screws

Step 1

The first step is to layout and cut out your pieces. My window has no molding around it and an outside to outside measurement of 35″. If you have window molding make sure you use the outside to outside molding measurement. For a little leeway I added 1/4″ to each side and made my vertical support piece at 35-1/2″. I also made this piece 2-1/2″ tall so that my pocket hole screws (drilled in the back) would not be visible. For the shelf I went with a 4″ overhang on both sides to give a total length of 43″ and a front to back depth of 7-1/2″. The triangle supports are the shape of a 30-60-90° triangle with the shelf side at 6-1/2″. These are also laid out so that the hypotenuse of the triangle is long grain. The hypotenuse is the only edge of the bracket that will be visible so I do not want any end grain to show.

Curtain rod shelf

Step 2

Drill a 3/4″ hole that is located 3″ from the top and back of the bracket pieces. This should accept any standard curtain rod. You may have to increase the size of this hole if you have a larger curtain rod.

Step 3

The edge detail is up to you. Route any detail you wish or leave them as is. I chose to use a chamfer bit to put a 1/4″ chamfer on both sides of the long side of the triangle brackets and the curtain rod hole. I also added a 1/2″ chamfer on the bottom side of the shelf. Curtain rod shelf

Step 4

The vertical support strip is what will hold everything together. Drill two pocket holes with your Kreg Jig on each end to attach the brackets and three along the top to attach the shelf. I also drilled pocket two holes along the top of the shelf at the location of my wall studs. This is how it will be attached to the wall.

Curtain rod shelf

Step 5

Assemble the shelf by centering the vertical support piece on the bottom side of the shelf. Attach it with three pocket hole screws. Next add the two brackets and secure them with two pocket hole screws. I also added a regular drywall screw from the top of the shelf into each of the triangle brackets to secure the front of the bracket.

Curtain rod shelf

Step 6

Hang the shelf above the window via the two pocket holes drilled on top of the shelf. Instead of buying a box of pocket hole screws for just two screws you can use any type of screw here. You could even use nails if you wanted. It really doesn’t matter so long as you go through the pocket hole and into a wall stud. There is always at least one stud on the left and right side of the window.

Curtain rod shelf

That’s it. This is a project that can be built in about an hour or two. Stain it or paint it and get creative with little details here and there. For this project I did two windows for less money than a night of eating out with my wife. To me its money well spent. Here is a video showing the build:

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  1. Another great tutorial. Just shows me how much I don’t know – things I don’t yet begin to think about (making cuts for end grain…) Keep it up Jay.

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