How to Build a DIY Curved Wooden Shelf

DIY Curved Shelf

I’ve built this DIY curved wooden shelf with two stars cut out on both sides of the shelf. It is for one of my customers that teaches kindergarten. This shelf is only 36” tall and is a perfect fit for kids to keep their books and other items on. Here are the steps I took to make this shelf.

  1. Cut Two Shelf Sideboards
  2. Trace Over the Template and Cut with Jig Saw
  3. Cut Four Shelf Boards
  4. Drill Pocket Holes
  5. Trace and Cut Upper Shelf Lip
  6. Assemble the Shelf
  7. Pre-Stain and Stain

The shelf is built using two 1×10 pine boards and attached with wood glue and pocket hole screws.

You also might be interested in a DIY Offsetting Bookshelf that I’ve built earlier.

DIY Curved Shelf

Time to Complete

3 hours

Total Cost


Skill Level


Curved Wooden Shelf PDF


This PDF download includes Cut Diagrams, a List of Supplies, and 3D illustrations with detailed steps to build the project. Measurements are in imperial and not metric. Does NOT include SketchUp/CAD files.

Curved Wooden Shelf

This PDF is free of charge, but if you are feeling generous today, you could give a small tip to help me create more projects. Thank you!

Note: Lumber dimensions are listed as nominal size.  See lumber sizes for actual dimensions vs nominal.

Disclosure: Some of the links on this page as well as links in “tools for this project” and “material list” sections are affiliate links.


DIY Curved Shelf dimensions

Cut List

DIY Curved Shelf cut list

Step 1 – Cut Two Shelf Sideboards

Take 1×10 board and with a Miter Saw cut two sideboards to 36″ in length.  

cut side boards for DIY Curved Shelf

Step 2 – Trace Over the Template and Cut with Jig Saw

Next, download and print out the templates. Then cut out the template with scissors. Place the template over the sideboard and with a pencil trace around the perimeter and the inside of a the star. Then using a jig saw, cut the curved shape following the pencil line. Do this for both sides. To cut out the star, drill a hole in the middle with a 1/2″ drill bit. Then insert the jig saw blade inside the hole and cut the shape of the star. 

sideboard for DIY Curved Shelf
paper template for DIY Curved Shelf
tracing over the template for DIY Curved Shelf
using jig saw to cut out curved shape of the DIY Curved Shelf
drilling a hole in the start for DIY Curved Shelf

Step 3 – Cut Four Shelf Boards

Now cut four shelf boards to 28 1/2″ in length. Then using a Table Saw, rip one of the shelf boards to 8 1/2″ in width and the other to 5 1/4″ in width. The other two shelf boards remain at their full width of 9 1/4″.

shelf dimensions for the DIY Curved Shelf

Step 4 – Drill Pocket Holes

Underneath each shelf board, drill pocket holes at 3/4″ wood setting on the Kreg Jig. 

pocket hole for shelf boards
drilling pocket holes for DIY Curved Shelf

Step 5 – Trace and Cut Upper Shelf Lip

Now cut out the second template for the shelf lip and place it over the remaining piece from one of the shelf boards. Trace the template with the pencil and cut out the shape with a jig saw.

upper shelf lip for DIY Curved Shelf
taping the template over the board for DIY Curved Shelf
tracing over the template
using jig saw to cut out DIY Curved Shelf

Step 6 – Assemble the Shelf

Before attaching the boards together, using a random orbital sander, sand all of the boards. Then attach the shelf boards to the side pieces using Wood Glue and 1 1/4″ Pocket hole screws. The upper shelf lip is attached with Wood Glue and Nail Gun with 1 1/4″ Brad Nails.

DIY Curved Shelf
sanding DIY Curved Shelf boards
applying wood glue on the DIY Curved Shelf
screwing in pocket hole for DIY Curved Shelf
using nail gun to attach upper lip for DIY Curved Shelf
DIY Curved Shelf

Step 7 – Pre-Stain and Stain

Once the glue dries, first apply Pre-Stain and then a coat of Honey Stain. After the stain dries, apply two coats of Polyurethane sanding with 320 grid sandpaper in between the coats. You’re done with this DIY Curved Wooden Shelf! 

applying coat for pre-stain on DIY Curved Shelf
staining diy curved wooden shelf
using poly on the DIY Curved Shelf
DIY Curved Shelf

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