These quirky and adorable DIY wooden cloud shelves are simple to make and are the perfect complement to the decor in a whimsical space or child’s room.
I have always had a difficult time sleeping, even as a kid. And also have a difficult time regulating my inside voice. I never quite seem to grasp how loud I can be.
Laying in bed when I was a kid, listening to the stereo system Momma gave me and trying to get sleepy, I would sing to songs like “Blue Suede Shoes” more loudly than I really should while lying in the dark and hoping sleep would latch on to me. A few times, my dad would open the door and tease me about my performance and tell me to get some sleep.
When I was a teenager I was desperate for some of those stars that stick up on the ceiling and glow at night. I figured that they would give me something to look at, to concentrate on without taking over my whole mind and maybe, just maybe, they’d help me fall asleep a bit easier. I have no clue where it was that my Mom got them from, but I had 2 packages of stars and 1 package of planets to put up on my ceiling not long after asking for them. And guess what? They totally helped me sleep.
But then, a few weeks in the adhesive on the backs began to give way and I would wake up to a bunch of fallen stars on my bedroom floor. Always being a DIY or die kind of a gal, I decided to fix this business up and I did. With hot glue. I can still remember the livid call I got when after my parents sold that house and started pulling my stars off of the ceiling only to find chunks of drywall coming away with them, the ceiling pockmarked with ugly, little craters. Oops.
I was thinking about those stars one night when I couldn’t sleep and it lead me onto a path of dreaming up cute ways to doll up a kid’s bedroom. Or, heck, even my office slash craft room, which, isn’t really high up on the “grown-up” scale of decor. And one of the ideas that I was the most stoked about were fluffy, puffy and white cloud shelves made from wood.
Since I was well on my way to taking a few weeks off at my parent’s house I decided instead of rushing this project out, asking my dad, a.k.a the good ol’ craft assistant, to help me out. DIYing with my dad is always so much fun and I’m super proud of the cute cloud shelves we made together. p.s. the sun peeking out behind one of the clouds, totally his idea. Can’t even take credit for that.
Want to rock out some DIY Wooden Cloud Shelves, the perfect whimsical decor?
For this project you will need:
- Plywood (mine is 5mm underlayment)
- Electric or cordless drill
- Wood boards (mine are 1×4)
- 1.5″ wood screws, #6 work well
- Sawtooth picture hangers
- White paint
- Yellow paint
- Wood glue
- Free printable cloud shapes pattern
To start you’ll need a few cloud shapes for your shelves. You can download my free printable with 3 different cloud shapes or draw up your own. Mine are made to print out on standard letter sized paper and make shelves that are approximately 9″ tall and 12″ wide. If you want these same shapes, but a larger end result, you can download the PDF and have take them to Kinko’s or Staples. If drawing your own, you’ll want to create your puffy tops with a flat bottom. This is where the shelf will attach to the cloud.
If using my pattern, once printed cut one side down the black line. Take both sheets and line the cloud shape up together, taping them to form a larger pattern. Cut the cloud shape out of the paper and trace onto your plywood sheet. We’re using leftover 5mm underlayment my dad found in his garage stash. Free is always a fabulous thing.
To make a sun, trace a round item (we used a quart of polyurethane) to create the round base of your sun and then using a ruler create spikes around it to make a sun. Like I said above, this was my dad’s idea totally and so I didn’t make a pattern for this part of the project, but drawing up your own isn’t too difficult. Trim the sun out with your jigsaw.
There’s my dad very modestly showing me just how awesome that sun turned out :)
Next you’ll need to cut your wood boards down to size for each cloud shape. Eyeballing it is easier than measuring. Simply place your cloud behind the board and mark where the cuts need to be made to correspond to the bottom of the cloud (the plywood piece will attach to the side of the board, FYI). If you want to get fancy, like my dad, you can cut each side at a 30-degree angle to give the shelf a little extra flair. I must admit, it’s a good look for these cloud shelves.
Double check that your wood board shelf piece works well with your plywood cloud piece…
And then mark the 2 pieces with a corresponding marker so that when piecing these guys together, there’s no guesswork with what goes to what and you can get to work faster. p.s. my dad thought it was hilarious to give them weird labels, so here we have board #L-24 :)
Using sandpaper clean up the edges of your cuts to make them nice and neat. You can sand by hand, or you can use a mouse sander. I just got this mouse sander for around $30, straight up just for this project, and I’m really, really liking it. A mouse sander isn’t strictly necessary, but it will make quick work of cleaning up your edges.
I decided that I liked the wood grain pattern in the plywood could piece and that I wanted to be able to see it, just a little bit through the white “cloud” color. This is easily achieved by watering down a bit of wall or craft paint. Start with a small amount in a 50/50 ratio and test on the back of your cloud and then go from there, adding more paint or water, based on what you like the look of. I actually watered down some chalk paint and it worked up a dream. To whitewash your wood, simply apply the watered down paint to the surface of the wood and then using a junk rag wipe the paint away leaving just a trace.
If you made a sun piece, you can whitewash a yellow shade onto the whole piece, painting a watered down paint on and wiping the excess away, followed by a full strength circle of paint located in the center. Set aside and allow all of your pieces enough time to fully dry.
Apply a line of wood glue along the back edge of your board shelf piece.
Laying the cloud flat, with the pretty side up, set the board, glue side down, on top of the cloud. Allow the glue to set, at least 30 minutes.
Using a wood bit slightly smaller than the size of your screw, pre-drill holes going through the plywood cloud shape into the wood board shelf piece. * Quick tip, pre-drilling the holes prevents your wood from splitting when screwing 2 pieces together.
Affix using #6 wood screws that are 1.5 – 2″ long.
If using a sun piece, once your shelves are built, you can use wood glue to attach the glue to the back of one of the shelves. If you have a staple gun handy, you can also tack that sucker down, too, like I did, but it’s a bit excessive and not totally necessary.
Finish up the shelves by attaching your choice of hanger to the backside. I used big 3″ sawtooth hangers. If you have a kid that has a tendency to slam doors, you might want to affix the shelves straight onto the wall into a stud with a long screw (this was my dad’s idea, I suppose I slammed a door or 2 in my youth :)
I have to tell you these wooden cloud shelves look GORGEOUS on a blue wall, but they’re pretty on any color. I mean, me, aren’t those the cutest things you’ve ever seen? AND the only thing we had to purchase to make these was the yellow craft paint making this cost about $0.50 cents for all 3 shelves, so be sure to raid your wood stash (or ask a friend or family member who works with wood often and they are quite likely to have a stash to help you out).
Special thanks to my dad for helping me make them… best craft assistant EVER! :)