How to Make a Sturdy Decorative Shelf

I love my handy hubby!
I love that he can make things work. He always figures out a way!

I had wanted a decorative shelf with hooks in our entry way for a long time. Mostly because Pinterest pictures make them seem like a blast to decorate each holiday, and partially to keep my purse clutter off the floor.
I finally found a design I loved, but I knew the tiny metal plates for nails behind the shelf would never hold the weight of a fully stocked diaper bag. Luckily, Johnny knew just what to do.

So, read on below to see how to make a store bought shelf with hooks super sturdy!

Step 1: Locate the studs in your desired wall. Measure how close together they are are mark the wall with a pencil.

Step 2: Decide where you want your shelf to be located. Use those measurements on your shelf. You'll plan to screw through the shelf into the wall studs. Use a pencil to mark your measurements on the shelf.

Step 3: Remove the hooks that are closest to the measurements you need.
In the picture below you can see the two hooks we removed. 
(We planned it so that the screws would be hidden under the hooks once we were done.)
In the picture below, you can see three holes. The two small holes are from the hook.
 The big hole you see below is where Johnny will screw into the wall's stud. Johnny drilled a small pilot hole through the shelf, and then drilled an impression (not a hole) deep enough for the screw head to sit flat against the shelf. This is done so that the screw is completely hidden when we put the hook back on.

Make sure you know where you want the shelf to be placed on your wall so that you can make these holes exactly where they need to be in order to hit the studs.

Step 4: Now it's time to drill through that shelf into the wall studs. Use a lever to make sure your shelf is straight, and use long screws! In the picture below you can see the two screws are started and just have to finish going all the way through the shelf into the wall studs.

Step 5: Once the shelf is secured to the wall, simply re-adhere the hooks back into their original positions. See how the sturdy screw is hidden under the hook? You can't even see the screws under the hooks.

(He is concentrating in this picture; he's not upset.)

And now for the finishing touches!
This shelf went from holding only a couple pounds to holding massive weight. I think Johnny even tried to hang from the hooks after he was done attaching the shelf to the wall.

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial, and good luck in future projects!