Locker shelving is a great project for high school students to customize their lockers. Adding details like specific shelf heights for storing their belongings, lighting options, built-in storage for small items, etc., can extend the project.
Tools & Materials
- ¾" plywood or boards
- 1-¼” Wood screws (4 per interior shelf)
- Table saw
- Paint brush
- Drill (with bit to match your screws)
- Wood glue (optional)
Measure the dimensions of the locker you are making the shelving for. Make a quick sketch and label the interior width (left to right), depth (distance from door to back of locker), and height of the locker.
Decide how high you want the top shelf to be (“top shelf height” on diagram), and cut two identical side pieces from your ¾" plywood (height of your shelving x depth of the locker).
Cut a top for your shelf (depth of locker x width of locker).
Decide how many interior shelves you want to have (the diagram has one). For each shelf, cut a piece of ¾" plywood with dimensions: width of your locker MINUS 1-½" (to account for the two side pieces) x depth of locker.
For each shelf, cut two rectangular support strips of ¾" plywood: 1” x depth of locker.
With a sander or sandpaper, finish the faces of the shelves that will be facing inward into the locker or may come in contact with your hands while using the shelving.
Decide the height of your shelf (or shelves), and clamp the support strips in place (make sure they sit square so your interior shelves are level). Drill two pilot holes (1-¼" deep) per support strip, 2” in from the edges. Screw the support strips onto the side pieces. (Note: you may choose to use wood glue at this step).
Test your shelving by assembling in the locker to make sure the pieces fit properly.
Remove the pieces, and paint them.
Assemble the shelving in your locker (sides first, then shelves, then top) and load it up with your books and supplies!
- Add a fun edge to the front of your shelves, like a tassel or pompom strip from a fabric store.
- Paint messages or quotes onto your shelving.
- Play with different textures on your shelves; add carpeting or fake grass to protect your books, or cover the sides with scrap wallpaper.
- Design a wooden pencil holder to attach to the side wall piece.
- Screw small hooks into the underside of your shelves to hang supplies from.
- Attach a battery-powered set of LED lights to the bottom and sides of your shelves to add light to your locker.
- Hang some decorative fabric on the back of your shelves to provide a background for your locker.
- Glue clothes pins onto the sides of your shelves to clip notes or photos to.