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If you are like most people it is hard to have both storage and cars in a standard two car garage.  Since we have moved in all our stuff from our old house we are short on space in our garage right now for our cars.  Well – I am a firm believer in two things.  One – you always should capitalize on wasted space.  Two – where there is a will there is a way.  So, I challenged the hubby to think outside the box and figure out a way to customize a storage solution for the garage that gave us storage without sacrificing car space. 

Here is what he thought up!  Brilliant right?  Ok – so let me take you through how he did this for about $50. 


Materials List

3 - 2’x4’x8’ boards
2 - 1/2” 2’x4’ precut plywood sheets (could substitute a 4’x8’ piece and cut it down)
3 - 3/8” Steel Threaded 3 foot rods
3 - 3/8” hanger bolts (they look like this)
3 - 3/8” rod coupling nut (also called threaded sleeves – will be in specialty section)
3 - 3/8” fender washers
6 - 3/8'” nuts
6 – 3” lag screws
3” decking screws

1.  Measure frame to create a box.  Use one 2’x4’x8’ for each side and then cut down the last one into 4 pieces to create the sides and support beams for the frame.


2.  Use a nail gun to tack frame into place and then use 3” decking screws to secure into place.


3.  Screw plywood sheets into frame.  Frame is now complete.

Now I have to interject here that I was not available to take pictures when the hubby and a friend actually installed the shelf into the wall.  So I hope the instructions I provide will be detailed enough.  If you have any questions feel free to email me.  It is honestly just threading screws and nuts together and sliding the shelf up onto those and securing it! 

4. To attach shelf to ceiling, use a stud finder to locate rafters. Measure out 23 inches from the wall. Pre drill 3/8” holes into the rafters to insert the hanger bolts. Insert the hanger bolts into the hole.  (Hint – Since there isn’t a head to use to attach a wrench to, instead screw two nuts together on the threaded end and a wrench to install.)  Screw hanger bolts into the ceiling to until you reach the smooth middle section of the bolt.

5.  Put the rod coupling nut onto the screw and then screw the 3” threaded rod into the the coupling nut.  Take the measurement of where rods will be in relation to frame and pre drill holes through the frame to slide rod through. 

6.  For this step you may want to mount a ledger board on the wall at the height you want the bottom of the shelf and make sure it is level.  Using two people, raise frame up and line up holes onto the threaded rods and place onto ledger board.  Take a fender washer and slide onto each threaded rod and secure with nuts.  (Hint: You may want to raise up the front of the shelf at a very slight incline on the rods as to avoid setting things on the shelf and having them roll back off onto your head!  Just adjust to the angle you want and tighten the screws to meet that angle.) 

7.  The lag screws will need to go through the frame into the wall to secure it there.  Find your studs and pre drill into frame and wall stud.  Insert lag screws into holes and tighten.

And now you will have a ceiling mounted shelf!  It is perfect because we can put some other things underneath it – like my massive spray paint collection – and still have room to pull a car in up beside it! 


I am really excited about how it turned out – and all and all – it was actually a pretty simple and cheap project.  So what do you think?  Are you in need of additional storage in your garage?  Think this is something you can tackle?  Have you got other ways of using wasted space in your garage? Please share if you do!

Linking this up to

Metamorphosis Monday with Susan from Between Naps on the Porch
Get Your Craft On with Kim @ Today's Creative Blog 
Show and Tell with Becca @ Blue Cricket Designs  
Penny Pinching Party with Jen @ The Thrifty Home 
Make it Yours Day with Carolyn @ My Backyard Eden 
Transformation Thursday with Gina @ The Shabby Chic Cottage 
Thrifty Thursday with Leigh @ Tales from Bloggeritaville 
We’re Organized Wednesday with Leanne from Organize Your Stuff Now
Show and Share Day with Chris from Just a Girl

16 frugal friends said ...

Kim@Chattafabulous said... @ November 7, 2010 at 7:52 PM

No ideas of my own but is your hubby free next weekend? haha. Great job!!

Mel said... @ November 7, 2010 at 7:56 PM

What a great idea.

My garage is my dumping grounds and I can't even imagine fitting my van into it. At least three times a year I go out and reorganize it, but it always ends up the same way. I think it's because I don't have proper storage, but it's probably because I have 20 new hair-brained schemes going all at the same time :)

the cape on the corner said... @ November 7, 2010 at 8:07 PM

what a great idea 2 get that stuff off the ground!

Erin said... @ November 8, 2010 at 6:47 AM

That is great Jess, tell Mr. FF he did a great job!

Bonnie@Creative Decorating said... @ November 8, 2010 at 7:27 AM

Just stopping by from Met Monday. Great idea. "They" always say, when you need more space...go up!! We are also trying to get the garage organized and everything off the floor. Then it is easy to take our blower and blow out the dust and leaves every week!

Holly Lefevre said... @ November 8, 2010 at 1:14 PM

That looks fantastic! You do not even know how much I need this! My garage is a crafters/junkers nightmare. I will only post a photo of it after I have a chance to fix it up...or I will scare my readers away! Thanks for the tutorial.

Jen said... @ November 8, 2010 at 4:08 PM

I don't have a garage (bummer for me) but what a very smart idea to use the space above!! Clever!

One Shabby Old House said... @ November 8, 2010 at 8:39 PM

I think that we all could keep that hubby of yours busy for awhile. lol
Great job. We have been cleaning ours up and sure could use that shelf!

Three Birds Inspired said... @ November 9, 2010 at 1:16 PM

I don't have a garage but my son does and he put plywood sheets on top of the overhead rail system for the auto garage door opener. Lots of storage up there!!

chris said... @ November 10, 2010 at 3:58 PM

We've been building shelving too. So fun to see another way to tackle a project. We still have lots more space that is usable. :)

Leanne said... @ November 10, 2010 at 11:09 PM

It looks great. I've always wanted to do something like this. I'm hosting We're Organized Wednesday link party until Saturday and would love for you to join the party. There's a great giveaway too.

Life In The Thrifty Lane said... @ November 12, 2010 at 11:51 PM

Wow! Great job! Have to show it to my hubby!!

Leanne said... @ November 14, 2010 at 2:09 AM

Thanks for linking to We're Organized Wdnesday.

Anonymous said... @ January 4, 2013 at 9:40 PM

I can't tell from the pic, but are the 3 rods going through the plywood or through the long 2x4?

Unknown said... @ September 15, 2014 at 4:22 PM

It's such a good idea to have higher shelves like this! That way it's out of the way and it doesn't take up room for the cars or other machinery. I also like to put hangers in my garage, then I am able to have things a bit more organized. I want to find a hanger that is able to hang heavier things, then it won't just be the smaller things! http://www.heftyhangers.com/products

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