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How to Make a DIY Shaker Peg Rail with Shelf

Today we’re breaking down the steps to build a shaker peg rail with an integrated shelf. We’re using it for our 3 year old daughter’s dress-up area, but it would also be great as a coat rack in an entryway or a towel rack in a bathroom, among countless other applications!

Our DIY peg rail installed as Lucy's dress-up station // via Yellow Brick Home
silhouette | cat planter

Lucy’s playroom is soooo close to being complete! One of the final steps was this DIY dress-up station that now gives her a convenient place to store her unicorn wings, chameleon costume and ballerina tutu (which she’s definitely attempted to wear all at once). This little lady would wear a costume all day, every day if given the choice! ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

This versatile DIY is an afternoon project that can be tweaked and changed based on size, style and materials you have on hand. Here’s what we used, and how we got it done.

Tools + Supplies Used

A visual depiction of our tool list for this project including a jigsaw, drill and various other tools // via Yellow Brick Home

1| Cut + Fasten Top and Back

The first step in the process is to determine the right size for your install location and cut your boards to length. We decided on a width of 26″ for the space between the arched opening and the chimney in the playroom. We opted to have a wider top (shelf) than peg rail (front-facing), so for reference, our top is 5″ and the peg rail board is 3 1/2″.

Scott screws together the top and back of the peg rail // via Yellow Brick Home
screws | drill | clamps

Keep in mind that the beauty of this project is that it can be scaled to fit any space! Once we were happy with the size, we clamped the boards together and used a drill to attach them with screws. Note: Pilot holes are always a good idea, especially in MDF.

In the case of small splits like the one above, don’t worry! Spackle will fill any imperfections prior to paint.

2| Trace, Cut + Fasten Rounded Shelf Supports

Fun Fact: This step is completely unnecessary, but it sure did add some charm! Once the back and top were connected, we scoured the kitchen for a round dish that would make the perfect shape for our side supports.

Kim uses a small dinner plat to trace the outline of the shelf supports // via Yellow Brick Home

A small dinner plate ended up being a great fit, so we traced the 1/4 round profile and then cut it out with a fine finish blade on our jigsaw. We sanded the cut later in the process, so we weren’t after perfection here, but we got pretty close!

Scott uses a jigsaw with a fine cut blade to cut the rounded line for the shelf support // via Yellow Brick Home

We then screwed the quarter round supports into the top and back using the same 1 1/2″ screws as earlier. Notice the angled clamp that kept the support snugly in place as we drilled? Clamps are helpful to keep things stationary when applying fastening pressure, so we always recommend using them where possible. They’re like an extra set of hands! We’ve had these exact clamps for the better part of a decade.

Scott screws the rounded shelf support onto the completed shelf // via Yellow Brick Home

3| Measure + Install Pegs

This step will also vary based the pegs you choose and the width of your peg rail. We spaced our six pegs (we used these) just shy of 4″ apart with about 2″ between the outermost pegs and the rounded shelf supports. For our pegs, we used a 3/8″ drill bit which gave us a snug fit.

A composite photo showing the measuring and drilling of the holes for the pegs // via Yellow Brick Home

Since our pegs utilize a tenon as opposed to threading into place, we applied a small amount of wood glue then tapped them in with our rubber mallet. Note: Our pegs are also available as a screw-in option!

Scott uses a rubber mallet to tap the pegs into their holes // via Yellow Brick Home

4| Spackle, Sand + Paint

This finishing step is totally up for customization. Built your peg rail out of beautifully grained wood and want to stain + poly it? Go for it! Made it out of MDF? Spray paint it. Brush paint it. It’s all up to you! This project is truly a choose your own adventure. We selected the same taupe color that we used for the custom base on our recently-hacked IKEA dresser. It plays nicely with the multi-tonal chimney next to it and fits the overall vibe of the room well. ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Our DIY peg rail installed as Lucy's dress-up station // via Yellow Brick Home
silhouette | cat planter

To hang the peg rail, we used the keyhole hangers from this multi-pack of hanging hardware, but choose what best suits your needs and construction method! If you’re looking for a more permanent method, might we suggest the ‘straight through the back method’ that we used for our DIY laundry sorter?

Peg rails like this are pretty easy to find, but they can be costly, especially if you’re looking for something custom. Plus, building something yourself is always way more fun!

Our DIY peg rail installed as Lucy's dress-up station // via Yellow Brick Home

We still have a storage truck en route to our home, which will go under the rail and act as a permanent home to our girl’s dress up clothes. The peg rail will hold accessories such as hats, capes, wings and all the magical things.

Our DIY peg rail installed as Lucy's dress-up station // via Yellow Brick Home
silhouette | cat planter

If you decide to take on a version of the project as a towel rack, hall organizer or anything else (anything at all!), remember to tag us @yellowbrickhome and #YBHDIY so we can take a peek. We’d love to see what you create!

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  • Cemre2.17.21 - 3:40 AM

    What a lovely shelf. It’s looks like so useful I mean you can put your hobby things or just you can use for decoration thing.ReplyCancel

  • Molly2.17.21 - 2:37 PM

    I  love this! It’s so cute!I’ve always been curious about something that makes me nervous to use MDF – if someone manages to scratch/do damage through the paint layers down to the MDF, how hard is it to fix to patch and re-paint to get back to that nice finish? Is damaged MDF really fibrous-y?ReplyCancel

    • Kim2.17.21 - 4:38 PM

      It’s so easy! Just spackle, sand and touch up paint. MDF is so smooth, so it’s really great for small painting projects.ReplyCancel

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We’re Kim + Scott, Chicago based content creators behind the Home + Lifestyle brand Yellow Brick Home.

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