DIY French Cleat Tool Shelf (Easy Organization)

Build this simple French cleat shelf to organize your favorite tools (planers, sanders, you name it) for easy access and a clutter-free workshop.

DIY tool storage shelf hanging on a French cleat

Spend more time searching for tools than using them? This French cleat tool shelf is the answer. I’ll show you how to build a simple organizer that puts planers, sanders, and more at your fingertips. Let’s reclaim your workshop and say goodbye to clutter!

Table of Contents

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Inspiration for This French Cleat Tool Shelf

A recent garage renovation left me with a long, empty wall—the perfect canvas for some French cleats. I have a collection of tools I use occasionally, but not enough to warrant space in my small workshop, so they usually end up in a cluttered pile. This new wall space presented the ideal solution: additional storage, especially for those less frequently used tools.

Here’s what I came up with: a simple, sturdy, reconfigurable shelf ideal for organizing my hand planer, belt sander and Kreg Jig 720.

Person removing a handheld planer from a DIY French cleat tool storage shelf

What Wood Should You Use to Make a French Cleat Storage Shelf?

I don’t frequently use plywood, but I had some leftover from making the French cleat wall, so that’s what I used to make my storage shelf.

Front view of a DIY French cleat tool shelf

What Tools Do You Need to Build a French Cleat Tool Storage Shelf?

I used four tools to make this tool shelf:

  • Circular saw: I used a circular saw and Kreg Rip-Cut to rip the plywood to width.
  • Miter saw: I used my sliding miter saw to cut the parts to length.
  • Pocket hole jig: I used pocket hole joinery to assemble the shelf.
  • Drill: I used my drill to make the pocket holes and drive the pocket hole screws.
French cleat wall with three DIY tool storage shelves

How to Make DIY French Cleat Tool Shelf

Printed Plan

Get the FREE plan here (includes detailed instructions, measurements, and bonus tips)

Materials

Tools

  • Tape Measure
  • Kreg Multi-Mark
  • Table Saw or Circular Saw and Kreg Rip-Cut
  • Pocket Hole Jig
  • Drill
  • Countersink Drill Bit

Step 1. Make the Bottom

NOTE: While I built three shelves, I’ll focus on the steps involved in making one shelf for simplicity.

The bottom and the sides are the same size, so I used my circular saw and a Kreg Rip-Cut to rip the plywood to width.

Using a circular saw and a Kreg Rip-Cut to rip plywood to size for a DIY French cleat tool shelf

Then, I cut the piece to length for the bottom.

NOTE: I used my sliding miter saw to make this cut, which can handle wider materials than a non-sliding saw. If you don’t have one, you can use a circular saw instead.

Next, I used the diagram in the printed plan to mark the location for pocket holes.

Using a pencil to mark the location for pocket holes in the bottom of a French cleat tool storage shelf

I set my pocket hole jig and drilled one at each mark.

Related: How to Use a Pocket Hole Jig

Drilling pocket holes in the bottom of a DIY tool shelf

Step 2. Attach the Back

Again, I used my circular saw and Kreg Rip-Cut to rip a piece of plywood to width for the back.

Then, I cut it to length.

I used the diagram in the printed plan to mark the location for pocket holes and drilled one at each mark.

Using a pocket hole jig to drill pocket holes in the back of a DIY French cleat tool shelf

I positioned the back on the bottom and clamped it in place.

Clamping a French cleat tool shelf's back to its bottom

Then, I attached it using pocket hole screws.

Attaching the back to the bottom of a tool storage shelf using pocket hole screws

Step 3. Attach the Sides

For the best fit, I recommend measuring from the bottom to the top to determine the height for the sides.

Measuring the height of a DIY French cleat storage shelf

I cut two pieces of plywood (left over from Step 1) to length for the sides.

Then, I used the diagram in the printed plan to mark the angled cuts. First, I made a mark at the bottom.

Marking the bottom angle

Then, at the top.

Marking the top angle

And I connected the marks with a straightedge.

Connecting the marks with a straightedge and pencil

I used my miter saw to cut the angle.

NOTE: I used my sliding miter saw to make this cut, which can handle wider materials than a non-sliding saw. If you don’t have one, you can use a circular saw instead.

Using a miter saw to cut the angle on the side of a DIY French cleat tool shelf

I clamped the side in position and attached it using pocket hole screws. I repeated this step for the other side.

Attaching a tool storage shelf's bottom to its side with pocket hole screws

Step 4. Attach the French Cleat

I cut a French cleat to length and clamped it in position.

Related: How to Make a French Cleat

I marked the locations for countersink holes and used an awl to make a starting point for the drill bit.

Related: What is an Awl? (& How to Use It)

Then, I used a countersink bit to drill a hole at each mark.

Related: How to Use a Countersink Bit

Drilling a pilot hole in a French cleat for a tool storage shelf

I attached the cleat using wood screws.

Attaching a French cleat to a DIY tool storage shelf with a drill

That’s it. Your storage shelf is ready to get your tools organized!


Video

Watch now, and I’ll show you step-by-step how to make a DIY French cleat shelf.



Final Thoughts

There you have it. This functional, reconfigurable French cleat tool shelf is ready to transform your workspace and keep your tools within easy reach.

Don’t wait. Get your free plan (including the detailed instructions and measurements) now!

Thank you for stopping by. If you enjoyed this tutorial, would you please take a moment and pin it to Pinterest? I’d really appreciate it!


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