How To Make A Swinging Shelf

 Oh how we love shelves. They’re a faffer’s dream – no doubt about that. The possibilities are endless with a good set of shelves at your fingertips. The styling, the shuffling, the scope! Nothing beats a good #shelfie search on insta either. The ultimate way to while away an Aldi queue.

The creativity that interior enthusiasts put into their shelf arrangements knows no bounds, and this one from Laura Cowell @talking_terrace, is certainly no exception.

Our eyes popped out of our heads when we saw this original looking beauty! Read on to find out how Laura made her stunning swinging shelf.

I made this shelf a few months ago after randomly getting the idea while pushing my son on the swings at the park. It was easy to put up and cost me under £10! The design and finish can be easily adapted to suit different styles.

I used reclaimed brackets and wood along with natural cord for a rustic feel, but you could also try bright bold colours and neon poly rope for a more contemporary look.

What you will need;

  • Drill
  • Drill bit 6mm
  • Level
  • Screws
  • Tape Measure
  • Poly Rope 6mm diameter 2m length (available from Ebay or rope/marine suppliers)
  • Eliza Tinsley Crimp Action Hose Clips 7mm-9mm (product number 3211 707)
  • Pair of pliers or grips
  • Pencil
  • IKEA EKBY shelf brackets in Birch 18cm (article number 766.960.09)
  • Shelves (I used off cuts of wood from my local timber yard and I wasn’t charged for them!)
  • Gold paint for shelf brackets (optional)

What You Need To Do;

Step 1: Brackets

Mark on the wall where you want the top shelf to be. I put the top shelf at 1.8m high from floor level but I am quite tall and obviously you need to consider your ceiling height and whether the lower shelf is going above a piece of furniture. Drill and screw the shelf brackets to the wall using a level.

The shelves I used were 700mm L x 240mm W and 450mm L x 200mm W but you can use any size that suits. The top shelf does need to be 240mm deep however to fit these brackets. The bottom shelf is shallower so that it doesn’t hit against the wall and to create the ‘swing’ look. I offset the smaller shelf from the centre left to right as I think this creates a more unique look, but obviously you can set it centre if you prefer.

Step 2: Drill the holes for the rope

Drill 2 x holes in the large shelf, centring the holes front to back and 75mm in from the left-hand side and 255mm in from the right-hand side (again, adjust this if you are centring the shelf).

Drill 4 x holes of equal distance in each corner of the small shelf.

Step 3: Attaching the Rope

Cut the length of rope exactly in half and feed each piece through the holes as shown. You may need to twist it as you feed it through.

Measure the rope leaving one length longer the other and bring them together form a triangle. The two pieces of rope should meet at approx. 180mm as shown below. Secure with the hose clips by feeding both ends through the clip (it is a tight squeeze but they will go! Again, twisting makes it easier – just make sure you untwist the rope again once they’re through!) You will need to leave about 5mm of the shorter end through the grip. Use the grips to crush the curved edges until the rope won’t move – test this using a bit of force).

Feed the two long lengths of rope through the large shelf.

Step 4: The Tricky Bit! Securing the smaller shelf

Carefully put the large shelf on the wall brackets and temporarily tie a rough knot in the ropes to secure them.

Using a level on the lower shelf, tie a tight knot on one side to allow the small shelf to hang at the right height – in this case the shelf below is 530mm from the top shelf.

Then adjust the other knot keeping an eye on the level. It only took me a few attempts, but it can be tedious! As the rope is poly it makes it easy to tie and untie to get the level spot on. You can use other natural rope or cord if you want a different look, but you would have to be more careful that it doesn’t fray. Make sure you leave plenty of cord through the hole so that you can add a decorative larger loop after. The poly rope can be sealed by briefly touching the ends with a lit match to melt the plastic.

ET VOILA! Style and faff to your heart’s content!

*Please note, I have not tested the weight bearing load of the bottom shelf so cannot advise on this. I have used plenty of heavy decorative items and books on it however with no issues. When using the bottom shelf, it is sensible to put items nearer to the centre to avoid a slight tip when looking side on*

The Homebirds are always looking for creative and original ideas like this to share with our readers and followers.

Please do get in touch if you have an awesome idea and we’ll show it off for you – crediting you fully of course!

Just email


No Comments

%d bloggers like this: