Quick Project: Make a decorative step-shelf

This decorative step-shelf is perfect for creating a colourful display on a patio or deck, or to add curb appeal to your front entrance.


Make these easy step-shelves and use them to add a colourful display of potted plants for your patio, deck, or to add curb appeal to your front entrance. The steps are 200 H x 300 D and is made using PAR pine that you can buy at any Builders store or click here to buy the bundle.


1 of 38 x 228mm PAR pine - stringers and steps

 1 of 38 x 114mm PAR pine - toe boards

 1 of 38 x 38mm PAR pine - step supports

Masking tape

 5mm x 60mm screws

Wood glue

Sealer, varnish or paint to finish plus paintbrush


Drill / Driver plus 3mm and 5mm drill bits

Countersink bit


Carpenter's square or tri-square

Orbital Sander plus 120- and 180-grit sanding pads

Tape measure and pencil



1. Mark out a marking gauge on your carpenter's square or tri-square using masking tape. Show the depth of the steps on one side and the step height on the adjacent side. You need to make the stringers slightly longer than the calculated size when ordering.

2. Place the carpenter's square or tri-square over one end of a stringer - with the step depth mark down the length of the stringer and the height on the end - and mark. Draw a line across these two marks. Now you need to draw a line perpendicular to that mark through the corner.

3. Extend the line for your cut line. You will also use this line as the starting point to mark the position for the steps on the stringers.

4. Using the carpenter's square or the tri-square, mark the step height at 200mm on the cut line. Also mark the depth at 228mm - perpendicular to this point. Continue marking, making sure to double check your accuracy.

5. When you reach the end of the stringer length, extend that line – this is where it will touch the floor. Use your jigsaw to cut the ends using the jigsaw.

6. Align the step and toe boards together, making sure they're flush and then drill pilot holes, countersink and join with screws.

7. Place the steps on the stringers and mark inside lines in order to mount step supports. Mark the length for each support.

8. Place the supports in position and secure with screws. Drill countersunk pilot holes where the toe boards touch the stringers and screw in place from the outer side.

9. Lay the stringers on their edge and mount the completed steps onto the stringers. Screw from the outside of stringers into the toe board. Now drill and screw the steps into the step supports.

10. In order to hold firmly against a wall, attach wall fixing blocks at the top.


Fill screw holes with wood filler, let dry, then sand smooth and wipe clean. You can stain, seal or paint your completed step-shelf in your choice of colour.

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