How To Build a Shot Glass Display Shelf

Shot glass display

Collecting shot glasses is a favorite past time for many and wanting to display them is usually the goal.  While purchasing a display shelf may be a bit pricey, there are alternative ways to displaying them for a fraction of the cost.  One way is to build the shot glass display shelf yourself.  With the appropriate boards, wood glue and brads, this process can be completed easily.

To build your display shelf, you will need wood glue, measuring tape, a saw, ¼ inch plywood that measures 27 3/4 x 24 inches, 1/4 x 2 1/2 inch solid wood or plywood, brads, and pliers.  Oak is preferred for your shot glass display shelf, but it will vary with preference.  If you want a more finished appearance, you may also want to grab a pint of stain to finish the look of your shot glass shelf. For a smoother feel, you may also choose to sand your wood beforehand.  This display shelf will hold 100 shot glasses.  If you wish to display more than 100, you may want to double your length or make multiple display shelves to fit your collection accordingly.

You can either find 22 2 1/2 inch strips of wood from a hobby store, or simply cut them yourself.  The preferred length for this tutorial is 11 strips cut to 27 1/2 inches, and the remaining 11 at 34 inches. The 27 1/2 x 24 inch piece of wood will be used as the backing of the display shelf, and you may choose to sand that piece as well.

On the backing wood, draw the placement of your display shelf.  For the very top row, allow 4 1/2 inches, and 9 additional at 3 inches.  When drawing your vertical lines, make sure to leave 2 ½ inches for each shot glass slot.  When assembling, the best place to start is the frame.  Glue 4 pieces around the outer area, and secure them with brads. To add the display shelves, you must first cut a 1/2 inch groove that is one half the depth of your strip, which is 1 1/4 inch.  Secure the horizontal shelves in place with brads and then insert your vertical shelves. Instead of just nailing the vertical shelves, apply the wood glue and then finish with brads.

Once your shot glass display shelf has dried, you can then apply a coat of stain or otherwise hang it right up.  Be sure to use the appropriate nails when doing so.  You can usually find a kit at a hardware store that will come with various nails and wires to hang items on walls, such as frames and shelves.  Be sure to hammer your nail into a stud to ensure the weight won’t overpower your sheetrock or paneling.  Most importantly, enjoy your new shot glass display shelf!


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