Crown moulding is the icing on the cake that finishes any room. It can be pretty intimidating, but not with the help of Dunn Lumber's Dan. Dan has been at Dunn Lumber for 16 years. He's married with two daughters, and recently moved into a 1940's house they've been renovating. He wanted to make a cozy reading corner for his 6-year-old. Dan's wife looked around on Pinterest and found a few ideas, then they designed these cozy crown moulding reading corner bookshelves.

Crown Molding 101

Before we start, let's sync up on crown moulding terminology. Dan uses the "cutting in position" method, more commonly referred to as the "upside-down and backwards" method.

To cut moulding using the "upside-down and backwards method," place the moulding standing upside-down and leaning against the miter-saw fence. Using this method will ensure the material is always in the same position on the fence and never has to be flipped end for end; the bevel of the saw is never changed from 90 degrees.

To visualize the correct direction of a cut, imagine the fence is the wall and the base of the saw is the ceiling. For inside corners, the long point of the miter and the bevel is always on the wall or fence, and for outside corners the short point of the miter and bevel is always on the wall or fence.

crown moulding 101

Dan pre-cut four pieces of moulding to use as templates, and we suggest you do the same. Don't forget to label each piece. (We can't reiterate this enough!) For more detailed instructions on the inside and outside cuts, see our crown moulding tutorial!

crown moulding guide

Here's are the four templates he made:

  • Outside Right
    • Place the moulding standing upside-down and leaning against the miter-saw fence
    • The short point of the miter and bevel is on the fence
    • Make the cut
    • LABEL IT
  • Outside Left
    • Place the moulding standing upside-down and leaning against the miter-saw fence
    • The short point of the miter and bevel is on the fence
    • Make the cut
    • LABEL IT
  • Inside Right
    • Place the moulding standing upside-down and leaning against the miter-saw fence
    • The long point of the miter and the bevel is on the fence
    • Make the cut
    • LABEL IT
  • Inside Left
    • Place the moulding standing upside-down and leaning against the miter-saw fence
    • The long point of the miter and the bevel is on the fence
    • Make the cut
    • LABEL IT

Step 1: Gather Materials

Locate all the supplies you will need to make these shelves.

materials for crown moulding bookshelf

Step 2: Measure the Space

Start by measuring the space where you want to put the shelves. Lightly pencil in the length of each shelf on the wall. Then, use a stud finder to locate studs and mark their location. Write down your lengths and stud location measurements, as you'll need them in a minute.

Step 3: Cut the Crown Moulding

Now, it's time to cut. We're making three shelves, so we began by cutting three 1" x 2"s to the desired length. Cut your 1" x 2"s to the right length and set them aside. Then, grab the templates to cut your crown moulding. Remember to place the moulding upside-down. Take a deep breath, and remember: Label as you go! We needed three longer pieces of crown moulding and three short pieces. We first cut the longer pieces:

sawing moulding for shelfTop Left Shelf

    • Right Side: Inside Left Cut
    • Left Side: Outside Right Cut
    • Label: Top Left
  • Top Right Shelf
    • Right Side: Outside Left Cut
    • Left Side: Inside Right Cut
    • Label: Top Right
  • Bottom Right Shelf
    • Right Side: Outside Left
    • Left Side: Striate
    • Label: Bottom Right

Then it was time to cut the short pieces. To determine the width of each of the end pieces for the crown moulding measurement, hold the piece up against the 1" x 2" and mark the width. Then, cut accordingly:

cutting crown moulding for shelf

  • Top Left Shelf End
    • Right Side: Outside Left Cut
    • Left Side: Striate
    • Label: Top Left End
  • Top Right Shelf End:
    • Right Side: Striate
    • Left Side: Outside Right
    • Label: Top Right End
  • Bottom Right Shelf End:
    • Right Side: Striate
    • Left Side: Outside Right
    • Label: Bottom Right End

Once you've made all the cuts you can lightly sand the new edges with 150-grit sandpaper.

Step 4: Pre-drill

Now locate your 1" x 2"s and pre-drill three holes in each that match up with the studs' location. Place each 1" x 2" in position on the wall, check that it is level (you may need an extra set of hands), and drill into the wall.

pre-drill crown moulding

Step 5: Start Assembling the Shelves

Next, locate the longer pieces of crown moulding, the wood glue, and the nail gun. Glue along the seam that will be placed on the 1" x 2". Place the moulding flush with the 1" x 2" and secure it in place using the nail gun. This will create divots in the wood, but don't worry—we'll take care of that with the putty.

DunnDIY-SeattleWA-CrownMolding-14_1.jpg#

Step 6: Glue the End Pieces to the Wall

Now grab the four end pieces, glue each piece, and secure to the 1" x 2" end using the nail gun.

glue moulding to wall

gluing crown moulding to wall


Step 7: Fill In the Divots with Putty

Get your putty and putty knife and fill in all the divots.

fill crown moulding divots

Step 8: Paint Your Shelves

Tape off the shelves and paint them your desired color.

Step 9: Get Reading!

Let them dry, and then enjoy your cozy new nook.

bookshelf moulding

diy crown moulding bookshelfcrown moulding bookshelf