DIY Wall Shelf + Reverse IKEA Ekby Lerberg Bracket Hack

Hello Remodelaholics!

My name is Corinna and my blog is For My Love Of, a blog chronicling my adventures in decorating, DIY and thrifting. I’m really happy to be contributing here today to share how to use the IKEA Ekby Lerberg bracket in reverse to create these rustic/modern/boho shelves.

Easy Wall Shelf with Reverse Ikea Lerberg Hack Remodelaholic

Reverse Ekby Lerberg DIY Wall Shelf


Quantities will vary based on the number of shelves and how long your shelves will be.

  • 10x8x2 Piece of lumber
  • Heavy duty walls screws and anchors (with a head larger than the holes for the brackets)
  • 1.5 inch Wood Screws
  • Power drill and phillips head and general purpose twist bits
  • Socket wrench and phillips head bit
  • IKEA Ekby Lerberg shelf brackets
  • Optional: Wood Stain and Sealer


If you have the tools to cut your lumber at home and prefer to do so, that’s great! Thankfully most home improvement stores that sell lumber also cut it for you. I just asked to have my 10 foot piece cut into thirds and they did all the measuring for me and ensured it was even. Once the wood is cut and dusted off, you can stain it. I used a very light layer of a wood stain in special walnut.

stain fresh cut lumber with choice of stain before marking holes for brackets fresh lumbar for rustic modern boho shelves

While those dry, start marking out where holes for the brackets need to be made on your wall. I like to use painter’s tape for this so that any mistakes won’t be written on my walls. The design of these brackets works by using a smaller headed screw that the larger hole fits over, then sliding the groove of the bracket onto the neck of the screw and then you’d just tighten the screw down. We won’t be doing this with the brackets on the wall side. You’ll want to make sure you’re marking the large hole, and not at the end of the groove off the hole, for where the screws will hold the bracket in place.

Highlighting the problem with using the ikea ekby lerberg bracket upside down and how to combat this problem

Predrill holes into the walls, putting in wall anchors if you’re not drilling into studs. It’s important to predrill the holes because we’ll be cranking the screws into place by hand.

predrill holes into the wall and place wall anchors in place if the holes dont line up with studs

Place the brackets onto the lumber and mark where the screws need to be screwed into the wood. These holes will line up with the end of the groove. Unlike the wall, we are using the sliding into place feature with this side. I noticed, on my brackets at least, that there were some imperfections in the holes and grooves, so it may help to number which bracket goes where.

mark onto the cut lumber where youll need to go back and screw wood screws into by placing bracket onto wood and mark at the end of the groove

Drill the wood screws the majority of the way into the marked holes. Leave them partially raised to accommodate the bracket’s thickness.

use the drill and phillips drill bit to screw the wood screws most of the way into the wood leaving enough of a gap to slide the brackets into place

Now you’ll have to use a small socket wrench to screw the screws through the bracket and into the wall, making sure to hold the bracket firmly in place while doing so. The two corners of the bracket are too tight to fit a standard size screwdriver into.

use a socket wrench and phillips head bit to tighten the screws into place through the bracket

When all of the brackets are secured to the wall, take each piece of lumber, line up the screws with the holes and slide into place. Either be the person holding the lumber in place or have someone else do it while tightening the screws. This lumber has some weight so be careful.

And that’s it! It’s actually really simple. But I couldn’t find a tutorial anywhere. Just in case some of you Remodelaholics are newer at DIY than others, I tried to be as detailed as possible. Here’s how I’m using them:

DIY Rustic Modern Boho shelves hacking the IKEA Ekby Lerberg brackets to work in reverse

Books, plants and decorative pieces are now safely out of reach of my toddler.

Taking an unusued corner and making it a place to display decor and house an additional seat for the living room

This little corner was once a blank unused corner of our living room. With the shelves in place, it also gave us a good place to place an extra seat for the room. These shelves would look great from floor to ceiling though, too.

single shelf ekby lerberg shelf bracket used in reverse

Thank you so much for reading! Have you had to hack an IKEA piece before? Do you think you’ll try this one? Make sure to share your pictures! I’d love to see them!

Corinna -  For My Love Of

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Website | + posts

Hey There! I'm Corinna and I share my passion for creating beautiful space meant for living in on my blog A Designer At Home. You can expect to see tutorials, room reveals, design advice, home improvement and tips & tricks for the home.

We love hearing from fellow Remodelaholics, so let us know what you like about this and leave any questions below in the comments. If you've followed a tutorial or been inspired by something you've seen here, we'd love to see pictures! Submit pictures here or by messaging us over on Facebook.

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      1. Thanks for the tutorial! How did you manage to get your drill inside of the bracket’s three sides? I can’t understand how it’s possible!

  1. I’m trying to do this DIY but I just can’t figure out how you get the brackets to attach to the wall! Could you maybe do a more detailed explanation of how you get them to stay secure to the wall without the groove sliding down to the large hole with the brackets placed upside down? Thanks so much!

  2. I love this idea!!
    I was just wondering how much weight they can carry, as you do lose some strength compared to mounting the brackets under the piece of lumber. Can I safely put a couple of cookbooks on them?
    Greetings from Holland

  3. Similar question, but how does weight distribution work with this? Do the shelves need reinforcing underneath?