Horse shelf


  • 1×12 48 inches for the shelf
  • two 1×12 12 inches for the sides
  • two 1×4 18 inches for the under braces
  • 16 screws. 2″ power driver are what I used.


  • Bandsaw
  • Circular Saw
  • Electric sander or hand sander
  • Drill
  • Adjustable Square
  • Marking Tool
  • Pilot hole bit (optional, but very useful)
  • Horse Pattern

Download, print and cut out the horse pattern. I printed it on heavy card stock, but plain paper will do. Cut the white portions off, leave the black. The back section should be at 90 degrees to the three cross marks on the horse. The three cross marks are for the screws into the shelf and the back will go against the wall.

Cut a 48 inch piece of 1×12 as the shelf. Cut it as straight as you can. Don’t trust the store bought edge to be square. You should check it and if it isn’t correct, cut it square, then make your 48 inch cut. You can make the shelf wider or narrower shelf and adjust the braces, if you need to.

Trace the horse pattern onto one piece of wood. The nose of the horse should touch one side of the board. The three cross marks are for screws for the shelf. A line through them should be at 90 degrees to the back of the horse head.

If the neck doesn’t reach the back, just extend the lines. 1×12 boards are not all the same size, so you may have to adjust a little.

Note that the grain runs up and down, not from the nose to the back.

Trace first side onto second side. This will make them easier to align the pieces.

The under braces are 31/2 inches tall on the flat side and 18 inches wide. You can make them a little wider or make one brace that is as wide as the shelf. I traced some funky curves with a pot lid. You can do the same, or just cut two 18 inch pieces of 1×4.

Drill 3 holes in horse for the shelf. Use the marks on the pattern and use your adjustable square to make sure that they are square with the back of the horse. Drill through both sides, so the holes line up. Also drill two holes for the brace. These are 3/8 inch from the back and about 1 inch from the top of the brace and about 1 inch from the bottom of the horse.

Drill 3 holes in the shelf. They should be 3/8 inch from the back (use the Marking tool). One is about 1 inch from the side, one is 9 inches from the side and one is 17 inches. This should coincide with 1 inch fron the side of a brace, the center of the brace and 1 inch from the other side of the brace. Do the same for the other brace.

Woodburn the eye, nostrils and mane onto the horse. Remember to reverse the other side (see the picture).

Attach the Horse to the shelf. Use your square to make sure it is straight. Attach the other side.

Attach the braces to the shelf. Make sure tightly in the corner before screwing them in. Completely attach them to the shelf before attaching them to the sides.


See Finishing for tips on oil and polyurethane finishes.

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A computer geek with a taste for sustainable living, organic food, green products, buying local, woodworking, bicycling, running, yoga, recycling and doing-it-yourself.