DIYdiy projects

DIY Project: Peg Wall

by Grace Bonney

When I moved into my studio fifteen months ago, I knew I wanted to create a feature wall near the entryway that felt curated, functional and peppered with color. It’s a place where I’d greet clients and a space to display my work and objects I’ve collected. While I would have loved to contract a carpenter to build out a drop-dead shelving system like this, it was simply not in my budget. So, out of necessity, I came up with a solution that was pocketbook friendly, doable with limited tools and offered flexibility.

peg3 copy
The solution was inspired by the old pegboard system we were tasked with climbing in grade school physical education class, except this one would not require climbing. We used wood dowels and double-sided screws to create the pegs. The shelves we picked up at the local hardware store. Filled with some art and a few of my favorite objects, this project made a big step forward in shaping up our entryway. Not to mention, it created a perfect spot to drop your coat on your way in! To see more of the studio space, stop by my Instagram feed and say hello. –Christine Wisnieski

All photographs by Christine Wisnieski

Click through for the full how-to after the jump!


Here’s what you’ll need:

For Planning
-stud finder
-tape measure

For Shelf System

-1″ diameter hardwood dowel rods (cut into 7 1/2″ pegs)
-shelves (four 8″ x 36″, one 8″ x 48″)
-5/16″ x 2 1/2″ dowel screws (1 per peg)

General Supplies

-all-purpose paint brush
-white paint (we used leftover latex paint from our walls)


Determine your shelving plan

First, sketch out your shelving plan. My wall is 12′ tall x 14 1/2′ wide and features 24 pegs. Pegs are spaced 24″ horizontally (2′ in from the adjacent walls) and 20″ apart vertically (starting 4′ from the floor). For extra support, I placed pegs on studs.

Measure out design

Following your plan, use pencil, stud finder, tape measure and level to grid out your peg positions onto the wall. I found a laser level to be a helpful tool.

Trim down dowels

Using a saw, trim dowels into pegs 7 1/2″ long (…or ask the folks at your local hardware store to assist you with this). Sand any rough edges left from cutting.

Prep pegs

Next, drill a 1 1/4″ hole into the center of each peg to hold screw. The most accurate way to do this is by using a wood lathe. If that’s not an option, simply find the center of the 1″ dowel, secure rod in vice and drill a 1 1/4″ deep hole. Once holes are drilled, insert screw into dowel using pliers.

Paint pegs

Wipe each peg with a damp towel to remove any dust. Using an all-purpose brush, paint all sides white. Tip: For drying, we found it easiest to tie each peg up using a piece of string and hang from an extra dowel.

Install shelf system

Next, drill holes into marked wall to hold pegs. Once drilled, screw pegs into position by hand and arrange shelves into desired configuration.


There are endless configuration options–objects can be placed on shelves, hung from shelves and shelves can even be stacked.

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