How to Build a DIY Pegboard

Wooden Peg Board

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Project Overview
  • Working Time: 1 - 3 hrs
  • Total Time: 12 hrs - 1 day
  • Yield: DIY pegboard
  • Skill Level: Intermediate
  • Estimated Cost: $100 to 150

If you have a blank wall or are simply in need of a stylish storage solution, meet your new best friend: The pegboard. But this isn't your Grandpa's pegboard. This DIY pegboard is a modular storage wall unit that will transform your home office, bedroom, living room, garage, or wherever else you can think to put it. Think of it as an oversized pegboard that uses wooden dowels instead of the less-than-attractive chrome pegboard hardware.

Believe us, this DIY pegboard looks very impressive and slightly intimidating, but it's actually super simple to build—even for beginner DIYers. Best of all, the size and space of the peg holes as well as the overall size of the unit can easily be modified to fit in any space you desire. Make an entire pegboard wall or simply put up a pegboard strip by the front door. The choice is yours!

Before You Begin

Before you buy materials for this project, you first must determine where you'd like to mount your pegboard and how big the pegboard should be. If you have the space and want a large pegboard, opting for a 4-foot by 8-foot pegboard will allow you to utilize an entire sheet of plywood with no waste. If you'd like a smaller pegboard, simply cut the plywood down to size or have the hardware store cut it for you. For larger pegboards, you'll need additional plywood sheets.

The size of your pegs will be determined by the dowels you purchase. For our example, we'll be using 1-inch wooden dowels with a 1-inch Forstner bit to match. If you'd like smaller dowels, plan on drilling the holes closer together and refrain from using shelf pieces on dowels smaller than 1 inch.

Safety Considerations

It's pertinent that the pegboard is fastened securely to the wall once completed. This ensures the safety of the unit once weight is applied. Additionally, it's important that the pegs fit snugly into the holes without the risk of slippage. This will also ensure the safety of the unit and prevent items from falling.

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • Miter saw
  • Circular saw
  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
  • Straight edge
  • Drill
  • Drill bits
  • 1-inch Forstner bit
  • Level
  • Stud finder
  • Orbital sander
  • Painting/staining supplies (optional)

Materials

  • 4-foot x8-foot x 1/2-inch Stain-grade plywood
  • 2 2-inch x 2-inch x 8-foot Pine boards
  • 1-inch x 8-inch x 8-foot Pine board
  • 1-inch diameter Dowels
  • Scrap boards
  • 3-1/2-inch Wood screws
  • 2-inch Trim-head finish screws
  • 120-grit and 220-grit Sanding pads
  • Stain or paint (optional)
  • Clear wood sealant (optional)

Instructions

How to Build a DIY Pegboard Wall

Follow along to learn how to build a DIY pegboard wall. If you desire to alter the peg size and spacing of the holes, be sure to adjust each step accordingly.

  1. Cut Plywood to Size (optional)

    If you plan to alter the size of the plywood, have the hardware store cut the piece for you. If you desire to make the cuts yourself, measure the dimensions using a tape measure and create straight lines using a straight edge. Cut the plywood to size using a circular saw. If your goal is to leave the plywood as a 4-foot by 8-foot piece, skip this step.

  2. Sand the Plywood

    Sand the front (display side) of the plywood using 120-grit sandpaper, removing all factory stamps. Gently sand sides and edges to remove splinters.

  3. Create Your Grid

    The quickest and easiest way to layout the holes for drilling is by creating a grid. This method also makes it easy to adjust the spacing of your holes to accommodate different dowel sizes.

    Start by locating the middle of the long and short sides and marking the edge of the board on both sides. Once you've determined your peg spacing (we chose 6 inches between 1-inch pegs), use the tape measure to mark the edges outwardly from the middle mark.

    Use a straight edge to connect the lines on opposite sides, creating a grid.

  4. Build Drill Jig

    Traditionally, Forstner bits were used in drill presses. However, they can be used in a standard drill. If you're unconfident in your abilities to keep the bit straight, a simple jig will help. This also helps prevent bit wander.

    Start by screwing two scrap boards together (approximately 1 feet long) on their long sides to create a right angle. This will stand vertically for the drill to rest against as you drill the holes. To make the jig more steady, screw two more scrap pieces jetting out horizontally at the base of the jig.

  5. Drill Holes

    Use scrap boards to elevate your plywood so you don't drill through your work surface. Place the plywood face up to minimize splintering on the front of the wood. Line your drill up with the holes, utilizing your jig to hold it perfectly vertically. Carefully drill the holes and work slowly through the first and last layers of ply to avoid splintering.

  6. Sand Plywood

    Sand the front, edge, and sides of your plywood once more to remove all splinters and clean up the surface, but this time use 220-grit sandpaper.

  7. Finish the Plywood

    Finish the plywood in your desired finish. It can be painted or stained and sealed with a clear coat. It can also be left natural, but plywood is particularly susceptible to water damage, so choose this route with caution.

    Warning

    Paint and thick sealants will add a thin layer to the plywood, which may result in poor fitment of the dowels.

  8. Cut and Attach Wall Braces

    Cut 2x2 boards to match the width of your plywood. You'll need a top and bottom brace and at least one more brace to position near the center. If you prefer to hide the braces, cut them to a length slightly less than the width of the plywood.

    Mount the braces to the wall by locating the studs with a stud finder and screwing them to the wall using 3-1/2-inch wood screws. Be sure to position the braces level, and at distances that fall between the holes in the pegboard. Check each brace's position with a level as you mount it.

  9. Mount Pegboard

    Mount the pegboard to the wall braces using the 2-inch trim-head finish screws.

  10. Cut Dowel Pegs

    Use a miter saw to cut the dowels to your preferred lengths, refrain from cutting dowels longer than 12 inches. Slide the dowels into the pegboard.

  11. Cut Shelf Pieces

    Cut shelf pieces out of 1x8 boards using a miter saw or circular saw. Place the shelves on top of the dowels wherever you prefer.

How Often to Replace Your Pegboard

If properly built and utilized, there aren't many instances that would warrant replacing your entire pegboard. However, there is a chance of either the pegs or holes becoming too worn or damaged to properly fit and hold. In this case, consider replacing the pegs with newly cut dowel pieces and simply refrain from placing pegs in any holes that are too worn.