I'm trying to fit some box shelves but cannot find the type of fittings to use so that the screws are not visible.

The thickness of the shelves of about 1cm. This is the fitting of the back of the shelves:

enter image description here

Which means that when hung using screws and rawl-plugs the screws are far too visible.

enter image description here

Now the only thing I can think of that would be small enough not to show either above or below the shelf are nails - but they won't support the shelves if I put anything on them heavier than a curry takeaway menu.

I believe my walls are brick and plaster (1960's British house) so things like Super Hooks are unlikely to work as the walls are too solid.

What should I use to hang these shelves?

  • 1
    That fitting on the shelf doesn't look appropriate for supporting much weight; sounds like that's what you want. The box shelves I have are fitted with a port and a tapered screw hole so the screw actually goes inside the shelf's side and then the shelf slides so the hanger then goes into the taper. Depending on the type of wood you could possibly route or drill out for this type of fitting that can probably be found at a arts and craft or furniture maker supply store. Jan 17, 2015 at 19:27
  • Another option would be to buy some of those new-ish hangers that are just a wire that curl behind the wall but hold large amounts of weight. If the needed size is still visible you could drill ~1/16-1/8" holes at the approximate angle of the head of the installed hanger and sit the shelf on them. These holes would obviously be in the sides perpendicular to the one that has the fitting now. Jan 17, 2015 at 19:30
  • @ChiefTwoPencils They are only chipboard, but can apparently hold 5kg. I'm not aware of the hangers that are just 'wire that curl behind the wall' - Have you got a link to an example of that fixture?
    – JonW
    Jan 17, 2015 at 20:03
  • I've used these and these. That second little guy holds 100lbs., but they both work better than you'd think. Jan 17, 2015 at 20:11
  • 1
    @ChiefTwoPencils Ah ok, I get it now. Not sure what type of walls I have, but they're internal ones so possibly this will work. Heck, they're cheap enough so probably worth a try anyway.
    – JonW
    Jan 17, 2015 at 21:26

3 Answers 3


Unfortunately the MDF board is too thin for true "invisible shelves" I really hate those fittings, they just seem so un-secure!

You cannot raise the connector, since the board is too thing. but what you could do, is run a beading across the bottom edge. Thats about all I could think of.

that would also help with the secure-ness of the fitting since the screw heads would not fall out the grapple holders.

enter image description here

  • That's not a bad idea actually. Beats my suggestion to the wife that I just paint the screwheads to match the wall! (That didn't go down well).
    – JonW
    Jan 19, 2015 at 14:24

You mentioned you are not much of a DIYer but you might be able to apply the following.

This will be an abbreviated version of a French cleat, which you can google. The cleat instead of being on the horizontal pieces would be on the vertical sides. This process would extend the shelf out from the wall by a CM, but because you would be putting the extra material around the entire border of the back of the shelf it wont be noticeable. If you just did the sides you would see a gap on the top and bottom.

  1. Find a piece of wood as thick as the shelves. A square 1cm x 1cm.
  2. Cut 4 pieces for top, bottom and sides to make a border for the back of the shelf.
  3. For the vertical pieces, about 2/3rds up, cut at a 45 degree angle. \| /| So the two pieces will fit into each other.
  4. Attach the top and bottom small nails are sufficient, 3 or 4 CMs in length.
  5. Attach the top of the vertical strip to the shelf same, a couple of nails up and down.
  6. Attach the bottom of the vertical strip to the wall.
  7. Drop the shelf on.

The key here is the make sure when you attach the side strips to the wall, they are level and the exact width of the shelf.

I am sorry I cannot provide detail pictures, but I used this approach on a very intricate shelf that held tiny tea cups and it has yet to fall.

  • The idea of a French cleat approach sounds OK, but I'm afraid I'm failing to follow your guide as to how this is all going to end up looking when mounted. A French cleat would show through the back of the shelf, which I could at least paint the same as the wall, but I don't really follow how you can make one vertical here I'm afraid.
    – JonW
    Jan 19, 2015 at 16:01
  • The cleat would be applied on the left and right sides of the shelf and not the top and bottom. So they would be quite thin. When making the border the left side and right side of the shelf would get the cut and one would be mounted on the wall and one would be mounted on the shelf. When I get access the a graphics program I will attempt to sketch out what I mean.
    – treeNinja
    Jan 19, 2015 at 16:49
  • 1
    The problem with this approach is that the shelf would easily fall off the wall when bumped sideways.
    – Doresoom
    Jan 19, 2015 at 17:30

I have the same problem: bought cube shelves and looks like they couldn't bother to include proper fitting.

I'm planning to fix with something like this

enter image description here

Ensure that the part with the screw holes has the same height as the shelf thickness, then bend the rest up and hang the shelf on that. You may have to cut that bit if it's too long. That should work for light loads.

I can probably find something already with that shape, made if hard metal, that could hold a bit more weight but I wouldn't go to far as the others said because the real issue is the shelf.

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