Element Trunk Shelf

Shelf installed in Element trunk with bungies attached and emergency gear stowed below


Organizing and restraining things in the Element’s cavernous interior can be a challenge. In addition to easier organizing, I wanted to separate emergency gear that’s always in the car from the groceries and things that come and go. My research led me to this Element Owner’s Club thread, and I attempted to duplicate the solution from post #19 by user eyemhess.

I learned how to wrap and staple carpet onto plywood from these two videos:



Sanded pine plywood23/32″x2’x4′1$11.98Lowe’s Item #7710
Mohawk ribbed utility rug72″x96″1$20.98Lowe’s Item #652450
TEC outdoor carpet adhesive1 qt$5.78Lowe’s Item #673004
Bostitch HD T50 staples9/16″ leg x narrow crown 20Ga1250-pack$3.38Lowe’s Item #573323
SmartStraps flat adjustable bungee assortment10-pack$15.98Lowe’s Item #518170



It took some planning to determine the right cuts and folding order.

Shelf-planning sketches


First I cut notches in the board to accomodate the rear compartment’s wall shape. Then we glued the carpet to the board’s top side, “rolling” the material to the board edges using a glass jar. We allowed the adhesive to cure for several days before starting the next step.

Notch cut into shelf and carpet glued to top side


I pre-painted all the edges and the bottom areas where carpet edges join so the bare wood wouldn’t show through.

Underside of shelf painted


We used a framing square and utility knife to cut the carpet in straight lines.

Cutting the carpet to fold onto the board


Then we wrapped the carpet around, stapling it on the shelf’s bottom side with a pneumatic 20Ga stapler.

Carpet wrapped around to underside of shelf


Wrapping a small stub of excess material around each corner prevents bare wood from sticking through.

Tucking carpet around corner


We “troweled” the carpet adhesive onto the board using plastic knives and forks.

Finishing the bottom of the shelf carpet


Now our tools, emergency bag, and first-aid are out of the way and stay put. We use bungies to secure groceries and things on top of the shelf.

Shelf installed in Element trunk with bungies attached and emergency gear stowed below


Reclining the rear seats only slightly (as much as seen in the pictures) locks the board into position so it’s not moving as we drive.

Shelf installed in Element trunk with bungies attached and tailgate closed



Element Owner’s Club: Easiest Bed with Mass Storage thread

YouTube | Extremem Covers USA: Replacing Carpet in the Boat

YouTube | StudnickaAquatics: How to install boat carpet