Saturday, January 17, 2015

New Year, New...Shelves?

Is that a sexy title or what? Shoot. I don't even have a good segue...

As you all know, I am not super crafty, as evidenced by the exactly 1 craft post that is currently on this blog. However, I am really excited about the shelves I put together for our "beverage center", and by "I" I mean my husband and I. I was the creative genius, he was my "implementer", so to speak. Anyway, I think they turned out really well and totally fit in to the "industrial farmhouse" vibe we are going for. Note: I didn't know that was what it was called, but apparently my more decorating-trend-savvy friends pegged the look.  :-)

While not exactly cheap to put together (I spent $90 on supplies, not including the wood, which we had in the garage), they look really cool:

They weren't that hard to make, once I figured out what I needed, so let me walk you through the process, and save you the hour I spent at Home Depot figuring out sizes and lengths and numbers of each item needed.

Supplies needed for each shelf you want to make:

4 -- 1/2 inch floor flanges (I used black steel for these)
2 -- 1/2 inch 90 degree elbows
4 -- 1/2 inch X 2 inch steel pipe nipples (yeah, I know. I laugh every time I see the label, too)
8 -- #10 X 1/2 inch screws
8 -- #6-32 X 1 1/2 inch hollow wall anchors

First, using 2 of the flanges, 2 of the nipples and one of the elbows for each bracket, screw the pieces together  like so:

Tip: It's a little tricky screwing them together so that the flanges are level and straight. It might take a few tries.

Here's a photo of the screws and anchors, in case my written descriptions were less than understandable: 

In terms of shelves, I guess they could be as long as you wanted (these are pretty hefty brackets), but because they are heavy, you want to be careful of what you put on them, especially if they are not attached to studs when you mount them. We had some extra wood that was actually perfect in terms of width and length, so I didn't even need to trim them, but what I did not realize until my husband started to put them up is that the corners weren't exactly square. What can I say? I'm more the creative type, not as concerned with details of implementation. Luckily, my husband is, so he made it work. Here's how the hanging of the shelves progressed:

Because the brackets weren't 100% level (hence my warning tip at the beginning) we (my husband) thought it would be better to put the brackets up first, then attach the shelf.

Before you start drilling, hold one of the brackets up into position, then use a pencil to mark the spots where the holes should be drilled.

Another tip: If there is a pocket door behind the wall on which you are hanging the shelves, make sure that 1) your screws/anchors don't impede the path of the door and 2) you keep the door out of the wall (i.e., closed) so that the drill bit doesn't hit it when you are drilling the screws in (learned that one the hard way...)

And there you are! Cool looking shelves.

To paint the wood itself, I just used glossy red spray paint, after first sanding and wiping down the wood. I let the painted wood dry for a couple of days, just to be sure, because I didn't want to take a chance that it would smear on the wall at all.

Let me know what you think! Or if you have any questions. Happy building!!