{DIY} Steel Shelves... | Little House of Four: {DIY} Steel Shelves...

Monday, November 18, 2013

{DIY} Steel Shelves...

Last month my husband and I loaded the kids in the car and went for a day trip to the eastern shore.  We went just over the Bay Bridge to check out some houses/property (no, we are not moving) and to grab lunch at Cracker Barrel.  This gave me some time to finally catch up on reading the large stack of magazines that has been piling up on my living room ottoman.  While flipping through the Lowe's Creative Ideas catalog I came across DIY shelves made out of galvanized pipes.

Aren't they neat?  I instantly knew I wanted to build similar shelves for Owen's room.  I liked the ones in the catalog, but they were a little too large for his tiny room.  So, going off the picture as my inspiration I headed to Home Depot to pick up my supplies. 

Here's what you will need:

(4) 3/4 x 10" black steel pipes
 (4) 3/4" black steel caps
 (4) 3/4" black steel flanges

Total for all items: $46.76

You will also need two boards for the shelves.  I had an extra piece of wood leftover from another project that measured 58 inches.  I just cut the board in half to make (2) 29 inch shelves eliminating the need to buy wood.

First I measured and marked where each flange was going to be screwed into the wall.  I added drywall anchors that hold up to 50lbs a piece to ensure the shelves were sturdy.  After all, these are going in a kids room and I didn't want to take any chances.  If you are able to screw into the studs you probably won't need the extra support.

(I know they look uneven, but I promise they are not.  I had my little helper to keep everything straight)

Once all the holes were measured and the anchors were hammered into the wall it was time to screw the flanges to the wall and attach the pipe.

 Then screw on the caps

Now that the supports were up I headed outside to cut my board.

Since my board measured 58 inches I marked off the center then used the chop saw to cut it in half.  I really should have used a different saw, but considering I have never used another saw I made the chop saw work.  I just cut one side then flipped the board over to cut through the other side.

 Once the shelf boards were cut I sanded the edges then used Minwax Jacobean to stain each board.  I love this color because it's dark but also allows the grain of the wood to show through.

I applied the stain with a sponge brush, let it sit a minute then wiped off the excess.

Once the stain was dry I cleared coated the boards and let them sit outside overnight to dry.

I could not wait to put everything together in the morning!

My deer head finally found a home...or so I thought!  Owen hates the deer head and has since made me take him down.  Seriously, how can you hate the deer head? 

I just used items I had laying around the house to decorate the shelf.   I'm sure it will not stay this way as I find new things to display. 

I filled an old mason jar with some of Owen's match box cars that he rarely plays with. 

Remember last weekend when I went to The Vintage Market and the Pink Cabbage?  I bought these adorable antique cars from the Pink Cabbage for $6.00 a piece.  They are actually a Christmas present for Owen.  I had to sneak them into his room to take pictures then quickly take them out to hide until Christmas.

This project was really fun and actually extremely easy to build.  Putting together Ikea furniture takes way more effort and time than building these two shelves. I promise!

You can check out the rest of Owen's room here


  1. great project, and I like yours better than your inspiration photo!

  2. I like how you made the design your own! It looks great (and very sturdy!)

  3. How are the boards fixed to the pipe? I like this take on the pipe shelving, I'm just worried my crew would knock the shelf off the pipe...

  4. The pipes are just sitting on the board. This method may not work if you put the shelves at a level that the kids can get to them. I put my shelves high enough on the wall that my son can not reach them. They are very sturdy to the wall though, so I don't have to worry about them falling down if he decides to try and hang from them :)

  5. Thanks for sharing! I'm looking for all sizes of steel racking to store any kind of load.