Looking for an easy weekend project?
It’s hard to believe we’ve already been in our new house for two months! I’m still just chugging along, finally have unpacked the vast majority of our things and now working on organizing and decorating. We kept our powder room pretty much the same as when we moved in – but there was a space above the toilet that I really wanted to add some accent to. I’ve kept my eye out for a rustic shelf set that would work, but I couldn’t find anything I really loved within my small budget. Then it dawned on me – why don’t I take a stab at making my own?
I had an idea of what I wanted in mind, nothing too deep, and I measured the space (30″ wide), so I wanted something about two feet centered in the wall. With that in mind, I took off to Home Depot to check out the lumber yard and I found an 8 foot 2″x6″ board for under $6.
Great! I knew this would work perfectly – I asked a Home Depot associate to cut the board for me into 4 equal sections (yay no power tools needed!). I didn’t really need all 4 pieces, but you can’t really do anything about that – plus I figured if something happened to a board I’ll at least have a backup. Next, I swung by the actual shelving aisle and picked up 4 brackets to use to mount the shelves. I went with these that are just under $7/each.
The last supply needed is a good stain, which I happened to already have at home. I love the Minwax PolyShades line because it’s a one step stain and finish combo. I used Honey in Satin finish. Don’t mind the drips, it’s for dramatic effect.
Staining + Assembly
I used the two scrap boards as a platform to apply the first coat of stain. Minwax suggests a 6 hr wait between coats – so factor that into your project timeline. In this particular case, I only needed two coats applied with a chip brush ($1.20 Home Depot) to get a desirable finish on the shelves. I like to use the chip brush because they are cheap enough to just throw away. I have no idea how to clean brushes with this stain on there – it’s very oily. After two coats, the shelves turned out a deep brown with a satin finish that I just love! I can’t stress how much a one-step product really makes things so much easier.
The final step before hanging is attaching the brackets and I tried this two ways. First, I attached one bracket to the wall and then tried relentlessly to get the other bracket level on the opposite side and get the shelf attached with everything level. This took up WAY too much time and then I realized THERE MUST BE AN EASIER WAY!
So the easier and probably more common sense way to tackle the hardware/hanging is to attach the brackets FIRST. I did this for the second shelf and *PHEW* it was way easier. I eyeballed where I wanted the bracket placement. The shelf brackets were just slightly wider than the 6″ shelf, so I made sure they were attached about 0.5″ in from the front edge of the shelf. This means the back of the shelf does not rest flush against the wall. This did not matter to me at all – but if you are looking for a flush mount, be sure to find brackets that fit the dimensions of your shelf without overhang.
Tip: Make sure you attach the brackets equally distant from the front and side edges. I drilled the hole on the board 4.5″ in from the side and 0.5″ in from the front. Repeat for all 4 brackets.
Hanging + Decorating
To hang, you’ll need a drill (to attach the shelf, and later the wall), a tape measure, and a level. Determine the center of the wall using a tape measure and then measure how many inches from either side of the ends of the wall the brackets need to be placed. After lining everything up, the brackets are attached very easily with a drill. This part is a two-man job since it’s very difficult to hold the shelf level while drilling into the wall.
I just love how these turned out and they add just the right amount of charm in my powder room. Total cost – Wood ($5) + brackets ($20) = $25 for two!