DIY Reclaimed Wood Shelf

Charlotte@Living Well on the Cheap  —  June 6, 2011 — 9 Comments

A few months ago Nick and I were walking in our neighborhood and happened upon a neighbor who had put a pile of old, cypress tongue and groove floorboards on the curb, free to anyone interested. I picked the sturdiest looking one and figured I’d find something cool to do with it. Nick thought I was crazy, but dutifully carried it for the rest of our walk.

Months later, I was still waiting for inspiration to strike when I saw this…

Industrial Chic Reclaimed Wood Shelves |

The lovely Ana White, always inspirational, has outdone herself this time with an idea so simple even I can do it.

Since my board is only about three inches wide, I decided to use 2″ corner brackets. A pack of four (with screws included) cost me $4.68 at Home Depot. I’ve been lamenting my lack of a studfinder for ages so I picked one of those up as well for about $15.

Here’s the area where my new shelf was destined to live. I’ve been wanting to replace the small white shelf with something a little more proportional to the wall for months. The five foot long floorboard is perfect.

I marked the location of studs in my wall using my new studfinder and a pencil (p.s. studfinder is not as easy to use as I expected). Next, I sanded any rough or splintered spots on the old board and wiped it down, then used painters tape to mark where the brackets should be attached. I wanted the board to be centered on the wall and for the brackets to be equally distanced from the center, so I knew I probably wouldn’t be able to put both brackets into studs. I settled for just one, and based the spacing of my brackets on that measurement.

I held the brackets up against my board and marked where the screws should go, then pre-drilled the holes at an angle (it seemed like the right thing to do so I could attach a bracket on both top and bottom without the screws running into each other.

So far, everything was going great. I was feeling like a DIY goddess.

I marked where the screws needed to go on the wall, pre-drilled my holes, and hung my new awesome shelf up to admire…

Uh-oh, spaghettio.

Oh snap I majorly miscalculated on that one. Can you see what’s wrong? The bottom brackets are like an inch away from the wall. I’m not gonna lie, I was pretty annoyed. I walked away for a few minutes and when I came back, it didn’t seem like such a big deal. I just removed the bottom brackets from the board and screwed them in flush with the wall. I decided not to drill them into the board again for fear that I’d split the wood with so many holes so close together. So the board merely rests on the two bottom brackets and is attached with screws to the two top brackets. Note to self not to put any heavy books up there.

I styled it with the same items as the old shelf, only more spread out, and added an 11×14 canvas that I’m planning to adorn somehow, as well as an adorable silver pear I got at Z Gallerie last weekend ($6!)

I can. not. wait. to reupholster those wing chairs.

This was all done right after work on Friday, so I spent the rest of the weekend admiring it and figuring out what to do with that canvas. Can you believe that I went to two estate sales and a flea market on Saturday and didn’t buy a thing? I was shocked. I had some pretty specific things that I was looking for and didn’t find them and didn’t see anything else that absolutely had to come home with me. That’s pretty much unheard of for me because I have a hard time walking away from anything I even moderately love. I think I must be getting picky in my old age.

Charlotte@Living Well on the Cheap


9 responses to DIY Reclaimed Wood Shelf

  1. In some ways it looks even better than the PB shelf—nicer rustic board. However, if you would have painted the brackets black it would almost a dead-ringer :-) On the other hand, sometimes it’s really nice to put your own spin on an inspiration idea. I just used some old rustic boards and tree branches we’d cut from our apple tree years ago for some knock-off PB/Ballard Designs inspiration too. It’ll be up soon on my site. Come take a visit and sign in :-)

    • Charlotte | livingwellonthecheap September 10, 2011 at 2:23 pm

      Thanks! I thought about painting the brackets black but decided I didn’t mind the silver finish so best to keep it simple!

  2. Where did you find those brackets? I looked at Home depot, but didn’t find anything.

    • Charlotte | livingwellonthecheap March 6, 2012 at 7:58 pm

      I got them at Lowe’s but not in the area where shelf hardware usually is. They were in the hardware section I believe. Maybe try asking someone to help you find metal corner brackets?

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