These shelves in my office hold all of the inventory for my Etsy shop, plus whatever else I like to keep handy in the desk area, like my postal scale, gift wrap, fabric stash, etc.
The only problem is that when I put them up last spring I used these crappy pegboard shelf brackets that were A) too big, B) not level, and C) completely unsturdy. I solved the size issue by putting a small piece of wood behind each shelf to increase the depth. The sloping and sturdiness issues I just tried my best to ignore. It was only mildly disconcerting that every time the washing machine would enter its spin cycle on the complete opposite side of the house everything on the shelf would vibrate as it sloped toward me.
Finally, last week, I’d had enough. I took everything down from the shelves so I could rehang them properly.
I got these 8″ zinc coated braces in the hardware aisle at Lowe’s for just under $5 each. I was thinking I had four shelves so I bought eight of them, but now it’ll be kind of exciting when I get to return two of them for $10 back. It’s like free money. They’re definitely very basic and utilitarian but I like it. The finish is actually rather pretty–very shiny–and they are super, super sturdy (hence my decision to use only two brackets per shelf as opposed to the four crappy ones). I got some screws for them, too, only because I wasn’t positive I would have enough of the right size screws at home and I figured it’s always good to have extra screws on hand. Altogether I spent about $50 ($40 after I return my extra brackets).
Then, I just mounted them to the pegboard along the same wood strips that secure the pegboard to the studs. Make sense? Back in March we screwed the wood strips to the studs, then the pegboard to the strips. Now these 1.5″ screws go through bracket, pegboard, strip, drywall, and stud to hold these babies nice and sturdy. I measured the distance between the holes at the store to make sure they would line up perfectly with the pegboard holes, and they did.
I think maybe the reason I didn’t do this in the first place is because the strips are not perfectly symmetrical. The one on the left is scooched a little further in from the edge of the pegboard. But even looking at it head on like this it’s not something you notice right away. There also may have been something in my mind about the whole point of pegboard being that you can move things around easily so my shelves should be easily moved, but obviously sturdiness trumps portability in this case.
The whole thing took me about an hour, and I even had time to touch up the paint before Jack woke from his nap. Here’s a shot of how the shelves looked when I first hung them a few months ago:
Since the new brackets are more appropriately sized I ditched the extra pieces of wood at the back. They just looked sloppy and actually would have made my new shelves less sturdy. It’s amazing how much less I feel like I could die at any moment sitting under these new shelves. They are also much less in my face than the old ones, which were not only about half an inch lower but came out several inches further from the wall and sloped toward the ground. And despite the shallower storage area all my stuff still fits and it actually looks like I’ve got plenty of room to go shopping for more stuff to sell. The only thing I don’t like is that I had to turn that fabric bin on the bottom left sideways to fit and now I miss the little silver grommet and want to do something to jazz it up.
I like that the look is sort of industrial. It’s a nice contrast to some of the more traditional elements in the room, like the slipcovered sofa and fireplace with mantel, not to mention all the vintage stuff on the shelves. Speaking of my vintage wares, I didn’t notice how sparse my inventory was looking until I put it all back up there! I actually have kind of a lot of stuff listed right now but I guess a lot of items are small or stack atop one another to store really compactly. Looks like it might be time for me to introduce Jack to the wonderful world of estate sales! Or leave him home with Nick on a weekend morning so he doesn’t get bombarded by all the ladies wanting to ooh and ah at him. Plus, that way I’ve got my hands free to scoop up more pretty things in need of rescue, haha.