The new bookshelf

Everyone, I have an announcement  My husband is the man. He created that eye-candy piece of a gem up there in our home the other day, and can I just tell you that I absolutely love it? I do. I absolutely love it. I mean, just look at it! It's beautiful! And it honestly makes out little space feel so much more finished and refined. I couldn't be more pleased with it's arrival.

The idea started when Ty saw a similar shelf in a Restoration Hardware catalog, and I remembered seeing an episode on HGTV where one of the designers built one. A little bit of google research, measuring and calculations later, we had ourselves some plans. The project sat on the back burner for a few months, always mulling in our minds. And then one day a couple weeks ago Ty announced he was going to build the shelf. To the store he went; the supplies he bought. And the rest is history. Sweet sweet, great-shelf-in-my-house history. Here's a little breakdown of how we did it if you wanna bring this bad boy to your house too.


We used 1/2-inch galvanized pipe from Lowes. It also comes in 3/4-inch and 1-inch options, but I thought the thinner pipe looked more sleek and classy. Also important to note, we used all pre-fab sized pipe. You can, however, have pipe cut and threaded to your specific dimensions if you wanna wanna. But we opted for the pre-sized stuff cause it seemed to fit our wants nicely and it saved us a few pennies in the process. Here are the rundown of pieces you need for a shelf unit just like ours:

3 x 30" pipe sections
9 x 18" pipe sections
12 x 10" pipe sections
15 x wall mounts (the priciest pieces at $7 a piece)
9 x T-coupling pieces
3 x elbow pieces
3 cans of Rustoleum spray paint in matte black

NOTE: It's important to consider what shelf depth and wood you would like to use on your shelf before you begin buying materials. Less expensive woods (like pine) can be purchased in pre-fab depths of 8", 10" and 12" (our shelf is 10" deep). But other, harder woods like walnut or oak come standard in 5" and 8" depths and can also be found in 12" depths if you are up to do a bit of looking. You can always have boards cut down, but if you don't have a saw already it will be an added cost to have them cut at the hardware store.

Construction method:

1. Wash the dickens out of those pipes (they have this gross film on the outside that definitely needs to take a hike before you start painting). Clean off all the stickers; we used goo gone to be sure all the sticky goop was gone. Then allow the pipes to dry thoroughly.

2. Paint the pipes. I set up a large-newspapered area in my garage, including a newspapered section on the wall so I could lean the pipes upright and turn them as needed between coats to get full coverage. I did three light, even coats, and did a few touch ups as necessary. When painting, it's best to keep the layers thin to avoid dripping and pooling. Plus, that way, everything will dry faster. After painting, we let the pipes sit for about 48 hours to be sure they were good and curated before assembling.

3. Assemble the pieces as shown in the first photo of the post. From the ground up, the three front sections go like this:

wall mount>30">T coupler>18">T coupler>18">T coupler>18">elbow>10">wall mount

Once those are assembled, screw the remaining 10" pipe pieces into the open T coupler holes on the front sections (these 10" pipe pieces are what the shelves rest on). Then attach the remaining wall mounts to open ends of the 10" pipe sections you just attached to the front sections.

4. You will now have three completed upright pipe units that you will screw into the studs in your wall, making your completed, sturdy shelf base. Then just slide those boards into place and voila! The amazing book shelf has materialized! Our top shelf is currently just floating there, so feel free to add bottom shelf securing devices if that worries you.


Annie said...

how very creative, me likey!

Sk said...

This is just what I've been looking for! Did you guys screw the base into the ground? Thanks for sharing!

Nicki Clark said...

Hey Sk! We didn't secure the base to the floor. We just placed some black felt between the base piece and the floor (I cut a circular piece so it's hidden), and it's worked great :) Happy building!

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