Tuesday, July 25, 2017

DIY Rusic Hanging Shelf

Easy tutorial for how to build your own hanging shelf in 10 quick steps.  Home and patio décor to fit ANY budget!

Follow this great tutorial on how to create your own hanging shelf in any style you choose!

Source: DIY & Crafts Magazine

Source: Bukatron
I have seen these pins on Pinterest for so long but for some odd reason I've never thought to make them.  Where would I hang them? I love the way they look underneath pergolas but one small problem...I don't have a pergola.  Maybe next summer?

Anyways, one Sunday we took a family outing to Home Depot (Old School anyone?) so my husband could by wood he needed to make a shelf for our spare room.  Then it hit me, grab some wood while your here and finally make yourself those hanging shelves you've always wanted. 
(Disclaimer: I ended up using pallet wood for this tutorial but I use these same steps for my oak shelves). 

It was pretty cheap for one big plank of oak for our shelves ($8).  We bought a 10 ft. piece of lumber and cut it into two pieces to get double our money.  Cedar, red pine, and barnwood are where you start to get a bit more pricey, at about $24 a plank.  It all depends on your budget.  Oak is still pretty nice and you can always stain/paint for a barnwood look at half the cost. Click here for a great tutorial on nice DIY barnwood stain by Ella Claire.

So let's start out with supplies and materials you will need:

  • Wood (width and length are your choice)
  • Wood screws
  • Chain or heavy rope
  • For a chain option you will also need:
    • Metal wire
    • Wire cutters
    • Needle nose pliers
  • Wood Stain (I used MinWax in dark walnut)
  • Rag and gloves for staining
  • Power drill
  • Optional: miter saw or jig saw

Step-by-step tutorial:

1.) Determine what wood and size you want your shelf to be.   This time I used two pieces of pallet wood for greater width. 
I wanted a rustic feel to mine so I didn't bother cutting the edges to size (which is why I list a saw as an optional tool.  Not all of us have a saw on hand anyway so I always try to find ways around it).

2.)  Decide on chain or rope for your hangers.  This tutorial focuses on chain (but I note some alternative steps for rope too). Measure out your chain so you have two pieces of equal length.
If you buy your chain at the hardware store it's about $4 for 2 feet, but this price depends on what type of chain you want.  The price can go up for heavier chains. My chain was one single piece I had on hand from the thrift store so I had to cut it myself.  I used these tin snips below (they are great for almost any project you choose...and cheap).

3.) If you selected only 1 board then move on to step 6 in this tutorial.  To join two or more boards next to each other, stay with me on this step.
Find or cut cross beams for both sides.   

I always pick up scrap wood wherever I can so I didn't need a saw again.  Yes they are chipped, but that keeps with my rustic feel.

4.) Select wood screws that are the right length (I just hold mine up to the edge of my project as a rough guesstimate).
Drill down cross beams with 2 screws on each end (4 total).  If your shelf joins 3 planks together, then use 6 screws total (one for each plank).
5.) Flip your shelf around and secure boards more tightly with screws drilled into back of the cross beams.

6.)  Staining time.  Once all your pieces are in place, put on some gloves, grab a cloth rag, and stain to your liking.

I chose to use this stain below in dark walnut

If you've never stained before have no fear.  It's easier than painting and almost impossible to ruin.  The DIY Network has a great tutorial for staining if you need it. Just go HERE.
But really, it's just as easy as wiping a coat on with a rag or old t-shirt in the direction of the wood grain and wiping off any excess.  The longer you keep the stain on, the darker the color will be.  That's all there is to it.

7.) Next, cut roughly a 4 in. piece of your metal wire to join your chain to the shelf.  Cut out 4 of these pieces, one for each corner.  I found my metal wire at the hardware store but you can buy this just about anywhere.  Look for something similar to this:

8.)  Decide which side you want for the top of your shelf.  I chose to put the cross beams on the top of mine. (I function better with visual tutorials.  Here's what I mean by using the cross beams as the top of my shelf...we haven't actually gotten to attaching the chains yet though)

9.)  Starting in the middle of your wire, wrap it tightly around the screw with either your hands or needle nose pliers.  Lightly tighten the screw back down.
TIP:  Take care not to over-tighten the screws or it may snap your wire.
Repeat Steps 8-9 for all four corners.
If you chose rope, no need for wires! Drill holes all the way through your shelf and tie the rope underneath to secure it.  I've added a link to The Home Depot site here, they have a really good tutorial for rope shelves.  Check it out for extra help if you need to!  Another bonus, you've finished one step early.  No need to complete Step 10 for rope shelves.
10.)  Back to the chain link.  Now that you have secured your screws back into place, there should be about 2 inches of wire left hanging out.
Using your needle nose pliers, wrap this wire a few times around the 1st link in your chain until fully secured. 

Complete steps 9 and 10 three more times for all 4 corners of your shelf.

Now comes the fun part.  Find a spot, either outdoors or inside to hang your new DIY shelf! 

I used mine outdoors for the summer.  I am hoping to bring it back inside during the winter months to reuse it in another thrifty fashion. 


The possibilities for these shelves are endless.  Use them to hold your flower pots like I did or come up with another inventive idea.  Place some lighted mason jars on them, use for an indoor herb garden in your kitchen, as bathroom storage, or to display picture frames, whatever you need!
Source: Martha Stewart

These are so quick and easy don't stop at just one.  Tweak the tutorial to include a multi-shelf option too.

Source: meninas

Depending on your style, needs, and supplies chosen, you can make these shelves fit ANY budget!  And get them completed in under an hour. 

Good luck Thrifty Sister!

Leave a comment on how your DIY experience went.  Extra tips you've discovered, lessons learned, or just more ideas on hanging shelves!

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