Well folks, I am pretty proud to say that this project was accomplished within a few days with only 1 or 2 days of inclement weather preventing me from starting. I think this project seemed much more overwhelming than it really turned out to be. However, I find that most projects end up being much easier once I just get started!
So I had been wanting build in/floating/mounted shelves all over our home for quite some time. The thing is, I drive a Mini Cooper now. No longer being able to haul the amount of stuff I could with the Cadillac has really put a slight damper on the amount of thrifting, project starting and grocery shopping I can accomplish in one trip. In fact, I have to go pickup Shauns month worth of dry cleaning today and I'm slightly concerned as to how I will be able to bring it all home. So the other day when Shaun said he needed to go to Lowes for some things (as much as I am a Home Depot girl at heart) I jumped at the opportunity to go along. I ended up buying the wood from Lowes, having them cut it for me there and then getting the brackets from Home Depot. I was thrilled to actually have the items I needed to build my rustic craft room shelves!
So here is what I ended up using to create my rustic shelves:
1-1x8x8 Select Pine Board
6-12 in. x 8 in. Black heavy duty shelf brackets
18 drywall screws and anchors
2 cans of stain
(and a ceramic owl to watch over your building supplies when you're not there)
Not pictured are the small can of ebony stain and the drywall screws that I already had at home that I also used. Sorry I'm not very good at the setup pictures! I used 2 cans of stain because I wanted a weathered/darkened look and the redwood stain that I got was just too modern/red looking for me.
Let me show you how insanely easy and basic this project was:
First and foremost, measure the wall where you want your shelves to be. Locate your studs with a stud finder if you have one so you can see where your brackets will be mounted. You can use heavy duty drywall screws if it comes down to it but if you have a place where the studs are centered it's much better for the integrity of your shelves!
Now you can distress your wood
This is a great project for older kids or little brothers to help with. Basically you're just destroying that perfect beautiful looking piece of wood. Some people may want to look away now if you love the clean finished look of a hunk of wood.
let me tell you, he was all about this!
Next step is staining. Putting down a plastic tarp is best for this step but Shaun threw away all of our tarps because he just loves throwing things away. So instead I just used a couple pieces of old poster board and it turned out just fine.
On the right you can see the color of the wood with only the reddish stain. On the left is the red stain plus one light coat of the ebony. I ended up going back and adding more ebony stain to the one furthest to the left just to give it a slightly darker tint. Also, because this was the middle of the day the intense sunlight makes them look much brighter than they are. You can't actually see all of the crazy claw marks as well when they are inside. They actually look more weathered/worn as opposed to freshly hacked at with a hammer!
Next steps I asked Adam to get a shot off but instead of taking pictures he just kind of stood there watching with the camera. So you'll just have to follow along with your imagination if you can. It's really not too difficult since it's just mounting brackets but you want to be very careful. If you have already premeasured like you're supposed to, figure out where you want your lowest shelf bracket to be and screw one screw into the bracket and the wall. Next use the vertical part your level to make sure the bracket is completely straight. screw in the bottom hole while the bracket is completely straight.
Once you have done this, place your board on top of the bracket you have already attached to the wall and hold the other bracket where you want it to be, use your level to make sure the shelf is completely straight and screw in the top hole of your bracket.
If you're like me and changed your mind on what wall you wanted your shelves to go on halfway through the project and now only have one stud to mount your shelves on, you will need to use drywall anchors here. Instead of screwing the bracket in, mark with a pencil where the top hole is, remove the bracket, drill a small hole in the wall and then screw in your plastic anchor. You can then line up your bracket, screw it in, and then repeat by vertically leveling the bracket and doing the same with the bottom hole.
Now you can measure how far up you want your other brackets to go and repeat the process. I took into consideration that my shelves were 1" thick and made the brackets 3" apart from each other vertically so there is a couple inches between them.
Then, my favorite yet sometimes most frustrating part, staging the whole thing! I always find myself stealing things from other rooms of the house. Things that I love but just don't work well where they are always get a new life when I find a place for them here.
This display will change throughout the upcoming months and years. I've already added a few mementos that mean a lot to me that make it extra special.
Also as a disclaimer, my dad did come over and help me put the 1st shelf in, then he left quickly so I couldn't wrangle him into building the other 2 and so I could make sure I did it myself. I'm proud of those shelves even though they are a simple DIY and something that anyone can do. It is really one of those things that had I known it was so simply and enjoyable to create I would've done a long time ago. Now if you'll excuse me I'm going to go build shelves for the rest of my house now!