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I am thankful for a mama and daddy who taught me how to use power tools, sand and stain a piece of wood, hammer a nail, patch a hole, and paint a wall.
I feel like them teaching me these things from a young age helped foster my independence, as well as my do-it-myself attitude, and it allowed me to develop a love for creating things with my own hands. It’s just a really good, proud feeling when you can point to something and say, “I made that.”
That is why I desperately wanted a fixer upper when Justin and I started shopping for a house earlier this year. I desired more than anything to get my hands dirty and build some sweat equity in our place.
We have an exhaustive list of things we want to do to our home — most of which we hope to do ourselves or with the help and expertise of family — but these DIY industrial farmhouse shelves were part of the laundry room refresh we tackled immediately after moving in. You can read all about that fun but drawn-out project here.
Sure, I could have found some great shelves at most any big box store I shop at, but that would have taken all the fun out of making something myself. You know, that whole “I made that” factor I talked about above.
I scoured the Internet for different how-to guides to help influence my own creation. I landed on a few I liked and ended up developing my own supply list and instructions based on those.
Supplies for DIY Farmhouse Shelves
Measure the space where you want to place your shelves to determine how wide they need to be, how deep they should be, and how many you want or need. We bought a 2 x 10 x 12 piece of lumber at Lowe’s and had them cut it for us into six 2-foot boards. We used two of the boards in the laundry room and will use the remaining ones throughout the house.
You can use a sander if you have one, but I don’t. So, I buy sandpaper sheets and do it by hand. Very fine, 220 grit is recommended for this project.
My go-to stain is the Minwax Weathered Oak. I have used it for multiple projects and love the color it gives the wood.
You will need a brush or rag for staining. I prefer sponge brushes.
I opted for the simplest, cheapest brackets I could find at Lowe’s.
Directions for DIY Farmhouse Shelves
Quickly sand wood boards to smooth out any rough spots (pay attention to the edges and ends of the wood).
Stain your boards according to the directions on the can. If you’re applying multiple coats of stain, you might want to lightly sand your boards between coats. That’s what I did to create a more beat up and rustic look.
Measure your board and figure out how far apart you want your brackets to be from each other, and then attach them. Attach the brackets so that there is equal space left at each end of the board.
If you are constructing more than one shelf, make sure to measure and make note of the distance between the brackets when you attach them to your first shelf. You want your second shelf (and so on) to have brackets in the same exact spot as the first so they don’t look off when you hang them.
Prepare your wall for the shelf (or shelves) by locating studs in your wall. If you can screw your brackets into studs, great. If not, you will need to use anchors.
FYI, we used wall anchors and didn’t bother finding studs because we wanted the shelves centered over the dryer.
Once you have found your studs (or not) determine where you will place your shelf. I had my husband hold the first board against the wall with the level on top of it while I stood back and eyed it to make sure we got it exactly where we wanted it.
While still holding the shelf against the wall with the level on it, we marked the screw holes of the bracket with a pencil so we knew exactly where the anchors needed to go.
Place your anchors in the exact spot you marked on your wall.
Then, hold your shelf against the wall again and drill the screws into the anchors to attach your brackets to the wall.
Bam! Your first shelf is done.
If you’re adding more than one shelf, I recommend starting from the bottom and working your way up. You will want to leave adequate space between each shelf so you have ample room for tall decorations you might have.
To add another shelf above the first one, repeat steps 3-6.
Decorate and enjoy your creation!
I hope you enjoyed this quick and simple DIY project. I can’t wait to share more posts like this as my husband and I get even deeper into home renovation.
Do you have open farmhouse shelves like these in your home? How do you style them? Let me know in the comments below.