Industrial Chic Reclaimed Wood Shelves

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Industrial chic shelves made of reclaimed wood, inspired by Pottery Barn Blacksmith shelf. Save money by building your own shelves from reclaimed pallet boards and brackets.

This week, following our vacation, I've really been in "okay, things just need to get DONE already!" mode. 

 So I've been concentrating on finishing up a few projects that have been "just about done" for quite some time. You know what I'm talking about. 
It was months ago when I first spotted Pottery Barn's Blacksmith Shelves, and thought, I want those! Of course, without a Pottery Barn for thousands of miles (the closest in Canada . . . or maybe Russia? For the record, we cannot see Russia from our backyard, even when this sort of thing isn't going on in . . .

photo by Mark McCready
Anyway, it's much easier and less expensive to just head over to the hardware store to get me some Reclaimed Wood Industrial Chic Shelves.
And of course I had to rob a few boards from Pallets - but all in all, these shelves cost about $8 each.  That's a $60 savings from retail PER SHELF - more if you include shipping and handling and taxes and all that other fun fun stuff.  Plus you made it - and you just can't buy that feeling of accomplishment.
I built two for the entrance into my office, but am so pleased with the results, I just might have to build one more.  I've got alot of fav stuff that keeps me passionate about what I do.
This paint brush has been with me from the beginning. Time to show a loyal friend some love after all these years!  
Most people have candy dishes in their offices.  I've got a jar of Kreg Jig screws.  Be polite, only take ONE when you visit - I'm quite greedy about my screws  :)
My very first magazine feature from Woman's Day.  I'm sortof weird about press and stuff.  I keep meaning to frame stuff like this . . . but I feel like it's just stuff, and I'm way more proud of our readers and their work than anything else!  To me, the greatest accomplishment is helping someone.  You can't know how much you inspire me!
And one more thing that I show everyone that steps foot in my house (sometimes I even carry a few in my purse, I'm that obsessed) are these plywood swatches from Columbia Forest Products.  Not only is the wood fabulously beautiful, but the core is made of PureBond glue - a soy based glue free of formaldehyde. So there you have it, a few of my treasures!
If you'd like to make your own Industrial Chic Reclaimed Wood shelves, the plans follow.
You can make your shelves any length, but will need to place brackets at 36" intervals. If you are attaching brackets to studs in the wall, place brackets at 24" intervals (for studs spaced on 24" centers) or 32" intervals (for studs spaced on 16" centers)


Shopping List

4 Brackets like these (comes from four pack)
8 - 1x6 Board, 36" long
Picture hanging kit or 8 screws for attaching shelves to studs in walls
Common Materials
3/4 inch screws
Cut List

1 - 1x6 @ 36"

Tape Measure
Speed Square
Safety Glasses
Hearing Protection
Circular Saw
General Instructions

Please read through the entire plan and all comments before beginning this project. It is also advisable to review the Getting Started Section. Take all necessary precautions to build safely and smartly. Work on a clean level surface, free of imperfections or debris. Always use straight boards. Check for square after each step. Always predrill holes before attaching with screws. Use glue with finish nails for a stronger hold. Wipe excess glue off bare wood for stained projects, as dried glue will not take stain. Be safe, have fun, and ask for help if you need it. Good luck!


Step 1

Attach brackets to shelves as shown above. I placed mine on the ends, but there is no reason why you couldn't place your brackets inset.

Step 2

Then position your shelves on the wall and mark the screw hole locations. Use either a drywall anchoring system or screw into studs in the wall (just like you are hang a photo) to hang the shelves.

Finishing Instructions
Preparation Instructions
Fill all holes with wood filler and let dry. Apply additional coats of wood filler as needed. When wood filler is completely dry, sand the project in the direction of the wood grain with 120 grit sandpaper. Vacuum sanded project to remove sanding residue. Remove all sanding residue on work surfaces as well. Wipe project clean with damp cloth. 

It is always recommended to apply a test coat on a hidden area or scrap piece to ensure color evenness and adhesion. Use primer or wood conditioner as needed.


Guest (not verified)

Wed, 06/01/2011 - 16:30

With all due respect Mrs Anna, this project is like a chef teaching me how to make a peanut butter sandwich. LOL....

In reply to by Guest (not verified)

Ana White

Wed, 06/01/2011 - 16:43

You know, I just wanted these shelves for myself, and hadn't intended to post, but they just turned out so good, thought I'd share! Thanks for the laugh! And I do make a mean PB&J LOL!

Guest (not verified)

Wed, 06/01/2011 - 16:49

I don't think you have to bust out all the stops with each project you feature. Some people need something simple with which to start.

Keep up the good work - I personally like PB&J myself. ;)

Guest (not verified)

Wed, 06/01/2011 - 20:06

Thanks for the photos. I don't have a place for these but I am going to look for one. Thanks for the inspiration.

Guest (not verified)

Thu, 06/02/2011 - 06:01

You can easily just spraypaint the brackets and the screwheads with some flat black paint to make them look like the "blacksmith" part of the Blacksmith Shelf. Thats highway robery to charge $70.00 for that shelf. And people will pay that too.. what ultramaroons (as bugs bunny used to say..) Keep the ideas coming Ana!!


Thu, 06/02/2011 - 11:37


Yes, highway robbery that price for those shelves! I love to spraypaint metal things with my oil rubbed bronze spray paint. love love that stuff...I have a perfect place for these shelves. Thanks for the PB&J! SO needed and the photos are inspiring. As always, you & your plans pretty much rock my stars! THANK YOU!

Tsu Dho Nimh

Thu, 06/02/2011 - 13:14

Ana - Russia or not, something is burning over there! You have forest fires?

And I love the unapologetically industrial look of the shelves.

Guest (not verified)

Sat, 06/04/2011 - 16:57

Just so that I'm not over thinking, when you attach the boards to the brackets, you're only screwing down through the top right? It's probably a dumb question since the screws would run into each other on a properly aligned set of brackets.
Just answered my own question. LOL oh deductive logic..

:) (not verified)

Thu, 06/09/2011 - 08:53

I would actually put a couple screws in the boards to be safe, because if someone bumped into a corner it could push the board out from between the brackets and everything would come tumbling down! There are usually two screw holes per bracket so to keep the screws from running into each other I would either screw one from the top and one from the bottom or you could do them just from the bottom or just from the top. Just my two cents!

Love ~*it*~ here (not verified)

Thu, 07/28/2011 - 08:38

I like this idea it reminds me of the IKEA metal shelf going for 25-30 bucks great idea

diana (not verified)

Wed, 09/21/2011 - 16:34

I've been wanting to take all my bookcases apart and use the sides and shelves on the wall, about a foot or so from the ceiling. I've been trying to find the most economical way of doing it. I've looked into wall brackets, wall upright standards and brackets- all very expensive (for me) but this is perfect. Not only economical but very cool looking. Now to decide on surface treatment for the shelves to age them- or brighten them! maybe crinkled kraft paper- leather look treatment.

I guess I'll have to spend more time here hunting.
Thanks for this- glad I found you.

Guest (not verified)

Sun, 10/23/2011 - 04:37

Just an idea here....

Use "Hammerite" spray to pre-spray the aluminium brackets. They will look like wrought iron and have the oldey-worldey feel some might prefer in their living rooms (think Restoration Hardware)

Just an idea.... let you know - I'm about to try it myself!