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How to quickly make Pottery Barn inspired scrap wood shelves

How to quickly make Pottery Barn inspired scrap wood shelves

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Today I want to show you how to make simple wall shelves from scrap wood. These are perfect shelves to create a picture gallery display, show-off collectible plates, store spices, or house craft paints and canvas’s.

My daughter is an artist and a photographer. When she moved into a small apartment, space to craft and do her thing was her biggest challenge. Did I also mention she is a struggling 23 year-old artist? Going out and buying any type of storage system just isn’t realistic for her.

So what’s a mom to do, you ask? She gets her tools out and makes her a couple of shelves.

Welcome to June’s Pinterest Challenge: How to make a simple shelf from scrap wood

The Pinterest challenge is a fun way to do something from the gazillion pins you have. Erlene from is our host and invites participants to take a pin to make, create, or bake something and then share it with you.

My inspiration came from this image that I would love to give credit to original source; however, when I clicked on the image to go to web page, it had nothing to do with this shelf. Downside to Pinterest.

I was pretty sure I had the scrap wood necessary to build this. The goal was to not spend any money.

How to build your own Pottery Barn style shelves from scrap wood

Step 1: Collect scrap wood and cut for farm style shelves

If you are a DIYer (Do it Yourself kind of gal) you most likely have a collection of scrap wood. I happened to have some 1x5s, 1x3s, and 1x2s scraps.

Now, this may be pretty hard for some of you to accept. I took the longest scrap piece and made this the length for the other two pieces. In other words, I did not have a plan for how long my shelves were going to be; I just based it off the lengths I already had. Gasp!

To ensure you have a straight edge, you may need to trim each end prior to setting the desired length. I used a miter saw.

Remember to use protective eye gear when you cut your wood.

Cut all three pieces the same desired length.

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I repeated this step with some more scrap wood pieces.

Step 2: how to attach scrap wood for Pottery Barn shelving

For this step I used a nail gun and Gorilla wood glue.

First add a line of glue to the outside edge of bottom board (1x3) then align the back (1x5 piece), press and add nails.

Repeat process for the front piece (1x2).

Wipe any of the glue that may seep through.

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Step 3: How to paint scrap wood shelves for a farm style distressed look

Because these shelves were made from scrap wood of varying materials, it made the most sense to paint them.

I used chalk paint but you could use acrylic or latex paint.

Begin with a dark base coat. I chose black.

Let dry. Using the dried brush technique lightly add the white. In some places you may want it heavier than in others. If you find it too heavy you can always take a damp cloth and wipe off some of the paint. Continue process until you like what you see.

Seal the paint with either wax or with chalk paint matte sealer (which is what I used).

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I left the bottom a solid color.

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Step 4: How to safely hang wood shelves

It wasn’t until we were at my daughter’s apartment that I realized this step is a challenge for those who have never done this before. Hopefully this will help.

For this step you will need a level, drywall anchors and screws, pencil and a Phillips screw driver. If you have a cordless screw driver it will make things a bit easier.

Hold your shelf up to where you want to hang it.

Place the level on the shelf and with your pencil, mark a line along the top edge.

Find a good place to add holes in your shelf. CAUTION: do not do this with shelf on the floor or you will end up with holes in it. Now take a screw and with the screw driver (or cordless) drill into the back side of your shelf: one at each end (check out picture to see where we added ours).

Hold your shelf where you have marked your line. Place a screw into each hole and gently press into wall. This will mark the spots for your drywall anchors.

Remove shelf and screw in your drywall screws where you have marked each one.

Once again place shelf along the line. Add a screw and make sure it too is aligned with the drywall anchor. Add screw and repeat on the other side.

Here’s what they look like in my daughter’s apartment bedroom.

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DIY scrap wood shelf to store craft paint supplies

She loves them because it stores her craft supplies within easy reach. And they look good (wink).

I love them because they were easy to make, didn’t take long, and didn’t cost me anything but time.

The fun thing about these Pottery Barn inspired wood shelves is that you can paint them any color to fit your home decor style.

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Now let’s see what everyone else has made, created, or baked this month!


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