When I was a little girl, I wanted to be a librarian. Visiting used books stores and using my baby-sitting money to buy books was one of my favorite things to do. Today, I still have a lot of those books. My Baby-Sitters Club series I know is a hot commodity. I just hope Reagan likes those books too or I have saved them all these years…to just save them.
When we settled in this house, we knew we wanted to get some of the books (that had been boxed up from two moves ago-when we moved out of our first home) unpacked. We needed shelves to make this possible! After thinking through different designs and furniture options, we came up with this industrial open shelving solution.
It is in our foster care bedroom, which is a smaller room. There’s only really one wall option for the daybed, which left one possible wall for the shelves. We worked around a closet, and I want to share our process so you can create these shelves too!
Supplies needed for each shelf: (The length of wood or the amount of each item is up to how long your shelf may end up)
- 2″ x 8″ boards
- 1/2″ x 8″ black iron pipe (in the plumbing section)
- 1/2″ black iron cap fitting (in the plumbing section)
- 1/2″ galvanized floor flange (in the plumbing section) we got the galvanized because I liked the contrast with the black iron. You can get which ever color you like.
- 2 1/2″ Screws
- Drywall Anchors w/Screws (Or whatever anchor you need for your type of wall)
We started by painting the wall. I painted it the same wall color of our boys bedroom. Matt then checked for studs in the wall. Our house is an older house, so our wall was a little warped. This made it a little difficult to measure. Once Matt had found the studs that is how we decided where to place the floor flanges. Matt started with the top shelf and lined up the floor flanges with the studs. These shelves are heavy, before you even place anything on them. Make sure to properly anchor them to the wall. He turned the floor flange so that two of the holes would line up with the stud. For the other two holes he used Drywall anchors. The anchors, of course, need to be installed prior to attaching to the wall studs. Once all the holes were lined up and the drywall anchors were installed, he drove in the screws.
The shelf seemed a little crooked at first. Keep in mind you are working with wood that could be warped, so look for the strongest/flattest boards when picking up your supplies. This can take some time and patience. Big box store wood is usually crappy but if you dig through the pile you can find some good pieces. Also, keep in mind the boards may settle a little once there is weight on them. Finally, once all of your shelves are in place and staged, it is very difficult to spot minor imperfections.
Once the floor flanges were in place, it was as simple as screwing in the iron pipe and then screwing the iron cap in place.
We placed our shelves the same 18″ apart. This step is totally up to you. I wanted room for tall books, decor, and to still see some wall which is how we came up with our distance. Matt completed the same process on the two lower shelves. Once we had the pipes in place, it was easy to tell how long our boards needed to be cut. We cut them and placed them on the pipes to be sure it was what we wanted.
This is where we realized the pipes we had bought did not look right. We started with the 10″ black iron pipe, but ended up returning them for the 8″. If you buy the 8″ pipes than you wont have the large gap in your shelves. What we also realized is that the threads on the pipe will not screw all the way into the flange or the cap. Below you can see the difference in using the 10″ inch and 8″ pipes. Of course you could purchase 2″ x 10″ wood to give yourself a wider shelf. That’s what I love about this shelf system, it’s totally customizable.
I was not sure what kind of color I wanted to make the shelves, so we tested a few out. Since this room is a little smaller with only one small window, it tends to feel darker. I painted the walls a light, light blue and decided to keep the shelves light as well. I thought if the walls and shelves were lighter overall, I could add pops of color for fun but still brighten the room up a bit in the overall feel. I ended up going with Rust-oleum’s Driftwood Stain. I love it!
I used a sponge brush and painted the boards. I let the stain sit for a while and then I used an old t-shirt to rub the excess stain off.
Once the stain was dry, we put the boards in place. I loved the look, but decided I wanted one more shelf. I opted for it to not go any lower, so the kids were not at arms reach. We did something a little different and ended up turning around the corner and adding another shelf out of the middle of our current series.
I love how it turned out! I even got most of our books out on the shelves in the process. I plan to switch out the books in the basket (on the floor) with new ones from the shelf or kids room, so our kids can be regularly reading/looking at books but not having to try to get them off the shelf themselves.
Since this is our foster care bedroom and we don’t know the exact age or gender that will be with us at any time, it was a little hard to know how to decorate the room. I love to make things personal, but I figure decorating the shelves can easily change once the room is in use. I used a few signs, stuffed animals, plants, and other little things to decorate the shelves around all the books. It made a sweet little reading corner, don’t you think?
I’m so excited at how fun this little corner turned out while still being very functional. We rocked all three of our babies in that rocker, and now it’s in a room where we hope to love on more kids that come into our home.
I have such a thing for mixing colors, and I just love that the shelves have the galvanized, black, and light stain coloring all incorporated. You can easily modify this shelf colors to fit your taste too!
When you walk in our front door, this room is immediately to your right. I love that it looks like a fun, welcoming spot. We all love to sit in there already. Matt called it my library the other day, and my heart smiled. This room will hopefully get lots of use.
What do you think? Do you have a place in your home that could use some fun, industrial type shelves?
Do you still have your childhood books as well? Please tell me I’m not the only one! Hoarder alert 🙂
I hope you’re having a great week-thanks so much for stopping by!