I DIYed These Shelves For $70, So Just Call Me Joanna Gaines Already

April 1, 2018

Happy maybe spring! 


A while back I completed my first ever successful DIY project: hanging shelves in my living room! *Takes a bow.* The walls seemed so empty and I had wanted shelves for a while, but everything I found on the interwebs was stupid expensive. I needed five to six of them, and there was no way I was paying $40 a pop for each one. 


Hmm. Could I actually just buy wood from the home improvement store and do this myself? Honestly I had no choice because I gave myself a $100 budget, so it was either destroy my apartment attempting to just do it solo, OR not have any shelves at all. Obviously you know what I chose because I gave myself away already! 


Here's an after pic of one side of the living room:



Here's the process, step-by-step, with as much detail as I have the energy to explain:


First things first — the supplies: 

  • Lumber; I measured how long I wanted each piece, and then asked the Lowes peeps for help picking the best wood for staining and that involved the LEAST amount of maintenance (you know, cuz I am lazy). Once I picked the ideal dimensions (I went with 1" thick) I had the wood cut to the perfect size. Literally, it's that easy. $30 for six, 3' pieces of wood.

  • Small can of wood stain. $5 

  • Brushes. $5 

  • Ugly metal brackets (12; two for each shelf for hanging). $12 ($1 each)

  • Metallic black spray paint for the brackets. $5 

  • Two sizes of screws: 1 inch for hanging, and 1/2 inch for drilling brackets into wood. $8 

  • Plastic tarp for staining. $4  

  • Gloves for staining. $3

  • Sanding paper. $5

TOTAL: ~$77


Step 1:

I first sanded down the wood to even the texture and get it ready for staining. I asked Lowes if I needed any type of primer and I was told no since I won't be using the shelves as I would a table. I honestly don't know anything so I had to ask a lot of questions.



Step 2: 

Next I stained the wood using the brush. It's pretty straight forward, I used a generous amount until it was evenly coated. Then I let each piece dry for a couple hours. 


Step 3:

While I waited for the wood to dry, I spray painted the brackets black because the gray was honestly hideous. 


Step 4:

Once everything was dry (took about three hours), I marked a dot 7" in on each side so I'd know where to drill holes for the brackets. It's really all a measuring game at this point, so taking time to get everything right was key. I used a drill bit to drill in the wall first before just sticking screws in it all willy nilly. I used the small screw to put the brackets into the wood and the longer screw to attach the shelves to the wall. It was seriously that easy! Just measured everything out, checked that it was even and leveled, and started drillin'. 


Here's the final result!!! 


 And that's all folks. 










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