DIY Industrial Built-In Shelving

DIY Industrial Built-In Shelving | Dream Green DIY

This project got started thanks to one of those elusive light bulb moments. You see, we happen to stare at this one particular wall in our living room quite often since the TV cabinet sits right in front of it, so my mind tends to wander through all sorts of artistic possibilities as we lay back to catch up on The Good Wife or Parenthood—maybe I should move that clock over an inch or two, or maybe I should take the wallpaper all the way across, and what on earth can I do to hide those cables?

One such evening, it occurred to me that the niched drywall was actually the perfect spot for a set of handmade industrial shelves. And thus, we lost a weekend to multiple trips to the hardware store and hard DIY labor. Want to devote your own weekend to the project? Here’s how to make it happen.

DIY Industrial Built-In Shelving | Dream Green DIYDIY Industrial Built-In Shelving | Dream Green DIY

Supplies

  • 10 1/2 in. flanges
  • 10 1/2 in. x 12 in. galvanized pipes
  • 10 1/2 in. galvanized pipe caps
  • Power drill
  • Drill bits
  • Manual screwdriver
  • Stud finder
  • Level
  • Pencil
  • Wood, (dimensions will vary depending on your taste/situation; ours were 12 in. deep)
  • Minwax Stain in “Dark Walnut”

DIY Industrial Built-In Shelving | Dream Green DIY

DIY Industrial Built-In Shelving | Dream Green DIY

Start by screwing the caps onto each of the galvanized pipes and set them aside. Then, use a stud finder to find and mark all of the studs in your wall with a pencil. It’s especially important to find the studs and drill right into them for this project since the industrial materials are heavy, as are the books and accessories you’ll put on the shelves once they’re complete. Continue the process down the length of the wall, making sure each mark is level with the one beside it.

DIY Industrial Built-In Shelving | Dream Green DIYDIY Industrial Built-In Shelving | Dream Green DIYDIY Industrial Built-In Shelving | Dream Green DIY

Pre-drill holes into the marked wall and studs using an electric power drill and drill bit, and then screw the flanges tightly into the wall. Use a manual screwdriver if necessary to get the hardware started and then finish with the power drill. Complete the supports by screwing the exposed, threaded end of the galvanized pipes into the flanges now attached to the wall.

DIY Industrial Built-In Shelving | Dream Green DIY

Sand down the wood for your shelf and give it two coats of stain. Allow the stain to dry for 24 hours, and then place the shelves on top of the galvanized pipes. Since the cast metal flanges are all inherently unique from one another, there may be some inconsistency in angle. If this is the case, you can try unscrewing the flange from the wall and turn it 180 degrees, then screw it back into the wall. This may help to reorient some of the more sharply angled pipes and allow the wood to sit levelly.

Finish by styling your shelves with books, potted plants and your favorite trinkets.

DIY Industrial Built-In Shelving | Dream Green DIYDIY Industrial Built-In Shelving | Dream Green DIY

DIY Industrial Built-In Shelving | Dream Green DIY

Now that it’s all done, I can definitely understand why industrial details seem to be all the rage these days—especially in the DIY realm. I think because the materials are fairly affordable and accessible to the “average Joe,” and because the process is manageable, even if you possess nothing but the most basic of handy-man skills. Now, when I stare at that wall each night I think only the most satisfied of thoughts—it’s finally finished and perfect.

DIY Industrial Built-In Shelving | Dream Green DIYDIY Industrial Built-In Shelving | Dream Green DIYDIY Industrial Built-In Shelving | Dream Green DIY

P.S. The winner of the custom subway art print from Sweet Sycamore has been announced! Was it you? Find out here.

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