DIY Floating Pipe Shelves

So it has officially been almost forever since I have written a post. Mark and I have been really busy lately and I haven’t had time to write a post, but the good news is that a good bit of what we have been doing is “fun” projects around the house. The thing about me is that as soon as I get a project idea in my head, I act on it. This is probably a good thing because I actually follow through with what I envision, but I also devote all my free time to that project (and Mark’s free time) until it gets done.

The latest project we tackled was making some DIY floating pipe shelves. I wrote a post a while back on the makeover of our downstairs bathroom. Well, one of the walls (the wall you face when you sit on the toilet, with the door) was really bare but I wasn’t sure what to put on it. I considered a picture or shelves, but it wasn’t until my sister came the other weekend and said, “you could put some shelves there,” that I decided I should probably put some shelves there. And so our projecting began.

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I looked up some floating shelf ideas and fell in love with the industrial look of pipes holding up the shelves. We headed to Home Depot to pick up the few supplies we needed. I was really expecting it to be pretty cheap, but the pipe ended up being more expensive than I was hoping for. Still much cheaper than if we had bought the shelves/piping from Etsy or somewhere like that.

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I wanted two shelves so we needed a total of 4 floor flanges, 4 five inch pipe, and 4 caps for the pipe pieces. You could leave the pieces as is because the look of galvanized pipe is cool left alone, but I wanted to spray paint them black, so I picked up some Rustoluem Black Paint & Primer spray paint. I saw that Rustoleum had a “hammered” effect spray paint and bought that because I thought that would look neat over the black spray paint but when I sprayed it over top of the black you couldn’t tell a difference so I ended up returning it.

Just a tip: Before I spray painted the pipe pieces, I screwed all three pieces together (flange, pipe, cap) and spray painted them that way. It was much easier having them stand up and be four big pieces as opposed to 12 individual pieces.

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For the wood shelf, we had a piece of 2″x 4″x 8′ oak board cut into three pieces (although we only needed two of the pieces). I bought the 8 oz. container of Miniwax wood stain in “Early American” and used a cheap $2 brush to paint one coat on the wood. I also used a paper towel and wiped the stain as soon as I put it on the board because I didn’t want it to be too dark.

I’ll let you in on a little secret, it took three trips to Home Depot, all within one hour, to find the right stain color. I tried “Special Walnut” first (too dark), then “Weathered Oak” (too gray), then finally ended up on “Early American” (just right). Sounds like a real Goldy Locks story, huh? That third piece of wood came in handy when testing out all these wood stains :) I swear the door greeter at Home Depot thought I was insane for how many times I came into the store that day.

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Minwax 1 gal. Early American Wood Finish 250 VOC Oil-Based Interior Stain (2-Pack)

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Mark had the hard part of actually hanging the pipe pieces while I stained the wood (and went to Home Depot a million times for the perfect stain color). He used the blue anchors from this anchor pack to hang the pipe pieces. I had spray painted the tops of the screws black that way they matched the rest of pipe once they were screwed into the floor flange. Obviously, your measurements will be different than ours for the wall you hang your shelves on, but as a reference, I will tell you that our pipe pieces are 14″ apart from the middle of the floor flange (top shelf) to middle of the floor flange (bottom shelf).

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Once the pipe was hung, we just laid the wood board on top and voila! Floating shelves.

The fun part was scrounging around our house to find random decor that could go on the shelves before I go out and buy what I actually want on them. Hence the tacky toilet paper castle.

The total cost of this project was about $80-$90 and we had to purchase all the supplies. It may be a little cheaper if you already have some of the supplies (paint brush, wood stain, spray paint, etc.). The pipe was definitely what made this as pricey as it is, but I’m still really pleased with how affordable they are compared to the $150+ I saw them being sold for online. I’ve even contemplated adding a third shelf since we have the extra piece of wood, we would just need the extra pipe pieces.

This was a fairly quick project and only took us about 4 hours, including my three trips to Home Depot. So, if you are looking for relatively inexpensive, cute floating pipe shelves, I suggest this project. You can totally make it your own, painting the pipe and wood whatever colors you want and you can do it in one day!

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Also, just a heads up, I made some banana bread the other week and plan to make a post with the recipe in the next week or so. We are also working on another project in the house, but that will probably be a few more weeks since it is a little more involved than our typical projects.