Monday, August 31, 2015

Industrial Shelves

We bought a house just over a year ago. If you know me I am super, duper slow at decorating a room.  I gather items one at a time, little by little, slow as mud.  It takes me forever.   This project has been in my mind for over a year now, planning and saving and waiting till the right time. Everyone else has had their room decorated but my little boy.  He has waited and waited, as the pile of stuff I have been collecting in his room kept growing and growing.  I'll be honest, it was a mess.  It was hard to even go into his room sometimes.  He had an old book shelf and an old dresser and they were just taking up space.

We finally had some time to get his room done.  I am so happy with how it turned out.  Plus these shelves are more than I could have hoped for.

This project took a lot of planning.  You have to take so much into consideration.  Not just the height and width that you want, but you also have to consider where the studs are in your walls, and what length of pipe you want, etc.  I had drawn out a sketch of what I wanted months ago.  I googled other posts for ideas and found some really great ones that I loved but most of the shelves were built on hardwood floors (which obviously we don't have.  We have carpet and I wasn't willing to take it out so we had to figure out how to attach it to the wall to make it sturdy.  Most of the other shelves I have seen attach at the floor and also at the top of the wall.

These are some of the websites we took our inspiration from:

Industrial Shelves for Boys Room - Beneath My Heart

Restoration Hardware

These were great inspiration, but not exactly what we wanted so we designed our own, something that would fit in our house.

My sons room is long and fairly narrow.  The dresser and book shelf made it a tight fit for his bed and not much room to play.  We wanted to install a shelving system to take the place of his dresser and bookshelf and also give him a place to sit and color or do homework.

The first thing to do is figure out how big you want your shelf.  We wanted it to run most of the length of the wall.  We opted to use 2" x 12" boards and 3/4" galvanized steel pipe.

Then you want to really go over your plan.  I had drawn out this plan months ago.  Then my hubby and I sat down and talked it out for about 3 hours one night.  We thought we had it all figured out, till we got to the store and starting piecing pipe together and then we spent another 2 hours in the store figuring out a different route since it looks nice on paper, but it's a little different when you have your boards and pipe in front of you.

We chose to use pre cut pieces.  I didn't want the hassle of having to have them cut.  Though,  Home Depot does cut them, if you choose that route.

The 5 main pieces we used were straight pipe, 90 elbow, T's, and nipples (which is just a rediculous name for a shorter piece of straight pipe) and flanges.

Before you start assembling your pipe, measure your board, drill the holes that the pipe will go through, and stain or paint them.  It's easier to have your boards ready to go before you assemble your shelves so you aren't painting them after you put it together.

We measured 2" in and 2" back and drilled our holes.  Our studs are 16 inches apart.  So the length of our boards were 4' 4" and 8' 4" to make up for the 2 inches that we drilled in for the hole.

The other thing you will want to do is remove all labels and wipe off the pipe.  When we started working with the pipe our hands were black from dust/dirt.  I just used a little vinegar and water to wash them off.

Then lay out your pieces and start assembly.

Since we couldn't connect our shelving unit to the floor, we choose to connect it to the wall under the 2nd shelf (our 8 foot shelf).  We used a T fitting, then a 4 inch nipple, then another T fitting, then a 2 inch nipple, then the flange.  This way, all assembled it was the length of the width of our board and we connected it to the stud in the wall.

The good thing about the pipe is that you can adjust the length by tightening or loosening the pipes at the joints, and it is still very sturdy.

When you start building  your shelf you will want to make sure everything is level.

For the next shelf up, just to support the shelf, we used a T fitting, a 6 inch length of pipe and an elbow.
Keep building your shelf till you get to the top and then attach to the studs in the wall above the shelf.

Once we got the shelf put together we got to put all of our sons stuff away.  It looks so much better now without the dresser and he can reach all of his clothes.

Every kids room needs a swing in my opinion and since his sister got one, he needed one to.

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