You may have noticed this exact industrial shelf (pictured below) that made a little appearance on the cover of the Leon’s New Looks for Less flyer back in March. Well guys, I am here to show you how to build this awesome shelf! It’s such a transitional and versatile piece—perfect for a classic red brick loft or a fun and energetic kids room.

I have been inspired by the industrial decor trend for quite some time and have always wanted to build my own industrial shelving to incorporate into my home. I had no idea what to build, so that lead me to researching some of my favourite inspirational shelving and that’s where I came up with a simple industrial pipe shelf design for Jack’s bedroom.

Jack’s room (pictured below) lacked proportion between large scale and small scale furniture, simplicity and rhythm between all of his belongings. Ideally we needed to add more shelving to display his endless amounts of books and toys but in a unique fun way. AND the amount of stuffed animals Jack owns is out of control, he literally has a stuffy zoo! Thankfully I have the stuffed toy collection under control, and you can see how I organized them with a simple DIY solution here! By mixing a variety of different metals, wood tones and other finishes, Jack’s room feels more interesting, energetic and layered. It’s a space that reflects his personality and will continue to grow with him… But lets be real, if I allowed him to pick a theme it would most definitely be everything John Deere. Three year old’s sure have an opinion about many things!

Related: Teen Boy Bedroom Reveal

The great thing about this DIY is that the industrial shelf can be customized to fit perfectly into the space you have in mind, and you can even adjust the size down the road. The material list below is for a shelf that is 4′ wide x 5 1/2′ tall and 17″ off the wall. It’s fun and easy to make yourself. $300 to DIY versus spending over $1000 to buy!

Material List


2 – 1/2” x 2”
4 – 1/2” x 6”
4 – 1/2” x 10”
14 – 1/2’ x 12”
4 – 1/2” x 14”
4 – 1/2” x 18”
2 – 90 degree elbow joints
18 – T’s
6 – flanges

4 Pieces of wood: 

2 x 12 x 4 ft. long
1 can of spray paint
1 quart of stain

If you are a visual person like me, this picture diagram might make a little more sense!

DIY Industrial Shelf Building Steps

The great thing about building this industrial shelf is that the frame is built in two pieces which makes it easy to build and move. It’s completely adjustable to fit perfectly into any space.

Step 1: Clean the pipes before building and painting. Wipe with lacquer thinner to remove oil and dirt, this will help paint adhere to the piping.

Step 2: Start by laying out all of the parts as if they were already screwed together, this will keep you organized in the building process.

Step 3: Each piece of piping will screw into each other *you may need some strong muscles to secure the joints or a pipe wrench and bar clamp (pictured below). Start by building from the bottom and work your way up.

 Step 4: Once both frames are built, I hung them up and applied three light coats of paint. I used Tremclad Rust Paint in Black semi-gloss.

Step 5: Prepare your wood boards. I purchased 4 pieces of spruce wood measuring 2 x 12x 4 ft long, your local lumber store can custom cut for you. *This is where you can customize the length of the wood to fit desired space.

Step 6: Apply your desired colour of stain onto the boards using a soft cloth. (I used Cherry Minwax Stain). After stain is dry, apply three coats of polyurethane, sanding between coats. Step 7: Once the frame and wood boards are both dry you can begin by placing your shelf in desired area. Place the wood boards onto each of the horizontal pipes.

Step 8: The final part is to screw flanges into the wall. Make sure you screw the top flanges into the studs in the wall, or use an anchor to secure the pipe shelving if there is no stud available. I also screwed the bottom flanges to the floor (I would only recommend doing so with carpet).

Once the shelf is built and stabilized, its just waiting to be styled with your favourite things… In this case, Jack’s favourite things!

Here’s the final styling of Jack’s industrial shelf. All of his John Deere tractors, books and stuffy’s are now sitting pretty. He is one happy boy and I am one happy mom with the end result!

Thanks for reading. What do you think about the Industrial Furniture trend? Would you ever try making your own shelves? Let us know if you try this DIY out! 

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