Industrial Pipe Shelves ||Reveal + Tutorial||

Hi, All! I'm thrilled to finally be sharing this crazy fun and super big project with you today! If you're an Instagram friend then this post might be a little anti-climatic since I've been sharing pictures of these shelves for the past couple months. I decided to wait until after the holidays to post about our new industrial build, so we've had a bit of time to grow into it. You may have seen pipe shelves before - I've seen folks build small ones in bathrooms, as well as over entire walls as more of a 'built-in' look. Here is our version of these fabulously industrial shelves:

Aren't they rad?! We previously had a china cabinet on this wall which I enjoyed refinishing in a beautiful Duck Egg blue. But, as the kids got a little older it wasn't a practical piece for us and I needed way more open storage. I shared a few inspiring pictures of industrial shelves with Matt, he loved the idea, and we got to work almost right away! Building this was WAY easier than I had expected, and I'm going to show you how right now!

Let's have some fun, shall we?

First, we measured our wall and created this digital design of what we wanted to build. I wanted room at the bottom shelf to slide a stool or two under to use as a make-shift desk for our kids.

Then it was time to gather the supplies! I kid you not, gathering all the pipes and pieces for this project took longer than the actual build. I highly recommend calling your designated hardware store ahead of time and asking them to check their stock of each piece! Here's what we came home with:

Supplies pictured above:
3 x 24" 1/2" pipes
3 x 18" 1/2" pipes
3 x 14" 1/2" pipes
24 x 12" 1/2" pipes
3 x 10" 1/2" pipes
18 x 1/2" elbows
16 x 1/2" tees
6 x 1/2" flanges
Supplies not pictured above:
5 x 60"x16"x1" Pine Panel Boards
7/8" hole saw bit
Wood Stain for the boards, (we used Kona by Minwax)
Metallic spray paint for the pipes, (we used Rustoleum Oil Rubbed Bronze)
Lysol wipes to clean the pipes


Once you have all of your supplies home, you'll want to clean the grease and oil off of the pipes before you spray paint them. Just give them a good wipe down with Lysol wipes, let dry, then spray them. Once the pipes are dry, it's time to build! Work from the floor up:

Following our digital design, we just started threading everything together like a good old fashioned erector set! At this point we have not screwed anything into the wall or floor. The pipes and fittings were screwing together so tight and were so incredibly sturdy, there was no need to anchor anything until we got up to the very top.

The panel boards, which we pre-drilled the holes on, just slid right over the vertical pipes, and rested on the horizontal 12" pipes with the elbow supporting the side closest to the wall.

Once we got to the top, (and again, at this point nothing is anchored to the floor or wall, but the sheer weight and tightness of it all kept it so sturdy), we used 3 x 14" pipes threaded into the top three elbows, (seen in the picture below without the pipes), and then threaded the other end of the 14" pipes into the flanges. We then screwed the flanges directly into the wall for additional security. The bottom flanges are just sitting on the floor, not screwed in. It's really not necessary once you see how sturdy the structure is.

A view of the finished product from the middle. It really was a quick build! The prep work took a bit of time, (gathering the supplies, cleaning and spraying the pipes, staining both sides of the boards and drilling the holes), but the actual structure went up pretty quick!

These shelves have been so much more functional for us. The bottom shelf is completely stocked with kids' activities and supplies and now that they're out in the open, we are doing way more activities together. That is such a gift in and of itself!

I hope if you ever want to give these shelves a go that this tutorial is helpful for you! Please don't hesitate to ask any questions you have! One discovered bonus to these shelves versus actual built in shelves is that these are transportable! If we ever move from this home, we'll be able to bring these with us, (and we can always add on if need be).

Thank you so much for stopping by and have a wonderful weekend!