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DIY Industrial Pipe Shelving

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Who needs a wine cellar when you can have custom, industrial, exposed storage like this? Pipes are a key aesthetic accessory for the industrial vibe, so when decorating a couples’ apartment that was a combination of hard metal and modern glam, I couldn’t resist marrying the styles in this DIY Pipe Shelf wine display.

While 100% doable, this is a light construction project, so if you are not experienced with the tools or procedures involved, phone a friend or call in a professional for help. BUT, there’s also short-cut tips which I talk about below AND we got away with no pipe cutting!

Prep It!:

Iron pipes (in the lengths of the height and depth of your desired shelves)
Pipe fittings
Pipe elbows
Flanges – the flat pieces that fit to the wall or floor
Screwdriver
Wood boards to be used as shelves
White paint 

Do It!:

  1. While this is a construction project, the most important step is planning! Plan the exact height and depth you want your shelves to be, including where they will be positioned on the wall. When you have planned (and I highly recommend diagramming, like we did above) everything, determine what length pipes you need for your shelves. Shortcut tip! We were able to get away with not cutting any pipe by buying little bits of pipe to fit in and get our desired lengths and heights – if you look closely at the photo of the finished shelves, you’ll see little two inch pieces with extra joiners above the shelves which helped us not have to cut any metal! Phew! We did have to cut down the wood to the depth of shelf we want but another Shortcut tip! is that you can buy pre-made shelves and design your pipe shelving around those!
  2. We used 14″ for the height of the shelves, and 6″ for the depth. This was specifically catered to the purpose of holding wine. Traditionally, shelves are about 8″ to 12″ deep. Both online and in stores, there are many different pre-cut lengths of pipes that you can use to assemble your shelves. If you like the look of these shelves but don’t need to customize them, it’s also worth noting that there are kits to make them with all the pieces and dimensions included!
  3. We assembled our shelves to be on top of the sideboard, so it was important to have the dimensions correct so the bottom flanges would be flush to the furniture and not hanging above! If you are creating shelves like this, make sure that you have measured everything precisely before you start drilling into the wall! If you are making free-standing shelves, there is a little (little little!) more leeway.
  4. To assemble your shelves, screw the longer pipe nipples into the fittings to create the length of the shelves, then screw in the shorter pipe nipples into the bottom of the T fittings to create the tiers.
  5. At the top of your shelf, screw on an elbow that will create the curved top. Screw in the shorter pipe nipple to the other side of the elbow to finish building the bulk of your shelf.
  6. Attache flanges to the uncovered ends of each shorter pipe, where they will be attached to the wall. Also attach flanges to the bottom of the shelf where it will be placed against the sideboard. (Or, if you are making your shelves freestanding, use an elbow like in step 5 on the bottom as well.)
  7. Use a power screwdriver to attach the flanges, and thus the entire pipe structures, to the wall.
  8. At some point, paint or stain the wood pieces that will be your shelves white, and let dry!
  9. When your pipes are secure to the wall, slide the painted and dried wood boards into place as the shelves.
  10. Decorate, and enjoy your DIY industrial chic shelves!

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