How does the price compare? A 10-foot length of pipe costs between $4 and $20 (for electrical conduit up to copper, black, and steel pipe) and each flange/fitting will set you back around $2. Compare that to around $2 for 10 feet of PVC pipe and 50 cents for each joint (or less if you buy in bulk), and the savings add up substantially! (The prices may vary a bit geographically, but across the board, PVC is nicer to your budget than metal pipe, and the savings more than offset the cost of the spray paint!) Here’s Corey to show you how to create an awesome, custom industrial shelf without using up your kids college fund:
DIY Industrial Shelf Using PVC Pipe
by Corey of Sawdust 2 Stitches
Hey all, this is Corey visiting from “Sawdust 2 Stitches”. I am quite certain I have a problem… You see, I will look at a space and start to brainstorm ideas. Innocent enough, right? Well, the only problem with an innocent brainstorm is that it typically turns into a full scale, category 5, hurricane. Undoubtedly, I will be up to my elbows in paint at 3 a.m. (If you are nodding your head in agreement, take comfort in the fact that you are not alone.)
I was sitting on the floor, staring at this wall. Not exaggerating. (If something bugs me, I will sit and stare at it until I figure out what is “off” and then come up with a solution.)
Granted, this space wasn’t that bad, but it wasn’t great, it was just, blah. It lacked the “wow factor”.
Gorgeous right ? Well, for $5,998.04 at “Nuevo Living” it better be gorgeous! (Can you believe that is the “Special Price”?) Since I don’t just have that chunk of change collecting dust, I needed to find an alternative solution.
At that particular point in time I had been on a little bit of a P.V.C. pipe kick and had some leftover material from my “Light Fixture” and “Bed Canopy”. So, I marched downstairs to the garage and returned with my bucket of PVC. After playing with a few different possibilities, I was able to create some dimensions I liked. The rest is history. Right around 3 a.m. I was crawling into bed with this awesome shelf sitting in my upstairs hallway.
So if you have a “problem area” this may be just what you need, and here is what you will need to do it:
- Rubber Mallet
- Sand Paper
- Saw (I would suggest a Miter Saw)
- 1″ Paddle Bit
- Sander (Suggested)
- Spray Primer
- Metallic Spray Paint
- 2×10 wood planks (Amount varies by project size)
- 3/4″ PVC pipe (Amount varies by project size)
- “T” PVC Joints (Amount varies by project size)
P.V.C. pipe is AWESOME. Why?
- It’s cheap!
- Adaptable to nearly any space or design.
- Again, it’s cheap! (In my book that should count twice.)
Overall this is a fairly inexpensive, easy do-it-yourself project!
Bad news? You will need to create your own personal blueprint to accommodate your space.
This project is about 75% prep work…
Step 1: Think it through
Take the time to map out your dimensions! Unfortunately the whole “measure twice, cut once” logic applies. Once dimensions are established you can get started!
Step 2: Sand
Using a piece of “fine” grit sand paper scuff up the entire exterior of the PVC pipes, joints, and elbows.
Step 3: Cut
Using a miter saw cut the PVC down to predetermined measurements.
Step 4: Prime
I began by putting together my brackets. (It’s easier to spray them this way.) When priming I HIGHLY suggest using a gray spray primer. It quickly and evenly coats the pipe. Added bonus: Since it is already primed a darker color, it will make top coating much easier.
Step 5: Paint
I used Rustoleum’s Oil Rubbed Bronze. (Remember several light coats, as opposed to one heavy coat. This way you avoid drips!) Next, exercise patience and let it dry COMPLETELY.
Step 6: Prep Wood Planks
While the PVC pipes are drying, get started on the wood plank shelves.
For the shelves I used 2×10’s, in varying lengths. (You will need to adjust the length of the shelves to fit your own needs.)
I used a 1″ paddle bit to drill holes that would allow the PVC to fit through it.
Step 7: Sand and Stain Wood Planks
Sand the boards and then stain them. (I used Jacobean by Minwax.)
Step 8: Assemble!
This was my favorite part, assembling the puzzle! This is when your blueprint will come in handy.
Slowly but surely it started to come together. Might I suggest using a rubber mallet? Sometimes making the pieces fit together required a little “finesse.”
Breathe easy, you’re done! I love that it is totally and completely customized! It creates that old-meets-modern feel of the industrial pipe shelving for a fraction of the cost!
So step back, open a can of cold Diet Coke and admire your new shelf!
Take luck, Corey
Amazing, Corey! Such a great way to get the look while saving some cash.
Head over to Sawdust 2 Stitches to check out Corey’s other projects, such as her industrial-style suspended shelves, $4 faux metal industrial signs, crib mattress porch swing, or the awesome indoor fort she built for her boys! And you Remodelaholics will love the space she calls her “craft room” — go pay her a visit!
READER FEATURE: Uncookie Cutter was inspired by Corey and built an industrial PVC shelf to work as a mantel on her brick fireplace wall — and it hides her TV cords, too!
Looking for more ways to create the industrial look on a budget?
Pallets and reclaimed wood are a good place to start:
And Just A Girl teaches you how to get that Restoration Hardware wood finish!
Browse around the hardware store (or craft store) for supplies like L angles
diamond plate panels
electrical conduit (the cheapest metal pipe material)
And don’t forget to watch for a good upcycle candidate, like this music stand tripod lamp!
Lorene has been behind the scenes here at Remodelaholic for more than a decade! She believes that planning projects and actually completing them are two different hobbies, but that doesn't stop her from planning at least a dozen projects at any given time. She spends her free time creating memories with her husband and 5 kids, traveling as far as she can afford, and partaking of books in any form available.