Industrial Open Shelving

Open shelving is nothing revolutionary in the blog world, it’s popped up all over the place for a little over a year now- and for my 1920s cape home it fits in perfectly.

Our dining room focal wall was missing a little pizzaz, so I put up four shelves to help fill in the space a bit and I’m super in love with how it turned out.


This could be a really inexpensive update to a home (standard brackets, 1×6 or 1×8 stained board) but I wanted a very specific look so all in all this cost me just over $100 (for 8 brackets, 2 2×6 boards, and stain). Installation was still very, very simple though.

First, I used a laser level and painters tape to mark out the shelves- and I stared at that painter’s tape for about a week to make sure it was exactly how I wanted it. I also got a little lucky because my amazing geometric mirror (from a Habitat for Humanity restore) really marked out my lines for me: the mirror is divided into quads, and each quad has a marked middle as well. My shelves line up with the middle of the quads. Boom!


Each shelf is 28inches long, so I bought 2 10-foot 2×6’s and cut them down (with some scrap wood to spare). It was important to me that the shelves be hefty looking, but not stick out super far from the wall. I sanded each board down to slightly round all the edges, then gave them each a hefty coat of Minwax Jacobean stain. YOU GUYS. This is my new all-the-time-stain stain. It’s so rich and lovely looking without overpowering the grain of the wood. As my dear friend Emily Henderson* would say it is very, very good. (*She has no idea who I am.)

Keeping the brackets spaced out 1 inch in from the end of each board meant I didn’t have any studs to work with, so I used some very heavy duty anchors- I think each one can hold something like 75 pounds and none of these shelves is more than 15-20lbs total (brackets included). I bought these brackets from Etsy, and HIGHLY recommend the seller- quick to respond to questions and really nice quality work.

The shelves are mainly for beauty purposes, not practical use, so I understand I’m going to be dusting a lot and I fully accept that responsibility. I already have a colorful rug in the space so I wanted to keep the styling mostly clear glass and natural elements.

I bought 5 mini ferns from Amazon, and 4inch pots from Michaels, then everything else I gathered from around the house.

Wait- do you not decorate your home using a real coyote skull and brass knuckles? Weird….

The frames and champagne flutes were from our wedding, the line of glasses belonged to my great aunt, then the rest is just odds and ends.

DIY Industrial Shelving from Sandpaper and Glue blog.png


If you love the look, I’d love for you to pin it!

Feel free to comment with any questions 🙂


3 thoughts on “Industrial Open Shelving

  1. Pingback: DIY Rolling Crate | Stephanie Marchetti | Sandpaper & Glue, a DIY and home decor blog

  2. Those brackets are fabulous! And I like how your mirror helped you out with your measuring–such a helpful mirror 🙂

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