Things I Make My Husband Build: Floating Shelves

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I know building things out of pallets is trendy these days (thanks, Pinterest), but that look isn’t very appealing to me. It’s just a little too rustic. And pallets typically stay outside, so the thought of what has crawled on them, or what they have been sat in, just makes me feel a little queasy.

When we were in Charlotte in late August for a camping trip with G’s family, we stopped by his dad’s shop on our way out of town so that he could take some pallet wood with him. He gashed his head open and nearly gave himself a concussion getting this wood, got home and after all that he decided not to use it for what he had intended. A few weeks later, I decided I needed shelves in the living room. Our living room has plenty of wall space, and in the year that we’ve lived there I’ve thought about shelving a lot. But I’ve never followed through because the perfect space for them is the wall where the thermostat controls and a light switch are. So, I just laid down on the floor, and just studied the wall. I thought about starting the shelves above the switch & control panel, but that was exactly why I kept changing my mind- I wanted them lower than that. I thought about putting them on the opposite wall. The space over there is perfect as well, but that wall is already pretty busy. Our black frame gallery wall would be on one end, and a white Ikea bookshelf would be on the other. Finally, I decided I was tired of my decorating ideas being held hostage by an eight inch area on a massive wall, so I just decided to work around the panel & the switch.

We decided on four shelves, at 48 inches long. We were hoping to use the pallet wood, to make this project pretty cheap, so we headed down to the garage to see what we had, and luckily we had enough for almost the whole thing. We had enough to do the front and the sides, and just bought another piece for the backs. We also bought a large sheet of ¼” plywood for the tops, and carriage bolts just to give it a little something extra.

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So while this project was fairly cheap, it did take a while. Since we didn’t want the wood to look like the gross, pallet wood we had, G had to plane it all down. Which took forever. And was messy. He filled one of those large black trash bags with sawdust, and a good bit of it is still all over the floor. It took about two days to get everything planed down, all the holes drilled, and the small wood pieces installed that would hold up the top piece.

Then it was time for staining. I love the look of stained wood, but unfortunately you never really know what you’re going to end up with. We used the same stain on all four shelves, and each of them are slightly different colors. I love the way it ended up, I think it gives it character. I’m just glad that all four are different, instead of one being the different and all four being the same. Staining was easy though. Then we added a coat of polyeurethane to protect them. We have no air circulation in our garage, so it took forever for them to dry! We let them dry for about four days and finally were able to hang them yesterday. And I am in LOVE. I love the warmth of the color. I love the wood grain showing through. I love the way the bolts look on the end. I love that since this wood did come from gross old pallets, it has a lot of character. You can see the original nail holes and funky spots in it, and I think it looks pretty cool.

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And I love that I finally have places to display some of our things that have been in boxes for ages. Like books. I have books shoved everywhere (the bottom of the linen closet we use for DVDs, a shelf in the guestroom we keep the printer on) and about 10 boxes of books in the garage. Even though these books are more about style & color, and less about practicality, I love being able to get some of our things out of storage.

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I love having a home for the statue we bought of the Sears Tower (Willis Tower) in Chicago.

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I love having a place for this giant print, since we no longer have a mantel to put it on. Graham was finally able to put out some of the cool beer glasses he’s gotten from various places.

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And this fake flower clipped to this fake Ikea plant is actually the flower I wore in my hair at our formal wedding.

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And yesterday after G’s parents left, I threw an old comforter over the guest room bed, so the animals won’t ruin the pretty bedding I have for that room. Graham suggested that I take it off, but we seriously have zero storage space. Anyways. A little while later, I walk in the room and see a Buddy sized lump, under the blankets. So, we woke up the lump and introduced him to the shelves. We were anxious to see if they could handle our little ninja. So far, so good…

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(I’m linking this post up with Celebrate Southern.)

9 thoughts on “Things I Make My Husband Build: Floating Shelves

  1. J @ Bless Her Heart Y'all says:

    These floating shelves are so nice! I have my hubby make so many things, but I have yet to ask about floating shelves. You are definitely giving me some great ideas! Thanks for that and thanks for joining the Celebrate Southern link up this week too! I hope you have a great Halloween and that we see you back again for another week of the link up on Tuesday!

    J @ Bless Her Heart Y’all

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