Chic wall shelves on a budget

Wall shelves

Welcome to our office inspiration room where we transformed a simple wall into a mini art gallery. We built the shelves to organize all the picture frames we use for product development and testing purposes. We created this industrial chic look on a budget of $150 and used furniture we already had at the office. The combination of birch IKEA veneer chairs, a large glass-top table, and white walls took the space from boring to classy and bright. In retrospect, we could have painted the shelves white before hanging them, but we liked how the wood tones of the chairs and pine shelves warmed up the space and broke up the black and white scheme we had going on the walls, plus it saved us time too. In addition, the exposed galvanized brackets against the natural wood helped play up the industrial look we were going for.

Wall shelves are the perfect way to display picture frames of all sizes and they make it easy to add to your collection. They can also be used to hold magazines, cookbooks, kids’ books, decorative plates, and any other items that will safely fit on the ledge. Each shelf can support about 10 lbs, which makes them very versatile and safe to hold your objects.

In order to save room on the shelves for smaller frames we hung the largest ones in a tall vertical row close to the edge of the wall. Note that it’s also safer than having the shelves go right to the edge of the wall, which can get in the way when walking by.

Here’s what we used for this project:

We bought the following at The Home Depot:

  • 12 pine planks, 6” wide and 4’ long. They were all pre-cut
  • 12 trim mouldings, 3/4”X 1/2 “ square and 4’ long, which we had cut at the store
  • 36 galvanized L shape brackets. We used 3 per shelf
  • 72 screws in total, 2 per bracket
  • 72 dry wall screws, 2 per bracket to attach the shelves to the wall

Galvanized brackets

What we did:

  • We glued all the trim mouldings to the pine planks and secured each moulding using 5 brads nails.
  • Sanded the edges of each plank to smooth the corners.
  • Used painter’s tape to figure out where to hang our shelves on the walls.  If you know what you’ll be displaying on the shelves, this will help you determine the spacing to leave in between each row.
  • Word of advice: It can be quite challenging to perfectly line up the shelves, so we decided to side step a few of the shelves, which added more interest to overall wall display.
  • For visual impact we displayed all the same colored frames together, leaned the largest frames on the back row with smaller ones superimposed at the front. It gives the frames a layered and chic look.

Side profile of shelf

Time and money:

  • It cost $150 to buy all the planks, mouldings, brackets, screws and nails.
  • Plan at least a full day to do this project.  If possible, get all the materials needed the day before, which will help you save time. Including shopping time, we did this project in 6 hours with 2 people.

If you want to see more wall shelves and easy DIY wall solutions, go to our Pinterest board where you’ll find plenty of ideas.

Signing off from my newly redesigned inspiration room,

Wall shelves to store picture frames

Liette Tousignant

Co-Founder of Under The Roof Decorating


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