I recently shared our fall decor and received several questions about our farmhouse inspired open shelves. These shelves were the first project I completed in our new house and I’m so in love!
They are the focal point in the kitchen, offering extra storage and a space to decorate each season.
Making these farmhouse shelves was simple. It only took a few hours. Anyone can do it!
One of my favorite tricks when planning to hang photos or shelves is to use painters tape to test out the location, height and width. We first thought we would put up three shelves but once we put up some painters tape to test it out, we decided two shelves was just right. That top shelf would have been too high to be functional.
Supplies to make your open shelves
- Shelf Brackets. I used 3 brackets for each of my 64″ wide shelves.
- Wood for your shelves.I picked an inexpensive common pine from Home Depot. You can ask for “White Wood” at Lowe’s too.
- Sanding paper
- Rags or a staining pad
- A hand sander is super helpful for this project
- A hammer, screws, chain, wire brush or other tools for distressing your wood – I only used a hammer to soften the corners a little.
- Stain – I used Provincial stain from Varathane
- Polyurethane – I like satin finish so I used a Satin Poly from General Finishers
First I found the hardware that I liked at Hobby Lobby. These Iron Brackets had the simple look I wanted. When you choose your brackets be sure to measure the depth so you know how deep your shelves need to be. Our brackets wrapped up around the edge of the shelf so I had to be sure the shelves fit just right. Hobby Lobby has many styles of brackets that you can choose from.
Next, I went off to Home Depot to get my lumber. I had my measurements in hand and chose an inexpensive pine wood. I made sure the wood was the right depth for my brackets (mine were 11 5/8″) and I also chose a 2″ thick piece of wood. You can use a thinner piece but I liked how the 2″ wood looked. With my measurements in hand I had the employees cut my wood to the perfect length. Don’t hesitate to ask for help, everyone working in the lumber department is more than happy to help. I went home with 3 pieces of wood cut to the perfect length for my project.
Staining your shelves
I’m not gonna lie, staining wood always sounded much harder that it actually was. Don’t be intimidated, it’s really easy. After distressing my shelves with a few smacks of a hammer, I sanded down the rough edges then wiped down the wood with a rag so there was no dust left behind. Dip a clean rag or staining pad in your stain; be sure to squeeze out any extra stain. Wipe the stain on the wood. I put on a few coats until I liked the color. I let my stain dry overnight before brushing on two coats of polyurethane. Once your shelves are completely dry you can install them.
Hang up your open shelves
To hang up your shelves you’ll need to locate studs using a stud finder. I decided to use 3 studs for my shelf because they were so long. Once you find your studs you’ll want to mark where you want your holes and use a level to make sure they are straight (you don’t want crooked shelves!). When you are ready, drill pilot holes and then hang your brackets with long (We used 3″) screws.
This project was so easy and satisfying. Going from a blank wall to a functional wall with extra storage was a big improvement. I’m looking forward to adding similar shelves in other areas in our house. I would love to hear if you decide to try this project and how it goes!
Tag me on Instagram @HeyDonna if you make your own farmhouse inspired shelves.