A Rustic Wood Shelf From Leftovers

13 Materials
1 Hour

So you know how sometimes when you make a recipe, you have some leftover ingredients in your fridge? Not enough to make the same recipe but odds and ends. Then if you look hard enough you can find a recipe that uses up the leftovers in an amazing creation. You feel good because not only is it delicious but you used up all those items that were just hanging out. That is kind of how this little shelf came to be. I had a bunch of leftover pieces of wood that I just kept moving around in my garage. This morning while I was driving, I was thinking about these leftovers and like a puzzle, I kept thinking of what they could be made into that would be useful.

So, after I created these projects, I had several pieces of leftover wood. One is a shoe shelf/ coat rack and one is a farmhouse box. You can find both tutorials here on Hometalk.

Here are the pieces. The 1 by 4's are from the farmhouse box and the thin pieces of wainscot are from the shoe shelf. I also had a dowel rod just hanging out in my garage. Note: I didn’t use all of these pieces. These are all the leftovers that I had to work with.

I used my digital tape measure to help ensure that all pieces were the same length. (I am not the only one who loves this new fangled modern convenience. My 25 year old son came to me and said he wanted to measure his new tv and could he try out my new digital tape measure. This might be a great gift idea for some of the younger generations who are ready to venture into DIY projects in their new abodes.)

There are many right ways to do this shelf, I chose to make the top 1 by 4 go end to end and the two lower shelves inset by the width of the 1 by 4 running down the sides. The back is made up of 5 pieces of paneling that are tongue and groove connected with glue.

Here is a view of it dry fitted together. I have the sides extending down farther to hold a dowel rod as a towel holder.

I made an X to find the middle point to drill the hole. Originally, I was going to stack them and drill the hole all the way through but then I changed my mind. I decided the outside would look better if I didn't drill all the way through.

I have a clamping table that I like to use when I am drilling holes in my projects. It isn't necessary but I sure do love it. Does anyone else have one of these little tables and do you use it a lot? I drag it all over because it is small and portable. My workbench doesn't get used as much as this because it is dark in my garage and it is usually covered with all kinds of things.

Dry fitted together and now we are ready for glue and nails.

I took some marble contact paper and covered the dowel. I left rubber bands on it for a couple of hours so it would set up nicely.

I chose to assemble this piece in two sections. I glued the back panel together and used a frame clamp ratcheting strap to get it nice, tight and square.

I set the dowel rod in place with glue and set to attaching the top with glue and nails.

I put down a line of glue around the frame and attached the back with nails.

I used acrylic white paint and baby wipes to give the shelf a white washed appearance. I would highly recommend white washing before you attach the back. I know some people will say that this will affect the integrity of the glue but I find that today's glue is very steadfast and I think the effect is minimal.

It really works quite well in the space.

I couldn’t be happier with my little odds and ends project. 🎊 Happy New Year!🎊 I can’t decide on which hand towel... do you like the solid color or the patterned towel?

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Have a question about this project?

3 of 4 questions
  • Ellen
    on Jan 3, 2019

    After looking closely at the photos, how much clearance is there between the dowel rod and the bottom of the shelf above? In one of the photos it looks like a couple of inches or more, but the last picture looks much less. How do you get the towels on to the rod then?

    • Stacy Davis
      on Jan 24, 2019

      You are right. It is two inches from the shelf but the face board going across is dropped down an inch. If I lined it up with shelf, it was going to be too high for some of the items that I planned on storing on the shelf. There isn’t any issue at all putting the towels on or removing them. Hope that helps.

  • Kreative Cube
    on Jan 19, 2019

    How do you put the product photos and Amazon links in the materials?

    In my posts I can only write what it is and where I got it and in the article it just shows it as a text and a no follow link..

    • Stacy Davis
      on Jan 19, 2019

      I joined the Hometalk Affiliate Program. The Hometalk team then goes through the tutorial and they add product pictures and links. Hope this helps.

    on Feb 2, 2019

    Loved your DIY project!!!! But I could use the digital tape measure, please send me the info. I need to find it. My daugher and I r both DIYer and could use THAT digital tape measure ( not too good with regular tape measure, my email sbanas@cox.net


    Thanks again,

    "DIYer Nola"

    • Stacy Davis
      on Feb 3, 2019

      Glad you liked that tool. It is about $30. You can get it from either ace hardware or Amazon. I love it! I also have trouble reading the tiny measurements now that I am over fifty. The digital display on this tape measure is pretty big and I find it easier to read. Here are the details.

      eTape16 ET16.75-db-RP Digital Tape Measure, 16 Feet, Red

      Let me know if you need any other information!

Join the conversation

3 of 37 comments
  • Gayla
    on Feb 16, 2019

  • Wanda Taylor
    on Feb 21, 2019

    Yes I’ll try this. I’m from Fred’bg and now live in Ladysmith. I’ll be following you. Much success!!

    • Stacy Davis
      on Feb 21, 2019

      Small world! Thank you for the follow! Any posts in particular that you would like to see? Thank you!!!

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