How to Make a Pipe and Wood Bookshelf

6 Materials
4 Hours

Steph wanted a hanging bookshelf for her living room. She searched Pinterest and found one that would work perfectly with her decor. This metal pipe and wood shelf is the perfect place for to display books or art.

Take a look at how it came together.

Please take a few minutes to watch the video as it covers the process more throughly than the tutorial.

how to make a pipe and wood bookshelf

The shelving unit uses industrial materials like metal pipe, standard 2x6 boards and these clamps. You'll find out what we did with these later in the post!

how to make a pipe and wood bookshelf

Here are all the parts and pieces we used. The exact materials we used can be found here.

how to make a pipe and wood bookshelf

It is important to note that working with metal pipe is dirty work! I don't know what is on these pipes, but it must be cleaned off with mineral spirits. Be sure to take the time to throughly clean each piece. Allow everything to dry.

After cleaning, I applied wax, let it dry, and then buffed it. This helps to protect the pipe from rusting.

That's a puppy pad I'm working on by the way. It keeps the tabletop clean and it absorbs any spilled mineral spirits. Note: I leave this outside to let the mineral spirits evaporate before I toss it in the trash.

how to make a pipe and wood bookshelf

While I was cleaning up the pipes, Steph cut the 2x6 boards into three 35 inch pieces. The boards were sanded and distressed to look old. We applied pre-stain and then stained the boards. We finished them with a matte poly for durability.

how to make a pipe and wood bookshelf

Time to assemble the now clean and waxed pipes. It was like putting together a puzzle!

how to make a pipe and wood bookshelf

Holes were drilled into the ends of the shelving boards. This is where the pipes will come up through. We are using a spade bit.

how to make a pipe and wood bookshelf

This was the test fit before we stained the shelves. In the final shelf placement on the wall, you'll notice we reversed the direction.

how to make a pipe and wood bookshelf

Once finished, we took it took Steph's house to install. This was a little tricky with just two people so we enlisted my husband to come over and give us a hand.

how to make a pipe and wood bookshelf

Here it is all finished and with our mistakes painted over! Steph added four battery powered remote control lights. These are a one-time buy from Costco but these style lights are available many places.

how to make a pipe and wood bookshelf

Finished and styled with Steph's new book! Yes, we built this as a way to display her books!

how to make a pipe and wood bookshelf

Oh, and those clamps from the first picture, we used them as bookends! We simply turned them upside down and screwed them into place. There are four of those flanges (round things) that hold the bookshelf to the wall. It is attached with screws and wall anchors.

how to make a pipe and wood bookshelf

Steph has spend the last two years writing her life story. It's a bit of a hard story to read, but it is actually a story of hope. It is available to purchase from her website:

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Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

Join the conversation

  • Robyn Garner
    on Jun 25, 2019

    Thanks for telling us both how to protect a work surface simply with a Puppy Pad and also how you allow the mineral spirits to evaporate outdoors prior to throwing it away. When waterproof work requires plastic, at least we can keep the chemicals to a minimum.

  • Jennifer Palermo
    on Jun 30, 2019

    It is so pretty !! Very industrial look! Could be used for both boys and girls room. Thanks for the tip on how to clean those pipes too.

    I am so doing this!

    thanks for sharing.

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