Live edge shelves have grown in popularity over the last few years. Purchasing live edge wood for shelves can actually be quite expensive (even pre-pandemic), but imagine my surprise when I found a live edge board in the most unexpected place a while back. The best part of all of this (fellow cheapskates, where you at?! Yal listening?!) is that I got the board for FREE! Mmmhmm yes Lord, absolutely free! With lumber prices at an all time high, this was absolute music to my cheapskate ears! Here are the details on how I managed to create a FREE live edge shelf.
FREE Live Edge Shelf - SAY WHAT?!
What you will need: Shelf brackets
I have a stack of these brackets in various sizes from a store that closed a few years back and was kindly GIVING away their final stock. A free addition to any project is always welcome! You can find similar brackets for approximately $1 each at the hardware store.
What you will need: wood “feet” from a shipping crate (pallets will sometimes have similar boards as part of their base).**
Keep your eyes out for pallets and crates! Using a little bit of elbow grease, a hammer, and a crowbar, you can easily dismantle the pallet/shipping crate. This particular board is left over from the live edge shelf that I cut down for use in my bathroom. I previously sanded and stained the board, which is why I kept this off-cut hoping to be able to use it for something in the future.
* As a suggestion of where you can get free pallets or crates, you can contact your local community college or university’s Shipping/Receiving department to see if they have any pallets/crates that they are getting rid of for free. As another option, your local hardware stores will sometimes have pallets available to whoever wants them- also for free. As a last resort, if those two methods do not get you any results, you can typically always find someone on FBM that is selling them for a few dollars.
**Note: Not all pallets or crates will have “feet” that are 2” thick live edge cuts of wood like the one I found, but keep an eye out! You may be surprised by how many actually do!
What you will need: *OPTIONAL* Spray paint.
A few quick coats of spray paint gave these simple brackets a nice upgrade!
Ensure that you either mount the brackets directly to the studs in the wall, or use wall anchors...... DONE!!
The spray paint did wonders to these otherwise dull brackets!
This is a shot of the full-sized board that I was able to pull off of the crate. The boards that you can find will of course vary, but this one is approximately 4’ long! Once sanded and stained it is silky smooth and quite beautiful!
- Pallet (Local community college)
- Brackets (Hardware store)
- Spray paint (Lowes)