Thursday, February 26, 2015

DIY rustic floating shelves from repurposed tap parts and a table top


After cleaning up after the big, messy bathroom renovation, I came across some tap parts that I thought looked kind of cool. I squirrelled them away thinking I might come up with some use for them and promptly forgot about them. Then about six months ago (I know. I am so slow with everything these days) Steve and I decided to turn an old tabletop we found into some floating shelves for the open part of our hallway that faces the kitchen. Our front door opens straight into the living room - and will do so even when we renovate the front - so we have no entryway as such for bags/keys/sunglasses etc. So the hallway had sort of become it - but all we had was a small table (actually Steve's grandmother's old vintage sewing machine table) and it looked a bit sad all lonesome. Some shelves were in order. But we didn't want anything too modern and we didn't want them to disappear into the wall. We thought we could make a feature out of the shelves by using some reclaimed timber and placing them off centre to each other on the wall. So we made these! I found a tutorial online from Vintage Revivals for floating shelves and showed Steve who took one brief look, ignored it and winged it. A couple of attempts later, he had built some shadow box shelves. Here they are just missing their tops. 


I compared our shelves to Mandi's and realised they were close enough (high five Steve!) and that's when I noticed the bolt features at the ends of her shelves. I remembered our tap parts and suggested we drill a hole in each end and just fill it with silicone before slipping them in. They were the perfect finishing touch - has timber and brass ever been a bad combination? Here is the unstained shelf with our tap parts, below. The tap handles screw onto the long skinny part (I think).



I'd have happily have left them the raw grey colour of the tabletop, but because we had to cut up the panels, we had new-looking timber and old, so we stained to get a more even colour. I used a walnut stain - I painted it on, left for about half a minute then rubbed off with newspaper. 


I was happy with the colour and happy with the shelves themselves. We ended up nailing them with gigantic nails into the studs and they seem to be doing ok (screws would most likely be best, but I can't remember why we didn't use them). I don't have a tutorial for you - go forth and adapt Mandi's if you like. Or wing it like we did, but here is the end result! 


The wall is open to the kitchen (to the left a little hallway takes you to the bathroom and a bedroom; to the right is a longer hallway and the other two bedrooms) so there is plenty of room to walk around and luckily no heads have hit them because of this! We hung our fishbowl there and placed a few fave pieces on the shelves themselves including vintage books my Mum handed down to me that were hers as a child, Steve's cricket trophy mug from his time playing in Wales, a bowl of nature finds, a vintage clock that belonged to Steve's grandparents and a Garfish skull the kids found a few weeks ago in a tree! The table houses my daily essentials and underneath is home to the market basket I take everywhere and a hat basket. 



I'd like to create some kind of proper entryway area with room for hats, bags, umbrellas etc once our home is extended and renovated, but for our tiny space now, this seems to work. And I do love the look of them. Especially when filled with some fave things...

8 comments:

  1. I adore the finishing touches. Your shelves look great, specially with your decorations.

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    1. Thanks Rick! I've been culling our belongings a lot so only special things make the cut! Cheers, belinda

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  2. I love the gold touches, they look great. So wonderful to be able to upcycle :)

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    1. Thank you Ashlea! And I agree! We try to reuse and recycle when possible. I get so sad seeing perfectly good furniture items placed on the curb to be thrown away! Which is where we found the table top we used. I can't save everything but we have built two cubby houses in the past few years using mostly found items so that makes me feel better!

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  4. Woohoo another blog post! Looks great. x

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    1. And i JUST did another one. AND i have a whole bunch in the works. WHO AM I? haha x

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  5. These are a great idea and I like their look so much! Right up in my alley. Thanks

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