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Rustic Industrial Hanging Shelf

Hi all and welcome back!   I shared this project over on Old House to New Home, but I’m sharing it again here because I am working my way through the dining room.  I’ve just finished the last chair and will be bringing you details on that next week!  This is a really quick and easy project that has a huge impact.

Rustic Industrial Hanging Shelf - UncookieCutter.com

So, if you’ve been following along, you know we moved to Oklahoma in January from Virginia.  I wanted a new house in a new neighborhood and what we ended up with was an old fixer upper in a wonderful older neighborhood.  So far we are unexpectedly loving every minute of it, except for moments of water valves breaking, pools leaking and the washer and dryer constantly being broken ;).  But, one of the great things is I just keep finding cool stuff in the yard to make into furniture, like my tree stump end table.

I found this beautiful piece of wood hanging out in the backyard, and I grabbed it.   I had no idea what I was going to do with it.

Rustic Industrial Hanging Shelf - UncookieCutter.com

I looked at it for awhile, and recently finished our dining table.  I thought this would be a cool looking sideboard for the table.  I originally thought about doing iron pipes for legs, like my friend Emily did HERE.  I love her table, but iron pipes are pricey and I’ve used them a bit around this space, so I kept thinking.

I’ve got an industrial thing sort-of-kind-of going on in here, so chain kept entering into my thoughts.  Chains are industrial, right?  When I built my rope shelves, I thought about using chain, but decided to stick with the rope.  Then it hit me, why not turn this piece of wood into a hanging shelf/sideboard/thing-y with chain?  Easy peasy!

First, I started sanding.  That took some time, because it was in kind of rough shape. I used all different kinds of sanders, just going until it was smooth.  The sanding will also help get any bugs out that are living in the wood.

Then, using a drill I drilled four holes into the board, just a little bigger than the chain.  I measured to line them up, taking into consideration how the curve would lay against the wall.

Rustic Industrial Hanging Shelf - UncookieCutter.com

Okay, I know they don’t look even, but they actually are a rectangle.

Then I stained the wood.  I really wanted it to stand out against the wall, so I went dark with a couple of coats of Minwax Jacobean.

There was lots of little cracks and gaps, so I filled them with epoxy.  If used correctly, it does a nice job.  You have to work quickly, but  it makes the board much sturdier and will give you a nice, even surface.

Rustic Industrial Hanging Shelf - UncookieCutter.com

After filling, I immediately scraped the excess off so it’s smooth.  You have to work quick, it dries fast. Just mix a little at a time.
Rustic Industrial Hanging Shelf - UncookieCutter.com

Then a little more sanding and three coats of Polyurethane.  That’s it for the board.

I looked up and a sideboard generally sits about 36″ from the floor.  So I marked that spot on the wall.  I looped the chain through the holes so it holds it underneath, then I just sorta held the chains until I thought it looked “right”.  So a bunch of measuring and math, I found the middle of the wall and the exact places for my two wall hangers.

Here’s my thoughts on drywall anchors. I love the kind in the picture and despise the other kind.  The ones where you drill and hole, and hammer in a bracket that is supposed to open up and grip the wall.  Those only work about half the time for me and I end up throwing them and becoming an angry mess with big holes in my wall.  I realize it’s probably user error-but I have never once messed these up.  They are pretty much fool proof.  First I drill a small hole, just to start and make sure I’m not on a stud.  If I hit a stud, great!  No need for an anchor.  But if there is no stud, I just screw these in with a phillips head screwdriver and then they are ready.

Rustic Industrial Hanging Shelf - UncookieCutter.com

Then I just screw my hangers on, loop the chain on and that was it!  I found both the hangers and chain at Wal-Mart.  I had to bend the chain a bit and take off a bunch of extra, but that was easy.

Rustic Industrial Hanging Shelf - UncookieCutter.com

I used the rest of my chain for my conversation starter boards, found HERE.

Then I touched up here and there, and painted my hangers to match the chain.

Rustic Industrial Hanging Shelf - UncookieCutter.com

NOW I was done.  Wait, it needs something….

Rustic Industrial Hanging Shelf - UncookieCutter.com

Now?  Yep…done

Rustic Industrial Hanging Shelf - UncookieCutter.com.

It makes a pretty nice alternative to a sideboard and a unique addition for very little money.  I used leftover stain and poly (it didn’t take much at all) and so all I bought was chain and hangers- less that $10.

Rustic Industrial Hanging Shelf - UncookieCutter.com

Once I got it all set up, I brought in my new dining table.  Check out all the details on how I built the concrete top table HERE!

Concrete Dining Table - UncookieCutter 13

That’s it!  An old piece of wood turned into a rustic industrial hanging shelf.  Thanks so much for stopping by and let me know if you have any questions!


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  1. You say these things you do are easy, but you need to give yourself a lot more credit! You amaze me, and I love the look of the sideboard and table together.

  2. Great looking shelf! It might sound weird but I really liked the photo where we can see your working hand doing something. It gives the project a more personal feel. I think it wouldn’t hurt to have some images of you working on the things you make. Have someone else take the photos. Your projects truly are spectacular, and I don’t know about everyone else but I’d love to see some more “behind the scenes” shots.

    1. Thanks, that is a great idea! I usually work while my husband is at work and kids are at school, so alone, but I’ll maybe get someone to take more photos. I love the input! Thanks :).

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