Condo Blues: How to Make a Simple Shelf with Recycled Fence Boards

Monday, April 8, 2013

How to Make a Simple Shelf with Recycled Fence Boards

Hands up. Who does not want more storage space in their bathroom?


I thought so. Me too.

I keep an extra bottle of shampoo, toiletries, etc.around because if I run out of something it is when I am in the middle of using it. Keeping an extra on deck also allows me to buy the plant based items we like to use when they go on sale for Earth Day. I buy them now and save them for later.

I need a place to store/hide/stuck this stuff in my small house, preferably in the bathrooms where I will be using it. It should be accessible but also hidden because no one needs to stare at my big bottle of castile soap waiting to be opened.

I have just the place – over the bathroom door.

To keep this year’s DIY New Year's Resolution, I’m going to use what I have on hand first. 

I hung a pair of plaster corbels from our old place in the master bathroom because I didn’t know what to do with that wall (I still don’t.) They aren’t working as little display shelves. I think they will work better as shelf supports.

I will use the second corbel to make an over the door shelf for the master bathroom.

For the shelf itself, I went to my reclaimed wood stash and selected two pieces of a wood fence. A car ran into the fence at the entrance of a nearby neighborhood and I offered to take to broken fence wood. 

Let’s do this!

How to Make an Over the Door Shelf

I measured the area above the door and added the length of the corbel to the door measurement. After some searching, I found a piece of fence wood that is a few inches less than my measurement. It isn’t the perfect length but that’s the breaks when you work with reclaimed materials. Once I clean it up the chippy paint will add a bit of character to my shelf.

I trimmed the jagged broken end of the board with one swoop of my mighty miter saw. Bam!

I washed the grime from the fence (it was sitting in a pile for a long time before I rescued it) with water and a healthy dose of plant based dish detergent. I let the wood dry overnight. Then I sanded and deflaked the board with my Mouse palm sander (you can learn more about it here) and 80 grit sandpaper. I used 80 grit because I wanted to knock down the grime and some of the rough edges from my cuts while leaving the rough character of the reclaimed wood.

I made the wall cleat by cutting a small rectangle as wide as the shelf from a scrap of cedar fence. The corbel is too big for that side of the shelf to use as matching shelf bracket.

Time to hang it up!

I hung the corbel in line with the top of the door frame.

I drilled two pilot holes into the cleat with an electric drill. I screwed the cleat into a stud on the wall on the other side of the door frame.

I put the shelf on top of the supports and screwed it to the cleat.

I’m not sure if I should whitewash the cleat to match the shelf or not. What do you think?

I covered a box with Mod Podge and telephone book pages aka free crafting paper I somehow get even though I do not have a land line. This will be my storage box.

Last, I shopped the house for doodads to display on my fence shelf. I played, added, and edited until I was happy with a photo of flamingos at the Tokyo zoo, sand from the Dominican Republic, a couple of flamingos, a tea light lamp, and a sign from The Hotel Breakers at Cedar Point.

Recycling at its finest.

Do you want more? Check out the recycled project my crafty friends created below!

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Mary said...

Nice shelf idea! I like the flamingo theme. And since you asked, I think I would whitewash the cleat.

Stampin' VMG206 said...

What a great idea! I love the use of space that is usually overlooked.
I'm visiting you today from Make It Pretty Monday. I hope you get a chance to stop by my blog and leave a comment and Link Up, too!
~ Megin of VMG206
Spring Hello

Kayla @ Home Coming said...

Such a great idea! I'd love if you'd link up to The DIY'ers.

Anonymous said...

Such a great idea! I'm always in need of more shelves.

Kathy Shea Mormino, The Chicken Chick said...

Nice idea.......Thank you for sharing with the Clever Chicks Blog Hop this week; I hope you’ll join us again!

Kathy Shea Mormino

The Chicken Chick

Unknown said...

Way to utilize space! Thanks for sharing at The Shady Porch Rock N Share! Blessings, D

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