Use what you’ve got! This vintage inspired DIY wall shelf uses wood scraps I already had and sewing art to make a cool display.
Hi! It’s David from Cheltenham Road.
Over on my blog I’ve started a Use What You’ve Got project in a (somewhat desperate) attempt to clean out a bit of the backlog of odds and ends that have gathered around the house. It’s everything from paint to lumber to doo-dads. It has been going great and the piles are diminishing . . . slightly.
Anyway, while I have no skills whatsoever, I come from a family of needleworkers. My mom and sisters do amazing needlework and so I thought I’d do a project in their honor. I made a little DIY wall shelf with a vintage sewing vibe, perfect for farmhouse decor or a rustic theme.
DIY Wall Shelf
For this project I used:
- Plywood for the backer 21 x 21″ square
- Plywood for the shelf 21 x 3.5″
- Three wood squares* 7 x 7″
- Three patent image print outs
- Three spool label prints
- Three Wood Spools (given to me by my sewing sister!)
- One dowel (optional and not pictured)
- Wood Glue
- small finishing nails (optional)
- Matte Mod Podge
* my wood squares are just super thin plywood like you’d find on the back of a cabinet. Any kind of thin, but sturdy, material would work.
- Hand held electric sander
- Electric drill and bits
- Glue gun
- Hand saw
I started out simply painting and then sanding the plywood for a lightly distressed finish.
I also cut the dowel down into 3″ pieces and glued them into the wooden spools.
(Using the dowel isn’t totally necessary – you could just glue the spools in place. I just wanted them to be super sturdy and the dowels as you’ll see give a bit more strength)
After downloading some fun patent images I’d found online using Google’s Patent Search. What you’ll do is search for items you like, and then click into the images and download. You can resize them to print and fit.
I sized them to my squares (7″) and Mod Podged them into place. Once they dried, I went back in with a piece of sandpaper and lightly sanded the edges for a little more of that vintage-y look.
The spools I had on hand were blank, but I wanted them to have a little pizzazz – so I scanned in some labels and resized those as well (and in the process became very aware that I was now adding spool labels back onto spools which was, admittedly, a bit silly).
I glued and nailed my vintage graphics into place and sealed them with a coat of Mod Podge just to keep them protected and easy to dust. I also sealed the ends of the knobs with Mod Podge.
Up next I needed some holes. Using a bit the size of my dowel I drilled three holes where I wanted my spool-knobs to be and after marking where the shelf would go I used a smaller bit to create some pilot holes.
I applied some wood glue to the back of the shelf and, holding it in place, screwed it in from the back . .
And finally, after adding a bit of glue, I slipped the spool knobs into place.
It was a fun project . . .
and I think my mom and sisters would be pleased with this DIY wall shelf.
If you’d like to see some more of my Use What You’ve Got projects, please head on over to my Cheltenham Road Blog! I’d also love for you to check out the following projects: