DIY Industrial Pipe Shelves

Has anyone seen these Restoration Hardware knock-off shelves on Pinterest or in the blogosphere? I remember seeing the industrial pipe shelves a few years ago, and instantly thought how cool they were, which is exactly what inspired us to recreate this look for a rustic-inspired baby nursery.

Rustic industrial pipe shelves for the nurseryThe Results

We knew we could DIY these industrial pipe shelves without spending a ton of time or money and that’s exactly what we did! We learned a few tips along the way too and are spilling to the beans so your project goes as smoothly as possible!

Detail- industrial pipe shelves in the nursery


Although we LOVE the look of these shelves, we do want to warn you that this DIY project was NOT dirt cheap (which was a surprise to me). The materials themselves were about $50, so I would not recommend this look if you’re DIY-ing this specific shelf to save money. Just a heads up so you’re not as shocked as I was.

Supplies you'll need to create the shelves

Supplies for 2 Shelves

(affiliate links used):

Make sure you measure and check everything carefullyUp close- the pipes for these shelvesHow To Create the Pipe Shelves

For the actual pipes, the only prep work we had to do was have the pipe cut to size (Lowe’s took care of that for free in the store). The one large pipe was cut down to four equal sized pieces. Then we washed the oil off of the pipes (the employees at Lowe’s put oil on there to help cut it) and once they were dry, we roughed the pipe parts up with a little sand paper (so the spray paint would adhere to it) and spray painted all the parts using a flat black color.

The pipe supplies

Rookie Tip: Note in the picture there are 8 straps to hold the shelves in place, but we actually only ended up needing four. Also, you may need to spray paint two different times to get some of the areas that you missed the first time (i.e. the bottom of the safety clips). And last thing — the paint did adhere to the pipes but be super careful not to scratch any of these parts on each other because the paint will scratch/chip off. <– again, just some helpful tips.

Spray paint the pipe and let it dry before you proceedThe untreated board, ready for stainNow, let’s chat about the wood shelves. Literally any type/size of wood will work but we wanted the shelves to look thick, so we went with a thicker piece of wood than we have used for other shelves in the past. Once we decided on the wood, we bought one long piece and brought them home to cut them to size (the hardware store will do this for free if you don’t want to handle this step at home). Then we used stain we had lying around (the color “espresso”) and put a coat of stain on each shelf. After the stain and the spray paint on the pipes was dry, we were ready to start hanging! Minwax wod finish stainStep by step= as a GIF

In Action

Here’s a GIF of exactly how we did this. The painter’s tape helped us identify a level line and gave us an idea of where to hang each shelf. We used four anchors for each floor flange and then inserted dark screws so that the screws would camouflage with the dark paint.

After each of the flanges were secured to the wall, we screwed in the pipe, then screwed on the caps, and placed the shelf on top of the pipes. Pretty darn easy, right?!

And the shelves are ready and hung!Baby-Proofing

But there’s still one more step that we would highly recommend– partly because this is a nursery and safety is on top our priority list, and partly because we think this is best practice for any space. It’s better to be safe than sorry, right? Without the straps, the shelf could easily move around on the pipes.Secure the shelves to the pipe with these strapsHowever, once we added the straps (they’re only about a DOLLAR each), the shelf was extremely secure on the pipes…. as in those babies aren’t going a-n-y-w-h-e-r-e. Spray paint to match, and affix to the shelf and pipeSee how we screwed them in with a dark nut and a dark washer half way down the pipe? Not only are these shelves SUPER secure now, I personally think that extra detail makes the shelves look even better. Safety + Style = one happy mom-to-be.The straps blend in with the look and feel of the shelvesI found these adorable “camping boots” at Kohl’s and just couldn’t wait for the reveal to give them to my sister. So of course the shelves will eventually be styled completely, but for now, I’m loving the simplicity as we tackle other parts of this space. We're so happy with how these turned out!But before we dive into what still remains on our to-do list, let me first address the process my sister and I went through to MAKE sure that the baby will NOT be able to reach them even though they’ll be near the crib.Up close- rustic pipe shelvesWhen the baby is a newborn, the mattress in the crib is on the higher end, which is a tad close to the shelves but since the baby will NOT be standing in the crib when the mattress is at this level, we will not have to worry about the baby ever being able to reach the shelves.

When the baby is old enough to start standing up in the crib, my sister will lower the mattress and the baby will have to be able to reach OVER 4 1/2 feet high to touch the pipes of the shelves. And by the time the baby is over 4 and 1/2 feet, I have a feeling those shelves will be long gone. =)

All ready for baby- filled with knick knacks and keepsakes

So rest assured that we are taking safety very seriously in this makeover to ensure that this space is not only stylish, but most importantly, very safe. Our next step in this makeover is to safely hang lots of gorgeous art (more details here) & then you can check out the full reveal of this room here!


Pssst…. We finished the rest of the nursery since this post and are completely in LOVE with how this DIY project set this stage for the rest of the space. Come check out how the Nursery turned out (and how we styled these shelves) here! And for a view of how it looks one year in, check out this postThe finished product