Sunday, April 4, 2010

Shelves in Progress

I don't usually like to show projects in process but these are 80% done and won't be complete for at least another month and I just can't wait to share.

I've loved the Ballard Café Shelves since I first saw them. And as soon as I started rethinking our kitchen I knew I had to have them. But I was immediately faced with a of problems:
  1. The Cost - we wanted long shelves, Ballard's longest 6' are $120 each, plus shipping PLUS an extra $10 surcharge per shelf. So we're talking $260-$280 minimum.
  2. The Length - their max size is 6' long and I wanted as long as would work, which for us, turns out to be 7'. 
  3. The Edge - these are going on a wall with a door that gets our primary in/out traffic and I'm really worried about thing jumping off the shelves as the door is slammed. The Ballard shelves have a completely flat surface and I want a little lip on the edge to help keep things ON the shelf.
After careful consideration and much review of Traci's plans for the same shelves, I knew I could do it...  If you want shelves EXACTLY like the Ballard ones, then check out Traci's plans, she did a great job. But if you're ok with making a few changes, then here we go!!!


Materials (pictured and not pictured):
  • 1x10" pine planks, mine was left over from a previous project (like 8 YEARS ago) so we'll call those free
  • Molding, mine came from the ReStore!!! I got 34' linear feet for $16. It would have cost a lot more from Lowes or Home Depot.
  • Brackets or corbels. Found at Lowes, $8 for a pair of 2. $24 for 6 total brackets. (Since our shelves are so long I wanted that 3rd support)
  • Wood glue
  • Nails
  • Measuring Tape
  • Screws
  • Sand paper
  • Miter saw or Miter box & Saw
  • Primer ($4.99 per can, I'll need 2 cans) $10
  • Paint
So add that up - total cost for 2 HUGE shelves $50! FIFTY DOLLARS. That is CRAZY!!! 

Here is how I made the shelves:

Cut the 1x10" to the desired length, for our shelves we decided 81" would be great,  so I cut the 1x10" to 80" knowing that the molding would add another inch. (Yes, the wood is stained, like I said these are left over from a project we did about 8 years ago in our townhouse, thank God we don't throw anything away!!!)

Next I sanded and washed all of the pieces, they were in pretty rough shape.

Then I marked where I wanted the mounting brackets to be on the 1x10, predrilled and attached them. I put one in the center, and the other 4" in from the ends:

(You'll note I marked where the brackets were to go on both sides of the wood, I find that to be really helpful)

Next up cutting the molding to go around the sides and front of the shelves. I measured and measured and measured what I'd need to do, why? Because I'm known for screwing up measurements.

Another tip, when cutting mitered edges where one end is angled and the other not, I always cut the miter FIRST, then the straight. The straight is so much easier to measure and cut accurately, so save it for last.

The lengths of molding were really long and I didn't have help when cutting, so I used clamps to make sure everything stayed in place as I cut.

Molding is cut, time to attach to the front and sides of the shelves. I used wood glue and finishing nails.

And then I filled the nail holes and edges with wood filler/caulk.

And then I sanded and got them ready for priming:

And here is where the shelves are now, 1st coat of primer on:

Here is a view of that lip I created by off setting the molding from the top edge of the shelf:

And another view:

So here we are... it is going to be a couple of weeks before these get to be painted and hung in the kitchen but I just couldn't wait to share!


  1. I don't blame you for wanting to show them now; they are really neat! You did yourself proud with this project. They are going to be a focal point in your kitchen. Good job!!

    Stopping by from the Make Your Monday party.


  2. This is EXACTLY what I am planning to build for my schoolroom. Thanks for posting. It encourages me to get mine done! Lisa~

  3. Sooooooooooooooooooooooo exciting!!! You have done a fabulous job on these shelves. SO looking forward to the "after". Hugs. Tara

  4. Oohhh, these are going to be just wonderful! Great job!!

  5. They are looking really good. I'm excited to see what you do with them!

  6. Those are some really nice looking shelves. Thanks for the tutorial. :)

  7. Wow! These are looking SOOO awesome. I bet you cannot wait for them to get hung up. Really, they are beautiful.

  8. So far, so good! They look so sturdy too, great job:)

  9. Oh wow, you use power tools -- I am so impressed. I bought a drill and I'm intimidated. Those shelves are a work of art. Looking forward to seeing them up. Hope you'll come by Atticmag for our really useful giveaway. -- Jane F.

  10. They look good so far! I love those shelves, too! I have bookshelf bases that my hubby made in my garage that I would love to repurpose to these shelves. Just need to figure out where to put them!

  11. I loved it! Thanks for sharing!
    I have a great interview with a savvy blogger on my blog right now with great tips on how to help your blog grow.
    Come check it out
    Also a giveaway for a Trendy Diaper Changing Pad if your interested :-)

  12. looks great so far! Can't wait to see the finished project in action!

  13. First off, I am a sucker for shelves, so when I saw your post, I had to drop in. Wonderful job. I may have to add this project to my to-do list.


  14. This is my first time to your lovely blog via Twice Remembered. These are beautiful! Thank you for including the tutorial. I am saving it for my to do list!


  15. Oh my goodness - so cool! I am really looking forward to seeing the finished product. So far looking really great! Well done.


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