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How to Make DIY Pipe Shelves in 11 Easy Steps

Pipe shelves, in my opinion, are one of the easiest ways to bring farmhouse to your decor.  If you are thinking about getting into woodworking, they are a great way to begin.  When it comes to woodworking, starting easy and small is best to get your feet wet and then you can move on to more complicated projects.

DIY pipe shelves

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DIY Pipe Shelves Materials

(This will make 1 shelf)

I love the look of black iron pipes so I decided to go with black.  These shelves were created for my office.

Print out your shopping list and instructions for this tutorial to make your pipe shelves.

A couple of things to note before you begin.  Pipes are heavy so you definitely don’t want to skip using wall anchors.  Also, black pipes rust and so if that’s going to bother you, don’t go with the black.

Now, before we hop into the instructions and get to work, I want you to know what you’re buying.  I mean, it’s not like we go around every day talking about flanges and caps so take a look at the diagram below so that you know what you’re looking for when you go to make your purchases.

Parts of a pipe shelf

Okay, not that you know what each part is, it’s time to get to work!

Instructions for making DIY Pipe Shelves

Decide on the width and length of your shelf.  Once you’ve made your decision, cut the piece of wood to your desired measurements.  If you don’t have a saw, the great folks at Home Depot will cut the wood for you.  Depending on how many cuts you need, but it’s minimal.

You also need to decide how you want your shelf to lay on the pipes.  Do you want the width of the shelf to stop before the cap? Do you want the width of the shelf to extend past the cap? Do you want the width of the shelf to be even with the cap?

Pipe shelf

Paint, stain or leave your shelf unfinished.

White pipe shelf

Next,  you want to decide where you want your shelves placed on your wall.  Once you’ve decided where you want them to go, place your laser level on the wall.  The center of the laser will determine where you are going to place the flanges.  Make sure that the flanges are in the center of the laser level line.

Pipe shelf

Hold the flange in the center of the laser level and with your pencil, fill in the 4 circles.  These markings are going to be where you drill. Put the flange to the side and drill in the center of the first circle.  Put a wall anchor into the hole you drilled.

Grab the flange and a screw.  Line up the hold of the flange with the wall anchor hole and drill in your first screw.  Repeat this process with the second flange hole on the top right.

Before moving to the set of holes on the bottom, follow steps #2 & #3 for the second flange.

Screw in the black pipes into both of the flanges.  Grab your shelf and make sure that it’s even.  If not, adjust as needed.  Now see why I haven’t made the bottom 2 drills yet?  I can’t stand having a bunch of holes drilled in my walls from mistakes so I try my best to come up with ways to avoid that and this is one of those ways.

How to make pipe shelves

Once you’re sure they’re straight and even, take the shelf off, unscrew the pipes, and drill the remaining holes in the flanges.  Don’t forget the anchors! 


Pipe shelves

Screw the pipes back in and the caps, lay the shelf and voilá!  You’ve got pipe shelves!


Style away!

Finished Pipe shelves



  1. Nigel William says

    Oh, Lynn such a clever idea! I was planning to buy something for shelves I need, I will use some old pipe tubes I have left. Thank you! Do you recommend using a specific type of painting?

  2. John says

    Thank you for the idea and instructions!
    By the way, I can share some tips myself. If we’re talking about rust, of course, as you already mentioned, black pipes also rust. But if you’re choosing them to make shelves then one way how to get rid of that rust or just prevent it is by these simple steps. Just mop a clout in water with baking soda and then clean the pipe. That’s it. But if you already have rust, then after cleaning scour pipes with a metal brush and remove the rust. Believe me, it works

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