Living room with shiplap and industrial shelving

While living in our second home, I fell into the Fixer Upper trap. I love the show and their style. On one of their episodes, they featured industrial shelving that was made out of square tubing. After searching everywhere for an affordable alternative, I decided to create my own using industrial pipe.

Industrial pipe shelving with stained wood shelves

I purchased the pipe and fittings from Home Depot. Included below is a shopping list to help minimize the headaches. WARNING: The pipe and fittings can be dirty and covered in grease. I suggest wiping everything down and assembling the shelving outside or on a drop cloth.

I started by screwing all of the pipe and fittings together for the first side, ensuring that the flanges sit flat when fully assembled. When assembling the second side, I made sure that the dimensions were close to that of the first side. I adjusted the length by threading the pipe into the fittings more or less. I chose to not use flanges in the middle because it would have been more difficult to get all three flanges level.

Once both sides were complete, I hung them on the wall. I made sure to install them both on studs. I chose to only use one or two screws per flange based on access to the holes in the flanges and the fact that I wasn’t going to be loading the shelves down with heavy items. I’m kind of a minimalist when it comes to decorating…these shelves have more stuff on them than any other area in our home.

The final step was adding the wood shelves. I chose to use pallet wood that I stained with my favorite stain, Minwax Special Walnut, and finished them off with polyurethane. The wood was not perfect, but they added just the right amount of character.

The best thing about these shelves is that they can easily be modified or rearranged. They can be separated farther to create wider shelving or the spacing between shelves can be greater by purchasing longer vertical pipes. I even considered adding another tee to create additional shelves. The options are endless!

When we moved into our current home, I decided to use three of the pipe assemblies to create one longer shelf. I simply purchased two new pieces of wood and stained them the same color. It created a totally different look that using just two pipe assemblies.

Below is my shopping list for this project (per shelf):

  • Two (2) 3′ x 5-1/2″ x 3/4″ Wood
  • Four (4) 1/2″ x 12″ Long Standard Wall Black Steel Threaded Ends Pipe [NOTE: This will determine the height of your shelves.]
  • Six (6) 1/2″ x 6″ Long Standard Wall Black Steel Threaded Pipe Nipple [NOTE: This will determine the depth of your shelves.]
  • Two (2) 1/2″ Black Malleable Iron Thread Fitting Tee
  • Four (4) 1/2″ Black Malleable Iron Thread Fitting 90 Degree Elbow
  • Four (4) 1/2″ Black Malleable Iron FPT Floor Flange

Happy shopping!