AT HOME | a blog by Joanna Gaines

DIY Open Pipe Shelving

July 3, 2015

Industrial pipe shelving has been a DIY request since season two, episode one – The Little House on the Prairie. The Batsons’ kitchen cabinets were made completely of these industrial pipe open shelving units (see below), and today we wanted to show you how simple this DIY can be for your own kitchen, bedroom or any room in your home in need of interest and dimension.

With a little hard work and dedication, this project could be conquered in just one afternoon!

Here’s what you’ll need:
-Fig. A – 3/4″  flange (x 10 – 8 for wall; 2 for ceiling)
-Fig. B – 3/4″ x 10″ pipe (x 8)
-Fig. C – 3/4″ x 18″ pipe (x 2)
-Fig. D – 3/4″ 3-way tee (x 6)
-Fig. E – 3/4″ x 3 1/2″ pipe (x 6)
-Fig. F – 3/4″ connector (x 6)
-Fig. G – 3/4″x 6″ pipe (x 6)
-Fig. H – 3/4″  90-degree elbow (x 2)
-Wall anchors and screws (not shown)
-Wooden planks – 4′ x 10″ (x4)
-Optional: High quality metallic spray paint.
-Optional: For easier assembly, you can replace materials E, F and G with 3/4″ x 10″ piping if you like. We chose to use the 3 materials listed to add character.

– Wipe pipes to remove any residue or excess oil/grease (if pipes were custom cut).
– If you want to have all the pieces uniform,  you can spray paint them with a high quality metallic spray paint. NOTE: galvanized pieces resist some spray paints due to a coating of zinc that is applied to avoid corrosion. Since we chose to use black iron pipes, primer and paint adhesion was not a problem.
– Cut shelves according to wanted size (4′ x 10″ in this illustration); stain if desired.

Make your “vertical” pipes by using a 3/4″ connector (F) to attach 3/4″ x 3 1/2″ pipe (E) with 3/4″ x 6″ pipe (G). Repeat this step for a total of 6 “vertical” pipes.
Note: you could avoid this step and use a solid 3/4″ x 10″ pipe if you’d rather.

Use a 3/4″ 3-way tee (D) to connect your assembled “vertical” pipes (E, F, G) and attach 3/4″ x 10″ “horizontal” pipe (B) as shown. Attach 3/4″ flange (A) to open end of “horizontal” pipe.

For the bottom shelf, attach “vertical” pipe (E, F, G) to 3/4″ 90-degree elbow (H). Attach “horizontal” pipe (B) and flange (A).

Illustration of assembly before attaching the final “vertical” pipe (Fig. C).

Attach top “vertical” pipe – 3/4″ x 18″ (C) – to the top of 3/4″ 3-way tee (D) and screw flange (A) to open end of (C) pipe.

Hold assembled unit against the wall and flush with the ceiling. Use a balance to ensure it is straight and mark the walls to screw anchors. After inserting anchors, align unit and screw in place.

As we were using 4′ x 10″ wooden planks, we placed the 2 assembled units 3′ apart to allow the shelves to overlap by approximately 6″ on either side.

Place wooden plank shelves in unit and that’s it! There are a few moving parts to juggle as you build your unit, but it truly is simple once you get the hang of it. The finished product is well worth the afternoon lost! Enjoy!


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  • Karen Joan Pigage
    10:36 pm, March 28, 2017
    Your ideas are spot on!! I feel like y'all are part of my family. You are special 'people' .
  • Lisa
    4:20 pm, March 19, 2017
    When searching for pipes to make these, where do I find ones already cut to size and with the screw in ends? What type of pipes are they?
    Thanks there amazing
  • Ugly Home Office Makeover – Part 1: The Plan – Beautiful Life Market
    8:44 am, March 5, 2017
    […] paint it and put it in another room since I have lofty shelving aspirations, inspired by this DIY industrial shelving over at Magnolia Market (thanks […]
  • DIY Industrial Pipe shelves - Teeny Ideas
    6:46 pm, March 2, 2017
    […] is the tutorial we used : DIY Open pipe Shelving. It is from the Magnolia Market Blog. There are several diy industrial pipe shelves on the internet […]
  • Ugly Home Office Makeover – Part 2 – Beautiful Life Market
    4:45 pm, February 26, 2017
    […] the view below, you can see the shelving that represents the cute industrial shelving I’m planning to […]
    • Roger
      12:44 pm, March 26, 2017
      Lowes will cut their 10' pipes and scribe threads into the end as a free customer service. But the pipes i looked at were not at all even in color, looking very blotchy and marked. Did you use some special agent to clean them - or did you paint them first?
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