DIY Shelves – Part 1

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So I’m remodeling my kitchen and have decided to go with open shelving instead of upper cabinets.


I’ve never had open shelves before, nor have I ever known anyone with open shelves. As a result, part of me is terrified; what if I hate them, but part of me is supper excited; it’s something new, something I’ve never tried, and what if I LOVE them.

I’ve spent a lot of time on Pinterest collecting ideas and the more I look, the more excited I get. Oh the things I could do, and the fun things I could build…

But what really sold me on the open shelves are these sites:

Favorite Places & Spaces

The Cottage Market‘s 25+ Open Shelving Kitchen’s

Better Home & Gardens Decorate Your Home For Fall


Solid Frog

Better Home & Gardens Ultimate Storage Packed Kitchens

It’s not hard to fall in love with open shelving.

So I took down my upper cabinets.




And painted the walls white, I used the left over paint from when I painted the trim in the house (pre-blogging paint job).




It’s really white, and makes the place look so much bigger.

Oh did I mention what I got to use to fill the holes in the wall?


Yes ladies and gentlemen that is in fact a spatula used for cooking or in my case applying mud to my walls. We couldn’t find the spatula used for muding so I improvised… and aside from a little extra sanding, it worked just fine. 😉

Only problem is that now you can see where the upper cabinets where as there’s a slight outline along the ceiling of the old cabinets 🙁 Guess who gets to paint the ceiling now…

Then I made my wall brackets….

I used my framing square to draw 45 degree angles on my boards (it ended up looking like a large chevron) and then proceed to cut them into squares with a diagonal line running from one corner to the other.


I also used the framing square to mark where the center of each square was.

From there I used a 4 inch Hole Saw to drill a large circle in the center of each board.


And a 2 3/4 inch Hole Saw to drill 2 smaller circles on either side of the large hole.


I discovered shortly after completing my first two that using the drill would not make for a great option. Mostly because the drill started smoking during the second square, and the battery life would be limited to two squares before recharging.



We broke out this bad boy. Hello Mr. Drill Press it’s nice to meet you. This guy was able to drill all the holes in less than an hour. There is something to be said about using the right tool for the job. Wow Thank You Mr. Drill Press.

After that it was a matter of cutting the squares into the brackets


From there, I used the router to fancy up the edges a bit…


My nephew Sam automatically volunteered to help…


After that Isaac (Sam’s twin brother) had to give it a go…


And of course their sister Ashten had to get in on the action…

Who knew that routering brackets would become a family affair focused on teaching the kids to use the router.

And with so much help, I had the fun of sanding…


My sister stole my camera…


So I stuck it in her face (see how happy she is with me 😉 )


I used the Kreg to drill some pocket holes in the top for easier instillation, and the router to put a hole on the side to hold it against the wall.


From there is was sanding and staining.


And while they dried I got to play with these two…





Then it was back to work painting and sanding.


I was going for a kind of rustic aged look.

But then I started to run in to some unplanned changes…






So now I have some more sanding, mudding, and painting to do before I can finish putting up the shelves.

But here’s a sneak peek at how it looks today…




So what do you think?

Are you a fan of open shelving?

Do you go for the rustic or the clean modern look?

I’ll be sharing at these awesome parties. Check out my party page to share the love. 

Thanks for stopping by


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17 thoughts on “DIY Shelves – Part 1

  1. Ricki, I think it is going to look fab! We just did some open shelving in our basement kitchen. Loving them so far. You really did a great job on the brackets. I love primitive, but I did go for a clean white look this time. Love the look of yours too! Thanks for sharing with SYC.

  2. Your shelfs came out really good. I like the fact that you did the design for the brackets yourself and tarnished them. We recently put up home made shelfs in our livingroom, I would of never thought of the kitchen. New follow look forward to seeing more.

    • Thank you, it was actually really easy once I knew what I was doing and had all the equipment. Best part was that they ended up only costing me about $3 a bracket compared to the $10 per I was looking at in the stores.

  3. Your Gussets look AWESOME!
    I’ve made gussets before…but I don’t think they turned out quite as curvy… I like you curves…LOL!
    Bet you weren’t expecting that from a total stranger…that just found your blog while “hopping” …
    Love this project, can’t wait to see the finish.

  4. While I love the idea of open shelving, I have my kitchen pots on a wall mounted pot rack and I know the ones that I don’t use every day get a light coating of grease and dust. (I do have an exhaust fan and I am not a “fryer” of anything except occasionally bacon and browning meat.) I have a huge collection of ironstone that I would love to display but that possibility of additional work keeping the collection clean dissuades me from putting up shelves.

    You are a brave (and seriously talented DIY’er) woman!

  5. Oh…I love how these turned out. I’m a big fan of open shelving. This is just going to look fabulous. I have a little bit of open shelving in my kitchen. I just took the doors off two of the cabinets and have never regretted it. It opened the kitchen right up. But…I tried keeping dishes I used on it and didn’t care for that. Because then it was always a jumble. Instead I used it to display not often used items and a few decorative things so that it adds to the decor of the kitchen. I love it like this…really added to my little kitchen. I am even thinking about taking another couple of doors off.

  6. I love how your shelves are looking and I think you will be so happy with them! I wanted open shelving too, but I live on a farm which is DUSTY so I decided against it. But I drool every day. I cannot wait to see your finished project!

  7. You did a super job. I can’t believe you made the wall brackets. And I love how you stained them dark underneath the paint…very nice effect. And your questions about open shelving…I like how it looks, and it’s practical for finding things. But I always wonder if the contents get more dusty/dirty???

    • Thank you Gail, I wasn’t sure about what I was doing when I made the brackets but I’m very happy with how they turned out. As for the dust factor, I will have to keep you updated…

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