DIY Industrial Pipe Shelves

How fun are these shelves??? After seeing these that one of our best friends had built in their home, I knew I needed them in my house. Our pantry is one of those awkward, over the stairs pantry's, where it is only the top half of the single door that they give you. This has allowed us to move out a lot of our baking goods out of the pantry and put on display. And sadly yes, I did have that many Hershey kisses in the closet. You always need to be prepared for making peanut butter cookies. 

We also decided to paint this wall with chalkboard paint. Or rather, I did. Aaron was super concerned, but I love it. The dark wall is a great contrast to everything else in the room, the metal really pops, and we've been able to use it as a place to write our grocery list, which was something we consistently lost.  

Now from a technical standpoint, this job was really easy. But for some unknown reason, I could not for the life of me, figure out the right pipe length that I needed. It took about 5 trips to the store, and about 4 sets of returns. So I'm going to make a shopping list for you. Believe me, you're welcome. 


  • Four boards: I actually bought two 10 ft, 2x10s and had them cut to 40 inches each. I could have made it slightly longer if I wanted, but Aaron didn't want it taking up the whole wall. This worked out great, because it left more room on the chalk wall.

  • Stain

  • Paint brush (I prefer foam for stain)

  • Twelve 90 degree angles. I originally bought 1/2 pipe, but exchanged them for the 3/4 inch. Cheaper, slightly skinnier, and you needed a smaller hole in the wood

  • Four Wall brackets

  • Eight T pieces

  • Twelve 2 inch 3/4 rods

  • Four 6 inch 3/4 rods

  • Six 12 inch 3/4 rods

  • Box of screws


  • Find where your studs are in the wall you are hanging it on. Measure 15 times before cutting the hold in your wood.

  • Make sure you have/can borrow this crazy drill attachment for the holes.

  • Don't wear anything decent because of the grease on the pipes.

  • Have someone help you when hanging. I actually stacked up old books to take some of the weight off, had Aaron holing it and make sure it was in the right spot, and then I screwed it in.

  • With as heavy as it was, I honestly don't suggest hanging it in anything other than a stud, but we did use an anchor on each of the four screws because it was slightly wider than our studs.

A lot of this shelf works off of gravity, so laying it all out, turning the pipes the right direction, etc. didn't really work. Focus on getting the four pieces in the wall and then you're golden. 

I honestly think this is one of my top projects to date. It adds so much more function to a previously awkward wall. Its not wide enough for any more cabinets or an island, but you didn't want it to be wasted space. It's fun, it's functional, and honestly it was about $175 when I added it all up, so it wasn't terribly expensive.

Plus the chalkboard is super fun, although Aaron is concerned that our someday children will then color all over ALL the walls. Sounds like a future me problem.