Friday, May 1, 2015

DIY: Farmhouse Style Shelves

We recently moved some furniture around our living room/kitchen space.  We don't have a lot of storage in our small kitchen, so I thought it'd be nice to add some shelving to one of the walls and use Ball canning jars to store things like beans, popcorn, teas, etc.  I love the farmhouse style, and of course love anything DIY and homemade!

We knocked these shelves out in about 3 hours (including drying time).  We spent $36 on brackets, and around $10 for the board (I really can't remember how much it was-this is a general ballpark price).  So, not the MOST inexpensive project (due to needing sturdy brackets so things don't-you know-fall on my children walking by), but overall reasonable for 3 good sized-and good looking-shelves!

We started with a 12 foot long 2x8 board.  A 2x10 would also be a great size for these shelves.  We cut them into three equal pieces.  

For staining, I boiled some water and made a strong brew of black tea.  I wiped this all over each of the boards.  Then, I applied a coat of steel wool soaked vinegar.  This had been sitting already in my garage from another project.  To make this type of stain, you simply soak steel wool (we used the kind with the number: #0000) in a jar of white vinegar.  Be sure to let a little bit of the steel wool to touch the air (i.e. let it stick out a bit) so that it oxidizes.  Occasionally dip the wool back down into the jar, shake, pull out another portion of the steel, and repeat until you have a darkened mixture of vinegar.  24 hours is usually plenty of time.  

When you wipe this mixture on, the wood absorbs it differently in different spaces.  Also, different woods will take it differently.  It's totally out of your control, which I love!  And it darkens over the first few minutes-so if it goes on really light, let it sit and watch it darken!

We let this dry on the boards.  We did not use any kind of finish or poly because they aren't getting any sort of heavy use.  Then we just screwed our brackets into the wall and hung them up.  We originally bought brackets without the middle support bar, and it was a big mistake.  You need brackets with some sort of middle support so that it can hold the weight of the wood plus whatever you're putting on them.

I really, really, love these shelves.  And they were so incredibly easy to make!  They've freed up space in my pantry cabinet so I can see everything better, and give me an excuse to buy more Ball jars :)

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