Pipe shelf tutorial

Since moving into our brand-spankin’-new place in April, I’ve been staring at blank walls and a few random empty spaces. My mind is on overload with all the things I have planned, but recently I was finally able to focus on one of our boring bathrooms.



My latest post on My Crafty Spot features a toilet paper holder I built for the boys’ bathroom. The galvanized pipe is the perfect industrial vibe I was searching for but unable to find in any store.


The toilet paper holder was actually the second thing I made for the bathroom, the first were these cool towel bar shelves.



After receiving a lot of love for my new shelves, I thought I’d write a post for any DIY-er out there interested in building one. And if you love the look, but not the work, send me a message and I’d be happy to create one for you. It is an easy project, though, that anyone can do!

Here are the galvanized pipe pieces you’ll need:


  • 1/2 inch x 12 inch pipe – 1
  • 1/2 inch 90 degree elbow – 2
  • 1/2 inch x 1-1/2 inch pipe nipple – 4
  • 1/2 inch tee – 2
  • 1/2 inch flange – 4
  • 16 screws and 8 anchors
  • Degreaser (like Goo Gone)
  • Dish soap and water
  • Old rags
  • Wood for shelf – cut to your desired length and stained, painted and sealed


Attach the pipe pieces together:

Screw one 90 degree elbow on each end of the 12 inch pipe.


Screw one tee on the 90 degree elbow so that the bottom portion of the tee is facing what will be the back of the shelf.


Screw one 1-1/2 inch pipe nipple into the top of each tee, as well as into the bottom portion of the tee (the one you made sure was facing the back of the shelf).


Screw one flange into each of the 1-1/2 inch pipe nipples you attached in the previous step.


Make sure all pieces are tightened; use a screwdriver for leverage to twist the pipe securely if it is too tough to get the correct alignment with your hand alone. Wipe all pieces with Goo Gone and a rag to remove any black residue; wash with mild dish soap and water to remove Goo Gone and wipe pipe completely dry.

After cutting, sanding and staining your wood, attach the wooden shelf piece to the top by screwing 8 wood screws through the holes in the top flanges.



Pre-drill screw holes to make attaching the flange easier.

* I used an inexpensive piece of pine cut to 19 inches, sanded  it smooth with my palm sander, and applied Minwax Pre-Stain Conditioner to deter blotching. I applied two coats of Minwax Dark Walnut water-based stain and three coats of General Finishes Arm-R-Seal Satin topcoat (sanding lightly between coats).



Use anchors and screws to hang the shelf securely to the wall.


Find all of the required pipe pieces at your local home improvement store, but I recommend checking online retailers for the best deal.

I made larger shelves and hung them over the toilet in place of a towel rod and a custom holder for extra toilet paper, which could also be used as a paper towel holder.




Have fun making your own shelves; there are so many combinations, the possibilities are almost endless. Comment below or contact me with questions!







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