Confident BeginnerA Jack of no Trades
DIY Triangle Wall Shelf
Did y’all watch those you-tube videos from my last post? Well, I sure did. And with those 7 videos of curriculum, I decided I was handy enough to build a wall shelf. Come through, you-tube knowledge!
Let’s back up: I am very into the idea of triangular shelves. Although they have been in fashion for quite a while, I personally fell in love after seeing the large display shelf from General Store Instagram, and the gorgeous dark wood triangle shelves like the gorgeous creations from Stone and Violet. After a preliminary google search, I was unable to find a hard and fast plan that molded both the size and usefulness of the large scale wall shelf with the beauty and style of the smaller shelves. Where are you when I need you the most, internet?!
Lucky, after a few more search-filled evenings, I came across this post from Alex & Corban, who may just be my 4th and 5th most favorite New Zealanders (top bill goes to Flight of the Conchors of course). Their triangle shelf plans were what finally made me able to see my dreams come to life; I just had to follow their basic ideas with a few tszuj’s of my own.
Remember my totally rad Carpenter Dad from the previous post? I knew that my first step had to be contacting him for all of the hot insider details. After a long discussion about wood choice, which screws to use, how to inevitably put everything together, I had a plan of attack. Oh, and if you are wondering, this is the super realistic and well planned out photo I sent to my dad, Mr. Carpenter Perfectionist. So good, such design, so precise. DON’T ANYONE WORRY, I totally know what I am doing here guys.
Once I had everything mapped out with pencil on the wall, I took measurements and copied them onto my wood pieces and cut them from there. I used numerous pieces of 1x6x6 and 1x6x4 pieces of knotty pine, yas hunny the cheap stuff, purchased at my local Home Depot. If you wanted a really solid shelf, the 1x8 would be a great size (ps, the wood comes in a million different sizes) but I didn’t want my shelves to stick out from the wall too much so I opted to go with the smaller 5.5′ shelf sizes (aka a 1x6). Note to all of you not in the wood world: the sizes that they say a piece of wood is and the actual physical size of the god damned piece of wood are two very different things. So, I guess, check that shit out before you pretend you know exactly what you are doing. The biggest and most important thing that I learned from the Alex & Corban project was that everything, and I mean everything, needed to be cut at a 30° angle. The amount of time I spent staring blankly at pieces of wood, trying to get a perfect mitered top was absolutely horrendous. Don’t go fancy here people, just cut everything at 30° and move da fuck on.
I used a older Ryobi Miter Saw for the cuts, until the batteries died (need to get on that lithium battery pack thoooo) and then I used a circular saw to finish it off (was that a mistake? maybe). After I realized that my new Ryobi lithium battery fits into the old Miter saw, things went a lot more smoothly. Oh, and if you are wondering, of course I figured this out after I had completed 99% of the cuts, who do you think I am?
Once I had most of my pieces roughly cut out, I laid them out to make sure they kind of fit together (my deck is quite whibby whobbly) and started assembling. Welcome to the actual worst part of this process, people.
DID YOU KNOW CARPENTERS GO TO SCHOOL TO LEARN THIS SHIT?! Turns out, this wasn’t as smooth of a process as I thought it was going to be. Chalk it up to imperfect cuts, imperfect angles, inability to screw things together correctly, but man this shit was hard to handle. Remember all of those pieces that fit together on the balcony? Yeah, that was a nice moment in time. It’s all fun and games until you start screwing wood together and praying that it will fit correctly.
After quite a few tries and multiple miscellaneous screw holes, things started to come together. Now, I am not going to point out the flaws, because I want you people to think I am wonderful and perfect. So, uhh, I guess, let’s just all move on very quickly.
In order to keep these bad boys on the wall, I was told to use 1x2 cleats screwed into studs with 2′ screws. As you can see, that worked for most of the project. Until, of course, I ran out of wood and rushed to Home Depot. As you can deduce, I incorrectly remembered the size needed and assumed I needed 1x3 pieces, found out they only had 1x4’s in stock and though, ‘eh, its only going to be like 3/4 of an inch off, right? It should look fine’. After coming home, realizing my error, and staring blankly into space hoping the wood would just fucking shrink itself, I ended up just going forward and hoping that I could live with the very grievous error I had made. Oh, and if you are wondering, although I live 350kms away from my father, I can guarantee he is screaming at the computer screen right now. I AM SORRY, CARPENTER FATHER, I KNOW WHAT I HAVE DONE WRONG.
In order to ‘hide’ my cleats mistake, and to add a bit more ✨illusion✨ to the wall, I hand drew a little mountain mural design to accentuate the shelving unit. It just so happens that my awesome cousin was also in town that weekend so I
forced her into manual labour kindly asked for her assistance in this project. Big props to Em for the helping hands and Drake for the motivation to keep us going late into the evening. We all need a one dance, hunty.
I used two paint colours, mixed with some leftover white paint from when I repainted my condo. The white paint colour is Benjamin Moore Regal Select Eggshell finish in Oxford White, purchased at a Benjamin Moore store. The mid toned grey colour is Behr Ultra flat finish in Liquid Mercury and the dark grey is Behr Premium Plus Eggshell finish in Orion Grey, both purchased at Home Depot. I bought a pint of the Orion Grey, as I plan on using it with some other projects, but I still have well over over half of the paint left after this wall, so you can probably suffice with sample sizes (I bought the sample size in Liquid Mercury). The in-between colours, you guessed it, are just mixed with various amounts of white paint. Mural wise, I was inspired by the Mountain Mirage Wall Mural project from The Snug and from one of my favorite parts of Vancouver, the view of the hills and fjords from the dog beach. Hi Vancouver, I love you!
Next, it was time to put it all together. Do you remember when I was complaining about fit issues before? Well, ha. hah. hahahah. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAH * dead *.
Turns out, when things don’t fit to start off with, things really do not fit when you are trying to end off the project. With the help of 40+ year old walls, out-of-level floors, incorrectly cut angles, and sheer desire to finish a project before the night is over, everything ended up forming a big hefty mess to fumble through. By this time, all bets were off and all previously measured measurements were out of the window. However, through sheer spite and desire to get my house back to normal, I managed to squeeze everything into place. There are still a few vertical shelf pieces missing, but I will finish those at a later date (aka mucked up some pieces, ran out of wood for the second time and refused to go back to Home Depot). Prior to the final assembly, the wood was finished with one coat of Miniwax Woodfinish Penetrating Stain in Jacobean and two coats of polyurethane to seal.
IT IS COMPLETED! I MADE IT THROUGH! It has been up for a week already and it hasn’t come crashing down (yet) which what was always my number one fear when working with wall shelves. It may not have been a pretty process, but I did it! I AM A WOODWORKING GOD. Oh, if you are wondering about the weird lonely rectangle in the middle, I eventually want a sitting/standing desk for when I sew and cut fabrics, so I left a bit of wiggle room for that.
The intended purpose of this shelf was to, obvs, be cute as hell, but to also hold all of our * cough my cough * crafting supplies. I won’t say that I didn’t have the absolute most fun styling these shelves, but, ya know, I won’t deny that fact either.
Pulling out all of the pre-cuts for this shelf from my secret fabric stash really makes me think I need to get started on more quilts!
Come on now, this is just my dream sewing spot! I could sit here all day and sew all of the things. If only ‘full time jobs’ and ‘life errands’ didn’t get in the way.
No hand-built creation would be complete without the candle of the Patron Saint of bacon and wood-working. Trust me on that one.
Now that this spot is finally completed, I can get back to working on working through my ever growing fabric stash (whoops!)
All in all, this project costed a total of about $162 dollars, including wood, screws, paint, and stain, but I did have all of the power tools and painting utensils at home to begin with. Time wise, someone who has worked with wood before could probably slap this together in no time flat, but it took me around two weekends of casual working to cut, paint, stain, and assemble everything together.
Working with wood was truly an obsession and a fear for me. I didn’t think that I could do it properly, or that I would be able to have something stay on the wall without ripping and entire section of drywall off of the studs. It got to the point where I was even nervous to go into the lumber section of Home Depot alone because I thought the employees would judge me and think I was a dumb white girl with an HGTV obsession (although not entirely incorrect). I don’t know why I chose a project like this one (!!) to be my initiation into working with wood, but I am truly glad that I decided to take the plunge and dive in head first. As with everything I do, and everything I tell people, nothing is ever going to be perfect, but you can’t let that stop you from trying! Unfortunately, as one would assume knowing me, I now believe that I can do LITERALLY ANYTHING with wood. Like having a child (ew) or getting a tattoo, the pain is over and I forgot all of the shitty parts and just remember how fun it is to have a shelf baby in my life.
Next project, I will probably be more detailed with my purchases, measurements, and cuts, just in case someone wants to recreate what I did (I honestly did not even think that would be the case this time around) but if you have any questions, or are going to tackle your own triangle shelf PLEASE give me a holler if you have any questions. I did everything wrong, but I am pretty sure I now know how to do everything right!
That’s it for now, back to the quilts Natasha!