Making a rustic industrial free-standing corner shelf set

Sometime soon I’m going to share the details of our sitting room and dining room renovation, but for now I’m going to share the set of corner shelves I built. I call them rustic industrial because I left the wood in it’s raw state and I used black metal pipes spray painted oil rubbed bronze as support for the shelves, in the same style as the rustic industrial dog bed I built for my favorite pup. I wanted a set of corner shelves more substantial then the set I had for many years, about 5 feet tall with 5 small shelves in a light oak color. After I sketched out my idea for the new shelves, it took me about a month to find enough time to finish the job.

I used 12″ wide pine boards. I cut 6 sections of one foot and two feet long each so that I could attach the sections together to make corner shelves. This isn’t where I actually cut the boards, but I did use that table saw. I just thought you might enjoy my dog photobombing my picture, like she always does.



In order to attach the metal pipe to the side of the shelf, I used a 1″ x 2″ pine board to support the shelf. To attach the support board to the shelf, I used a counter sink bit to drill through both boards.



Counter sink bits:



Close up of the countersunk screw. Before I stained the wood, I used wood filler to fill the hole.



After I attached the support board to all of the shelf pieces, it was time to attach the one foot and two foot boards together, but first I had to plan the supports for the bottom shelf so that all of the brackets would fit. I spray painted the hardware with oil rubbed bronze.




To attach the one foot and two foot sections together, I used wood glue and a clamp before putting the screws into the brackets.




After the shelves were assembled, I stained them with TimberSoy Walnut stain and then finished them with quick drying polyurethane. While being watched by my dog.




Attaching supports to the bottom shelf (6″ black metal pipes and floor flanges):




Try to ignore our very messy workbench in the background of this next picture. I assembled the shelf layer by layer, making sure that the shelves were level and that the brackets were attached in relatively the same place. it wasn’t the easiest task. The back corner was supported by threaded rods screwed into something called “ceiling flanges” that were all spray painted with oil rubbed bronze. I used some super glue to lock the threaded rods to the flanges so that they were all the same length. You can see the side supports which are 72″ black metal pipes spray painted oil rubbed bronze.



A close up of the bracket used in the back corner of the shelf for extra support:


After the shelves were assembled, I put them in the dining room corner. And then took many photos of them for you to enjoy and to see how they fit in with the other furniture. I haven’t full accessorized the shelves yet.

CornerShelf-14 CornerShelf-15 CornerShelf-16 CornerShelf-17


I took a photo of the dog bed next to the new curtains so you could compare them to the corner shelves and of course the dog chose to lay in her bed at that moment. She’s the best photo bomber 🙂




19 thoughts on “Making a rustic industrial free-standing corner shelf set

  1. Pingback: The renovation of our front rooms | Laura Makes
  2. It all looks great!! I need an industrial rustic corner shelf myself in my dining room. I will be giving yours a try. Or well, if I can get my husband to help me I will. I have some health issues that keep me from doing things like this on my own which is thoroughly frustrating. But hopefully je will help me, he’s really good man when he wants to be. But anyway,fantastic job!!!



    • Sure, it’s a long threaded rod that I spray painted to match. It screwed into a rectangular bracket on the top and bottom, also spray painted, that is screwed to the shelves. It’s not the sturdiest solution, but it worked to give enough support on the back corner for my needs.


  3. Laura,
    I love your corner shelf unit! Can you tell me what those brackets are called you attached the shelves with to the sides of the shelf? Also can you show me a photo of the bracket you used in the back to hold up the shelf? Thank you


  4. Laura, where can I buy a Rustic Industrial Free-Standing corner shelve already made, just like the one on the picture. Thank You


      • Oh my God I am in need of one of this self standing shelve can you please send me a list of everything you used and instruction how to make it please. oh and how many of everything please. Thank you Edna


  5. Hi! I have a question for you, On your last images, you only put two plants. I was wondering if the shelf can hold more weight. I was thinking of few cook books, some wine/alcool bottles…. some decorative thing. I am about the ask someone to make it for me but He never worked with that kind of industrial meterial. Only wood. Thanks for your answer… Nancy


    • It would definitely hold more weight. The larger issue is just making sure that it’s not going to topple over. You might want to use some hidden straps to anchor it to the wall, like with Ikea furniture.


      • Thank you very much for your fast reply. I was happy about it !! Other question that comes to my mind (if you don’t mind) What type of metal pipe did you use (what’s the normal use for it) and where did you find it. I ask you because the only pipes I found here is that one..–1
        Since its metal gray,I would have to paint it in black.
        I also thought I could do, two pipes on each side instead of one, so that would be more stable. Not sure yet… I have a hard time to imagine it and figure out if it would still look good… Thanks again! Nancy


  6. Hi Laura,
    I found your blog and instructions inspirational. I have made a corner book-shelf based very closely on your design. Small differences are that I left the galvanised metal pipes their natural colour (metal grey), and I used a different method for my inside corner support (I used shorter lengths of galvanised pipe between each shelf). Is there any way I can send a photo through to explain?
    Anyway, I just wanted to say thank you very much – my wife & I couldn’t be happier with the result!
    Kind regards,


  7. Very inspirational! Just finished ours 🙂 Went with 5 shelves with 16” spacing, looks great and learned a lot. Your guide was extremely helpful, thank you!!!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s