Childproof your Fireplace Hearth

As a first time parent, I’m sure I am overly cautious about what my child can get hurt on around our house. As he started to learn to walk, I pictured him toddling about the house, falling in every direction, eventually losing his balance and falling into the hard edge of our brick fireplace hearth. Leading to an injury requiring medical attention. Because of this fear, I searched for a way to protect my child by childproofing the raised fireplace hearth.

I started my search by Googling hearth covers. The results came up with gates around the hearth or minimal adhesive corners. Neither option gave me the peace of mind I needed. After that, I turned to my old reliable friend Pinterest. Still, the options were not going to work for me. So I knew it was going to be up to me to come up with an idea on my own.

I wanted something that would cover the whole raised hearth and provide lots of padding, in case of a hard fall. High density foam was going to provide that. So, I started by measured the length, height and depth of my hearth. I visited my local fabric and craft store to see what they offered. I decided on 2″ high density foam because I knew it would guarantee my son would not hurt himself on the brick no matter how hard his fall. The 2″ high density foam is not cheap, but with the occasional 40-50% off coupon became much more in my price range.

Foam Size and Cutting

Figuring out how little of foam I could buy was a bit of working a puzzle. The length of the hearth is a little over 61″. Because the foam is 2 inches thick, I added 4″ to the total length, so that each side would have 2″ overhang for the side panels to be glued too. I wanted as clean of a front and top and I could get, so that meant these would be my first cuts. Knowing I would need two long pieces that were 66″ each, I then had to decide how to split to 24″ width of foam. Cutting it in haIf would have made the front just a little short, so decided to cut one piece to be 13″ and the other part would be 11″. I used the 13″ piece for the front.

Length of Hearth

In order to have clean corners, I worked from the other side of the foam and cut two identical pieces to be 11″ x 12″.

I used the remaining foam to create long, thin pieces of foam to add more the the wall and fireplace side. Using as much length as I could I cut two pieces that were 24″ long to be 3″ wide and made a third piece 18″ long. These were to be used on the fireplace side of the top panel. I also cut one pieces 2″ wide and then cut it in half to have two 12″ lengths. These were to be used on the sides.

Here is the total list of cut peices I used:

  • 1- 66″ x 11″
  • 1-66″ x 13″
  • 2-11″ x 12″
  • 2-3″ x 24″
  • 1-3″ x 18″
  • 2-2″ x 11″


Once everything was cut, it was time to glue. I purchased a clear professional strength foam adhesive that sprays on.

I started with glueing my two largest pieces. Because I used a spray adhesive, I wanted to try and protect areas that did not need glue. I line up the two sections how I wanted them to be glued together and taped off the areas I did not want glue on using old newspaper ads helped protect larger areas. Once the non-glue area was covered, I removed the section I used to measure and sprayed the glue on both edges to be glued together.

Next I glued the two side pieces. This meant more taping and paper, but once they were on it provided a lot more stability.

The final glueing I did was on the fireplace and wall side where I added the thinner pieces. These added a little more depth which made it look nicer.

Once all the glue was dry, I placed it over the hearth. A perfect fit!

The glue does discolor the foam a little, but you will never know once it is covered in fabric.


The final step was to cover it with fabric. I made sure to purchase an upholstery fabric. It is very durable and is thicker so you don’t see the foam behind it. It is more expensive, but you should only have to buy it once versus a poorer quality fabric that you may have to replace due to wear and tear.

I made the mistake of purchasing the fabric at the same time of buying the foam. Because I was trying to do quick math in my head, I purchased 2 1/2 yards. The final product is 66″ long and each side is 13″ tall. 66 plus 13, plus 13 equals 92. 92″ is 2″ short of 2 1/2 yards! Ugh! Don’t make the mistake that I did. Make sure you do your math correctly before you buy.

I had planed on gluing the fabric to the foam, but ended up just laying the fabric over it and tucking it over the edges. It looks pretty good and had held up well. This way if I ever want to clean the cover or change out the fabric I can do it easily.


I am so happy with the final product. It provides such good protection from the hard brick and is easy to move when we choose to have a fire in the fireplace. A bonus is that because I used such thick foam, the whole thing doubles as additional seating in our living room! People love to come in and sit down and join in on conversations.

How a Tiny Bathroom Became a Storage Haven

Can a DIY Bathroom Remodel bring simplicity and organization to your life? Absolutely. You don’t have to have a large space to do it. I’m going to show you how we remodel our very small bathroom. Doing this has brought so much peace and order to my life.

Our house is a modest 1225 square feet. It came to us with one and a half bathrooms. The full bathroom is in the main hall and the half bathroom connects to the master bedroom.

This took a lot of pre-planning, measuring, saving and a little bit of moving some walls and adding some doors. I will be the first to admit that doing home improvement projects take five times longer than it would to hire a professional. Why? Because I am not an expert in what ever field it is (plumbing, electrical, drywall), and I have 10 other things that need my attention, like my full-time job.

The Before

For me, I consider a full bathroom to be a space that has a sink, toilet, and a way to wash my body, i.e. a shower or bathtub. The master bathroom only had a toilet and a sink. The last house owners had replaced the the sink vanity and the replacement was tiny and had no storage.

I needed a bathroom that has more storage, and had a shower. In order to make room for a shower we had to move the linen closet that was on the other side of the bathroom. We were able to take some space from one of the bedrooms closet to create a linen closet at the end of the hall so that we still had that precious storage space.

Storage space is important to me. Have you caught that yet?

The Plan

I broke down the project into these steps:

  1. Move linen closet
  2. Remove toilet and vanity
  3. Demolish wall between the bathroom and former closet and remove drywall
  4. Unplanned detour to have electrical moved (Opps)
  5. Replace former closet door with wall, texture and paint
  6. Remove the flooring, studs between closet and bathroom and drywall
  7. Add new floor underlayment
  8. Hire plumber to rework and add plumbing
  9. Hire shower pan man and have shower pan poured
  10. Remove ceiling drywall and save insulation for reinstall (opps)
  11. Install new wall drywall
  12. Tile floor
  13. Install ceiling drywall and ceiling fan
  14. Install shower cubbies and the remaining tile backer board
  15. Repair the wall where the backer board slipped and punched through the wall (opps)
  16. Tape, prime, texture and paint wall
  17. Install lighting, toilet, vanity and mirror
  18. Plan tile, tile shower, and grout
  19. Install fixtures
  20. Enjoy a full bathroom without leaving my bedroom!

I know, that is quite the list. This is not going to be a post about what we did step-by-step. I am going to show you what we did, and some things we learned along the way. Usually the hard way. And how in the end, all the work was 100% worth it and today makes my life so much easier and simpler.

Getting to Work

After we moved the linen closet (that I did not document), we had to demo the bathroom. #demoday

Tearing out walls is a little nerve racking, but it also fells good to be able to envision what the final product will look like.

Starting to Take Shape

Having to re-work the electrical took more time that we thought. But once it was done we could remove the studs and have the plumbing work done. The plumbing work was the single most expensive part of the project.

The Shower Pan

Having the plumbing completed felt so rewarding. It felt like the bones were in place and we could move on to adding other party to the body. Next, the installation of the shower pan. Because the space was a unique size, we could not go to our local hardware store and pickup a fiberglass pan. No, a custom pan was the only option. This meant finding a person who specializes in shower pans to come do the work. I found one, O-N-E, person in my area who only did shower pans.

Installing Drywall and Tile

Oh drywall. I feel like I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with drywall. It always seems like it is going to be so easy to install and is always seems to be a bit harder than I imagined.

A hard learned lesson we learned when we moved the linen closest was that the thickness of the drywall is very important. Drywall thickness is 3/8, 1/2 or 5/8 inch. The difference looks so small on paper, but will create a ton of work, if you are matching it up to existing drywall and don’t get it right.

If you can do a puzzle and frost a cake, you can do simple tiling. My husband and I had both done a little bit of tile work in the past, but we still took some steeps to prepare ourselves.

  1. We took a DIY tiling class at Home Depot. Most of the information we knew, but some of the tips and tricks they taught made the process a lot easier. Like stacking tiles to measure your exact cut.
  2. We watched a lot of Youtube videos on tiling, specifically a bathroom. Our favorites were videos by the TileMasterGA

Ceiling Work

If I thought that wall drywall was tough to install, I was wrong. Ceiling drywall was the tougher. Drywall is not light. My husband had to hold up the drywall, while I screwed it in as fast as I could.

Matching up new drywall with existing along with texture is a big task and something I was not up for.

Shower Cubbies

Installing shower cubbies are probably one of the smartest things we did. Having a storage space for shampoo and soap not on the floor or a wire rack of some kind is so nice. It looks so clean and is easy to access.

Two things I would have done differently is :

  1. Install the cubbies before the shower pan. I worried what the height would be after the pan was installed instead of just installing them.
  2. Installed a niche for my foot when I shave my legs. It would be nice since shaving my legs is a little tricky without it. But the new shower is still valuable with or without it.

Installing Tile Backer

Wall tile backboard is a beast in weight. There were some “opps” along the way, but it all ended well.

The product that the shower pan contractor used looked like strips of RAM board. I searched and could not find the strips, so we ended up buying a small roll of RAM board and cutting it into strips. Months later while waiting for a rental at Home Depot, I ran across this product: Drywall Shim


When I see contractors taping and mudding walls on TV, it looks so easy. I can frost a cake. I can spread mayo on some bread. How hard can taping and mudding be? A little harder than it looks. It is totally possible to do it yourself. But it definitely takes some practice and patience.

There is also the waiting for it to dry part that can be frustrating as you want to mice on to the next part of the project.

Texturizing a wall is a special skill in my opinion. On another wall we made the mistake of using an aerosol texture spray. This is not a great product for two reasons: 1) it is expensive for what you get 2) it did not give us the end result we wanted. (see the photo below with bubbly end product that did not match the other texture). After doing all the extra work to fix it, we invested in a sprayer and air compressor. Doing some practice on cardboard before you spray your wall will help getting the final results you want.

Back to the Start

Happy Birthday to my Husband! We installed the toilet and vanity on his birthday. (hence the celebratory drink on the vanity).

Installing the light on the wall before installing the vanity so we were not working over the vanity and could get closer to the wall.

Seeing the toilet, light, vanity and mirror it was like we were back to the start. But it was so much better. The vanity is bigger, and the quality is better. Making for a happier place.

Shower Tile

At the start, tiling sounded like fun. By the end, I never wanted to see tile again. This definitely took more planning and time, then the floor tile. The end result was worth it.

If we could do it differently, we would have used a standard grout. The one we chose here stated it was antimicrobial and inhibited stains from mold and mildew. Sounds great! Less cleaning! Or so I thought. I have not seen the product live up to these statements. Cleaning regularly to get rid of the pink funk is still necessary. It was also more difficult to install, so in the end it was more work than it was worth.

The Finished Remodel

The final touches are to install the shower fixtures, hang a shower rod, install a small storage cabinet over the toilet and a towel rack.

While the space is small, it is absolutely glorious to have a shower connected to the bedroom.

A remodel is time consuming work, but in the end it is worth it to have easy access to what I need close by.

Update Your Home for Under $1800

How to Update your Home for Under $1800

Flipping is all the rage these days, and I don’t mean Olympic gymnastics style. HGTV is full of house flipping shows, showing you how they buy a run down house and turn it into a stunning master piece.

The reality of finding that diamond-in-the -ruff-house with all the other “must-haves” is really difficult. Once we found this diamond-in-the-ruff houses with all the “must-haves” and fell in love with it….for about 3 hours. Why? Because we learned the house had a cracked foundation and was a 100% cash only purchase. A bank would never finance a house with that much of an issue. The cost to repair the cracked foundation was way more than what we had saved for house updates. So we moved on.

What you are more likely to find is something that costs more, does have most of the “must-haves,” but still needs some updates. The house we bought was not perfect, but it was perfect for us at this time in life. Our “must-haves” included location, size, yard size, heating type and a fire place. This house had all the “must-haves” but still needed some updates to make it more modern.

It is amazing what paint, window fixtures and elbow-grease can do. Even better is doing it all with minimal cost.

So lets get to it! Here are the before and after of each of the rooms. Some of the rooms had updates later that I will share in a future post that are not included in the prices of items. We purchased almost everything from major “big-box” stores.

I would like to note that some of the photos are from the house listing and not ones that I look myself.

Living Room

The living room is the largest space in the house so it offers the most opportunities. One of the issues with the house was consistency, or lack of it. With a small house it is important to have consistency so that there is a visual flow and the spaces don’t feel cut into blocks. Before, almost every room was a different color, all the doors were different and all the window coverings were different, making the house feel smaller and dated. The ceiling is a little lower than standard houses, so it was important to brighten up the room to make it appear bigger. We did this by painting all the ceilings flat white.

I don’t recommend making the entire interior of the house the same color, I do recommend choosing paint colors that are the same tone. We chose some cool grays. For the living room we decided to use two different grays, a darker and a lighter. This adds some visual intrigue. We started it on the wall with the largest window so that the gray would not appear as drastic of a change.

Because this is the only living space in the house, it was important that the room be inviting and offer as much seating as possible. As you can see, the last home owners has a single oversized couch, and a bold red coffee table. You will see in future photos that this then flowed right into another space which actually made the space appear smaller.

By using an area rug and positioning our couch between the spaces we defined the space as more of an individual room. We eventually purchased new couches and made a side table to create an intimate gathering place.

The window coverings were also an issue. They were inexpensive and blocked out light even when they were open. Your eyes were drawn to them, and not in a good way. I have always loved wood-shutters, but those would not work in this house because they would block out too might light. A way to get a similar look is to have wood blinds. We decided to use faux wood for a couple of reasons. 1) cost, it is way more affordable 2) weight, they are lighter and easier to install 3) clean-ability, the dust actually tends to not stick to the plastic as it would to wood. We used these same blinds in all the rooms except for the nook and kitchen.

  • Blinds: $203
  • Front Door Hardware: $45
  • Paint: $100


I consider the fireplace to be apart of the living room, but I felt that it needed its own little section.

It is made of what looks like reclaimed brick and had been abused. Holes drilled into it, side bricks broken off and re-mortared. It needed some help. The first thing we did was to remove the insert. It was U-G-L-Y. It was dated. It was heavy. It needed to go! I am sure that inserts are very useful for people who use the fireplace at a heat source. We enjoy the fireplace for more of the look, so the insert just wasn’t necessary.

My poor husband muscled that thing out. It took strength and a hand-truck to get it our of the house. Funny story; it sat on the hand-truck for a while and weighed so much, the tires on the hand-truck went flat.

Taking out the insert helped so much, but the brick still looked sad. We filled in all the holes that had been drilled into it (tip, don’t make holes in brick. It will never look the same) with a fire safe, mortar sealant. Then my husband surprised me on my birthday and white-washed the brick by watering down flat white paint. Our brick never gets hot enough to react with the paint, so the latex paint works just fine. Awwwwwww, new life, breath of fresh air. The fireplace is now a piece that compliments the room and is not an eye soar.

  • Removing Insert: FREE

The Nook

The nook might be one of my favorite places. It might have a better name, but nook is what I have took to calling it. It actually used to be the dining room until the last owners renovated the kitchen area. It is not big enough to be a living area, so nook is what I landed on.

I felt that putting the TV waaaaaay over there was not pleasing to the space. And it blocked half the window. The window covering was installed too low and created kind of a shaggy dog look around the window, am I right? The funniest thing was tiny ceiling fan. It did not move air around, and thought of having a fan spinning dust and who knows what above your food totally grosses me out.

The desk is perfect for when my husband and I work from home, but need to be (or want to be) present in the main living area. We added the book case full of ALLL the books to create a mini library. The ladder shelving unit is a great, but small space to display our personal photos and style.

The window coverings are the only different one in the house. The long, dark curtains add height to the room and dramatic framing of the center focal point of the space.

  • Paint: $32
  • Curtains: $27
  • Light Fixture: $48

You can also just ignore the collapsed basketball hoop for my son :).


The kitchen was actually completely moved and redone by the last home owner. They made a great decision in this. They moved the entire kitchen from what was a galley style, with a door into the now nook, into what must have been a VERY small sitting area? Family room? I never actually saw it, so I can only lean on my imagination.

The cabinets are from IKEA, and if I every get to remodel a kitchen myself, I would still choose IKEA. This kitchen is not exactly what I would want, but it is close. It has toooooons of storage. I do wish it had a pantry, but I always pantry. Once you have lived in a place with one, you will forever want one. They turned the former kitchen space into the dinning area and added a buffet. More storage!!! Yippy!

The kitchen had a red theme that I was not a fan of. Especially in a small space. We decided to paint the whole space a cool green. In fact the paint color is called Cool Cucumber. How fitting is that for a kitchen?

While a continuation in cabinets is usually the standard, the cabinet above the sink needed to go. 1) It had zero use. There is no way I was going to put something up there 2) It closed in the sink and window and make it feel claustrophobic. By removing it, visually it opened up the space.

I have never been one for an open shelving system or glass doors in a kitchen, but I actually appreciate the few that this kitchen has. I love our dishware and love that it can be displayed. The dishware is white, so I added an adhesive backed shelf liner with a gray geographic print to the back of the cabinets to make the white dishware pop.

  • Paint: $32
  • Shelf Liner: $18
  • Cabinet Removal: FREE

Master Bedroom

Oh Mama, the master bedroom. First of all, it took three coats of flat white paint to cover the green on the ceiling. I will say that green will probably jolt anyone awake in the morning so you wouldn’t have to worry about over sleeping. We chose another gray and used it in all three bedrooms. This helps the house feel cohesive.

I am not sure what use the curtains in the room were. The window is east facing, so it gets the first of the sunrise. We changed them to the faux wood blinds as we did with all of the bedrooms and bathrooms.

I want you to notice the closet door knobs. The position of them told us that the bi-fold doors are were installed backwards. The knobs should be on the center panels, not the outer panel.

  • Blinds: $137
  • Paint: $64
  • Ceiling Fan: $75
  • Door Hardware: $30
  • Closet Knobs: $2

Master Bathroom

I am not going to spend a lot of time on the master bathroom because I will later post about the remodel we did. But is was tiny. I am not sure why anyone ever thought it was a good idea to make a master bathroom, a powder room. I guess it is better than no bathroom, but it still had very little function.

The use of the shower storage I thought was, um, creative? You can see that in the reflection of the mirror. You can tell that they tried to update the bathroom by installing new flooring and a new vanity. The wall next to the vanity shows where the previous one sat up against it.

Another thing the builder did was to have you open the door and see the toilet, Yuck!

  • Blinds: $34
  • Paint: $32
  • Door Hardware: $30

Guest Bathroom

Originally I wanted to start ripping into this bathroom as soon as we got the keys to the house. I was convinced we could remodel it and move into the house in about 3 weeks. I think I had been watching a little but too much HGTV. My husband talked me off the ledge. He suggested that we first remodel the master bathroom, since we planned on adding a shower to that one. And then we would remodel the guest bathroom. This was so smart, since the guest bathroom was the only shower we had. That would have been so rough if we had gone through with my plan.

This was the room that probably came to us with the most decorations. They had done a small update at some point, but I don’t think that was the best use of their time and money.

First of all, only put a pedestal sink in a powder room. As you can see they had to have a cabinet in there, and we temporarily added a small plastic storage container because there is no counter space with a pedestal sink. Where is a girl supposed to put on her make-up?

The wainscoting is not my favorite. I think it goes too high, but it would have meant replacing the entire bathrooms drywall. So instead we painted it white with an oil paint. Oil paint is not cheap, but so worth it, especially in a bathroom, on wood. We also painted the ceiling, back to white, and the walls a slightly grayer blue.

I would never recommend using laminate flooring in a bathroom. Bathrooms have the most moisture of any room in the house. Laminate and moisture do not mix. This would be fixed when we renovate the entire bathroom later on.

Small things like updating the shower curtain and light bulbs temporarily helped the bathroom until more could be done. I told my husband I would not feel clean taking a shower in there with the existing fixtures, so we agreed to change them out. That turned into a much larger job than I ever thought. Did you know that you can’t always just switch out the handle? There are different valves connected to the piping for different handle types. More on that later.

  • Paint: $75
  • Blinds: $34
  • Door: $35
  • Door Hardware: $30
  • Light Bulbs: $32
  • Shower Curtain: $20

Bedroom One

Oh, the orange room. No, just no. The whole thing was orange, including the ceiling. This room also took more than two coats of paint. Plus there was the chipping off of the temporary-tattoo-like decal that was in the center of the wall.

This room had what some might call “character.” Like the art-deco light switch cover. I don’t know why they didn’t want to take that with them?

The door in this room was interesting too because it had no varnish, it was just plain wood. This was one of the 3 doors we replaced so all the doors matched. I will always wonder why they did not do that before putting the house on the market, along with updating the light fixtures to something more modern.

One thing that we did that is hard to notice, is we changed out the style of closet door from a bi-fold to a 2-panel. With the room door backing up to the closet, you had to close the door before opening the closet. You still have to close the door half way, but at least now you can leave the closet door open if you need to make several trips to and from.

  • Paint: $64
  • Blinds: 137
  • Door: $35
  • Closet Doors: $62
  • Closet Door Hardware: $20
  • Light Fixture: $10

Bedroom Two

This room was the most neutral of all the rooms. We did decide to paint it so it would be consistent with all the bedrooms. The closet was interesting. The storage unit they had in the closet just ended about 2/3rds of the way across. It was about 3 1/2 feet deep, which is why we decided to make it a small walk in closet and use some of the space to relocate the linen closet. This was done a few months after we moved in, so that project is not included in this post.

Once again, the door did not match any of the others, and closet door was inconsistent with with closet doors. The small corner shelves and shelves along that wall were a pain to remove as you can tell from the patching that had to happen.

One of the most surprising things about this room came when we went to change the light fixture and discovered the dark, dark blue that the room and ceiling used to be. I can’t imagine spending much time in that room.

  • Paint: $32
  • Blinds: 137
  • Door: $35
  • Door Hardware: $30
  • Lighting: $10


One thing I have not talked about much is the floors. These were also strange. But what else is new. Every bedroom and both bathrooms had a different flooring. That equals eight different floorings in a 1200 square foot house. The main goal was to make the house consistent. We did eventually pull out all the different laminates in the bedrooms and had carpet installed. Personally I like carpet in bedrooms. I think it add warms and comfort. And we chose a light gray.

Whew, I know that was a lot. If you are still reading, thank you. Hopefully this has encouraged you to know that a big change can be made without a huge investment.

Thanks for reading!

Modern Rustic Galvanized Pipe Shelves

When my husband and I lived in our apartment, our living space was so small, we did not have much room for decorating furniture such as shelving units. What room we did have, we used for a single bookshelf and a DVD rack. This means that all of my husbands knick-knacks and collectables were put in the second bedroom.

It was a great day when we finally purchased our first house and we had the opportunity to spread out all our stuff. I quickly realized I had little desire for my husband collectables to be displayed in the main living space of our house, but the shelves they had been on, I did want to use. This meant I needed to come up with another option. In the guest bedroom. Without taking up floor space. That could hold more than before.

Challenge accepted.

I came up with a modern, but rustic galvanized pipe shelving system. I searched the internet as I had seen them before, but none of them had directions or were something I thought would work for our space. So I had to create something on my own.

Assembling The Pipe Sections

Here are the supplies I used for a 4 foot wide by 2 feet high, three shelf system:

  • 10 – 1/2 inch, 12inch long galvanized nipples (why they have to be called nipples, I will never understand)
  • 4 – 1/2 inch, 90 degree elbows
  • 2 – 1/2 inch tee’s
  • 6 – 1/2 inch floor flanges
  • 3 – 1 inch x 10 inch common boards
  • 24 – 1 1/2 inch wood screws
  • Stud finder
  • Electric drill/driver
  • A long level (long enough to go between your pipe sections)
  • Pencil
  • Painters tape

Before I marked my walls, I assembled the pipe. I chose to use “black” pipe instead of the straight galvanized. I really liked the end look, but it was messier than using traditional galvanized would have been. If you are going to use the black pipe, wear gloves.

I started by screwing one of the nipples into all of the floor flanges . You should be able to do this by hand, without any tools. I also did not use any adhesives.

Next, I added an elbow to four of the nipple-flange sections, these will become your top and bottom shelves.

Once the elbows are on, add another 12 inch nipple.

Also, once I was done, I wished I had taken all the barcode stickers off before I put it together. These stickers were a pain to get off.

I added one tee to two of the flange-nipple-elbow sections. Next, I screwed in one of the flange-nipple sections, that did not have an elbow attached it it to the tee.

Finally I added the second flange-nipple-elbow section to this. When completed, you should have two pipe sections that look like this. With the barcode stickers removed of course.

I placed both sections on a table with the flanges touching the table top so I could make sure everything was level. If anything was wobbly, I tightened the other sections so the whole thing was level. At this time, I also tightened or slightly loosened the floor flanges so that two of the screw holes would be parallel to where the wall stud will be.

Wall Mounting

Hanging the pipe on the wall was definitely the more complicated part of the project. I started out thinking I could do it myself, but ended up having to have my Mom come over to give me a second pair of hands. I was trying to surprise my Husband, so I couldn’t ask for his help.

We had a desk we wanted to put in this room, but I wanted to put in the shelves first. I measured the height of the desk and marked that with painters tape so I could visualize where I wanted the shelves to start on my wall. I measured up from there and added a couple of small pieces of tape to help with the visualizations, spacing the small tape pieces 12 inches apart. My shelves end up being slightly closer together in height, but this was close enough for me.

Another item that can be tricky, is matching your pipe sections to where you can mount them to a wall stud. Because of the weight of the pipe and the potential load, I wanted to make sure I screwed the flanges into a stud.

The desk was 4 feet 6 inches wide, and I wanted my shelving to be centered above the desk. I lucked out and was able to find a stud 12 inches from the side wall and another stud 32 inches from there. (This is standard as studs are usually 16 inches apart from the center of the 2×4.) This would allow for the board to run 8 inches on the outside of the pipe. I marked the stud location with a pencil on the wall using a ruler (you could used the side of your level).

I used my tape markings and the long level to draw lines on the wall connecting the stud lines. It is very important that your lines are level.

Now that all the planning is done, it is time to hang the pipe. It was impossible for me to hang and take pictures at the same time, so bear with me as I explain how to do this.

I took one section and lined the one screw hole up with a line that is perpendicular to the stud, and the other two to be over the stud line. I started with the bottom. You can choose any of the three, but you need to start with the same intersection on the other side.

I had my Mom hold the pipe so I could screw it into the stud. Once one section is attached, I grabbed my level and held it up to the side of my pipe section and lined another flange up with my stud line. I used my level to double check that my pipe is level vertically. I continued this with the third flange. I had trouble screwing in both flange screws while keeping it level, so I just did one screw while I was getting everything lined up correctly. Once it was secured and level, I went back and added screws to all the holes on the flanges.

I repeated this with the second section of pipe, however, I added a level check between the two pipe sections. When the first section of flange was screwed to the stud, I placed my level on both sections horizontally just to double/triple check that it is level. This is why I used a level that was long enough to go between the two pipe sections.

Ta-da! Attached pipes! To complete the shelving, I just placed the 1×10 boards on top of the three pipe sections.

Once everything was said and done, I did end up making some modifications with my husbands input.

  • We stained the boards with a black stain.
  • I did end up lowering the whole system. The top shelf was just a little too high and close to the ceiling
  • My husband needed more shelf space. So we added another pipe section to the side wall and wrapped the shelves around the corner. Because we only added one pipe section to the side wall, we had to attach the boards. We did so using a small tie strap and 3/4 inch screws.

As you can see, it did not take much time to fill up the shelves.

I hope you found this helpful! Please comment below. I am happy to answer any questions you may have about a shelving unit you want to build in your home. I always appreciate a like or follow on social media. The links can be found on the right side of the page.