DIY Industrial Pipe Shelving: A Step-by-Step Guide

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I've always been a fan of the industrial look in home decor, and DIY industrial pipe shelving is one of my favorite ways to design my ambient.

Industrial pipe shelves are a great way to add a touch of edgy, modern style to any room while also providing functional storage space. Plus, building your own shelves is an affordable and fun DIY project that can be customized to fit your specific style and needs.

If you don't have much DIY experience, don't be intimidated by the idea of building your own industrial pipe shelves. With a few basic tools and some easy-to-find materials, anyone can create a set of stylish and functional shelves in no time.

And if you're an experienced DIY-er, you can go a little bit extra and you'll love the creative freedom that comes with designing and building your own custom shelving unit. 

So if you're ready to take your home decor to the next level with some DIY industrial pipe shelving, keep reading for tips and inspiration to get started. From choosing the right materials to finding the perfect design, I'll walk you through everything you need to know to create your own unique and stylish shelving unit.

Required Materials and Supplies

Tools Needed

Whether you're looking to add some extra storage space to your kitchen, living room, or bedroom, DIY pipe shelving is a great option to consider.

When I decided to build my own shelves, I knew I needed to gather the right materials and supplies. Here's what I used:


The pipes are the backbone of your shelving unit. I used black steel pipes, which are strong and durable. You'll need pipes of various lengths, depending on the size of your shelves. You can also use pipes of different diameters to create a unique look.


For the shelves themselves, I used pine boards. You can use any type of wood you like, but keep in mind that some woods are more expensive than others. Pine is a good choice because it's affordable and easy to work with. You'll need to cut your boards to size, so make sure you have a saw on hand.


You'll need screws to attach your flanges to the wall and your pipes to the flanges. I used wood screws to attach the flanges to the wall and machine screws to attach the pipes to the flanges. Make sure you choose screws that are the right length for your project.

Elbows and Tees


Elbows and tees are used to connect your pipes together. You'll need to use elbows to create corners and tees to create intersections. Make sure you choose the right size and type of fittings for your pipes.


Flanges are used to attach your pipes to the wall. You'll need to use anchors to secure the flanges to the wall, so you should choose anchors that are appropriate for the type of wall you're working with. I used galvanized flanges because they're rust-resistant and look great.

Building your own rustic pipe shelves should be a fun and rewarding project and with the right materials and supplies, you can create a unique and stylish shelving unit that will last for years to come.

Required Tools

When it comes to building any DIY project, having the right tools is essential. Here are the tools I used for my project:


A drill is a must-have tool for any DIY project. I used a drill with a 1 1/2" spade bit to create the holes in the wood for the pipes to fit into. Make sure to use a drill bit that is slightly larger than the diameter of your pipes to ensure a snug fit.

Table Saw

A table saw is another essential tool for this project. I used it to cut the wooden boards to the desired length and width. If you don't have a table saw, you can also use a circular saw or a hand saw.

(Optional) Stud Finder 

Stud Finder

If you're mounting your shelving unit to the wall, a stud finder can be very helpful. It will help you locate the studs in the wall so you can attach your brackets securely. Make sure to use screws that are long enough to go through the bracket and into the stud.

Pipe Wrench

A pipe wrench is necessary to tighten the pipes and fittings together. Make sure to use a wrench that is the correct size for your pipes to avoid damaging them.

In addition to these tools, you'll also need screws, painter's tape, and wood finish to complete your project. 

Planning and Design Your Shelving Unit

DIY Industrial Shelving Planning

When I decided to build my own industrial pipe shelving, I knew that proper planning and design would be crucial to the success of the project. Here are some of the things I considered during the planning phase:

Planning & Designing

I started by thinking about what I wanted to achieve with my shelving. Did I want it to be a functional storage solution, or did I want it to be more of a decorative feature? Once I had a clear idea of my goals, I could start thinking about the specifics of the design.


The size of my shelving was determined by the space I had available and the items I wanted to store on it. I measured the area where the shelving would be installed and made sure to take into account any obstacles or uneven surfaces that might affect the size and shape of the shelves.


The finish of my shelving was also an important consideration. I wanted to achieve an industrial look, so I chose black iron pipes and fittings. I also opted for untreated wooden boards to give the shelves a rustic feel. However, there are many other finishes you can choose from, depending on your personal style and preferences.


Budget was also a key factor in my planning. Industrial looking shelves can be expensive if you purchase pre-made units, so building my own was a cost-effective solution. I made sure to research the cost of the materials I needed and factor that into my overall budget.


Finally, I had to consider the support system for my shelving. Pipe shelves can be heavy, so it's important to make sure they are securely attached to the wall or ceiling. I made sure to use heavy-duty anchors and screws to ensure the shelves were safely installed.

Overall, taking the time to plan and design my pipe shelving project was well worth the effort. By considering factors such as size, finish, and budget, I was able to create a functional and stylish storage solution that perfectly suited my needs.

Step-by-Step Process to Build Your DIY Industrial Shelves

DIY Industrial Shelving Master Plan

When it comes to building, there are three main steps: Cutting the Wood, Assembling the Shelves, and Mounting the Shelves.

Here's a step-by-step guide on how I constructed my own shelves using pine boards and floor flanges:

Step 1: Cutting & Preparing the Wood Boards

High Quality Premium Boards for Shelving

After all the designing and planning, I started by measuring and cutting my pine boards to the desired length for each shelf. I chose pine boards because they are affordable and easy to work with, but reclaimed wood could also be used for a more rustic look.

Adding a Rustic Touch

Painting the Boards

If you're looking to add a rustic touch to your home decor, industrial pipe shelving is a great way to do it. The combination of dark wood and tarnished pipe creates a rustic look that is perfect for a farmhouse or industrial-style home.

To achieve the rustic look, I recommend staining the wood with a dark stain. This will help bring out the natural wood grain and give it a weathered appearance. A dark stain also pairs well with the tarnished pipe, creating a cohesive look.

When it comes to choosing the right stain, I suggest going with a water-based stain. These types of stains are easy to work with and dry quickly. Plus, they are environmentally friendly and don't emit harmful fumes.

Once you've stained your wood, it's time to assemble your shelves. I recommend using black iron pipe for a more authentic look. You can find all the necessary pipe and fittings at your local hardware store.

To complete the rustic look, consider adding some farmhouse decor to your shelves. Mason jars, vintage books, and antique trinkets are great options. These items will help tie your rustic theme together and give your shelves a cozy, lived-in feel.

Adding a rustic touch to your home decor with this DIY industrial-looking project is a great way to create a warm and inviting space. With the right stain, pipe, and decor, you can easily achieve a look that is both stylish and functional.

How to Make Industrial Style Design & Decor

When it comes to shelving, one of my favorite styles is industrial-inspired. This style incorporates the use of metal pipes, including galvanized and black pipes, to create a modern and edgy look. Industrial style is all about exposing raw materials and creating a functional yet stylish design.

Painting the PVC Pipes

To achieve the industrial look, metal pipes are used as the frame for the shelves. These pipes are durable and sturdy, making them perfect for supporting heavy items. The galvanized pipe has a shiny silver finish, while the black pipe has a matte black finish. Both types of pipes are great for achieving the industrial style.

One of the benefits of using metal pipes for shelving is that they are versatile. They can be used in a variety of settings, from a modern loft to a rustic farmhouse. Additionally, the pipes can be cut to any length, making them customizable to fit any space.

When designing industrial-style shelving, it is important to keep in mind the aesthetic of the room. Industrial style is all about simplicity and functionality. To achieve this, I like to use a combination of metal pipes and wooden boards. The boards can be stained or painted to match the color scheme of the room.

Overall, industrial-style shelving is a great way to incorporate a modern and edgy look into any space. With the use of metal pipes, this style is durable, functional, and customizable.

Step 2: Assembling the Shelves

PVC Mounting
Tools Needed

Next, I assembled the shelves using floor flanges as the base and adjustable pipes to connect the shelves. I chose adjustable pipes so that I could customize the height of each shelf to my liking.

To assemble each shelf, I followed these steps:

  1. Screw a floor flange onto each end of the pine board.
  2. Screw an adjustable pipe into each floor flange.
  3. Screw a tee onto the top of each adjustable pipe.
  4. Screw another adjustable pipe into each tee.
  5. Screw a floor flange onto the top of each adjustable pipe.

I repeated these steps for each shelf, making sure to tighten all screws securely.

Full Installation Process

Installing industrial pipe shelves is a simple process that can be done in a few steps. First, you need to measure and mark where you want to install the shelves. Consider the width and height of the wall or ceiling where you plan to install the shelves. If you have a small space, you can install a single shelf or a few shelves in a vertical line. If you have a wide space, you can install multiple shelves in a horizontal line.

Cutting the Holes
Mounting the Industrial Shelves

Once you have the measurements, you can start installing the shelves. First, attach the floor flanges to the wall or ceiling using screws and anchors. Make sure the flanges are level and secure.

Next, attach the pipes to the flanges using pipe nipples and elbows. Use a pipe wrench to tighten the connections.

Once the pipes are attached, you can add the shelves. Place the boards on top of the pipes and secure them with pipe straps. Use screws to attach the straps to the underside of the boards.

If you want to install more than one shelf, repeat the process for each shelf. Make sure the shelves are level and evenly spaced.

In small spaces, you can install a single shelf above a desk or workspace. This can provide additional storage without taking up too much space.

In conclusion, installing industrial pipe shelves is a simple process that can be done in a few steps. Consider the width and height of the wall or ceiling where you plan to install the shelves. Attach the floor flanges, pipes, and shelves using screws and anchors. Repeat the process for each shelf.

Step 3: Mounting & Decorating the Shelves

DIY Industrial Pipe Shelving Design

Finally, I mounted the shelves onto the wall using screws and wall anchors. I made sure to use a level to ensure that each shelf was straight.

After you have finished building them, you can now focus on personalizing and decorating the shelves.

Decorating and Styling

DIY Industrial Pipe Shelving Putting Objects

When it comes to decorating and styling DIY industrial pipe shelves, the possibilities are endless! I love the look of open shelves, and industrial pipe shelves are perfect for achieving that modern vibe that I'm going for in my home.

One of the best things about these shelves is that they provide ample storage space while also being a decorative element in the room. I like to mix and match decorative items to create a unique look that reflects my personal style. Some of my favorite decorative items to display on these shelves include:

  • Plants: Adding some greenery to the shelves can bring life to the space and add a pop of color.
  • Books: Displaying books on the shelves not only adds visual interest but also provides easy access to my favorite reads.
  • Artwork: Hanging artwork on the wall above the shelves or leaning it against the shelves can create a gallery wall effect.
  • Vintage Items: I love incorporating vintage items, such as old cameras or typewriters, to add a touch of nostalgia to the space.

When styling the shelves, I like to keep in mind the overall color scheme of the room. I try to stick to a cohesive color palette to create a cohesive look. I also like to vary the height and size of the items on the shelves to add visual interest and texture.

Another great thing about these shelves is that they can be easily customized to fit any space. I like to use them in small spaces, such as bathrooms or kitchens, to add storage without taking up too much floor space.

Overall, DIY industrial pipe shelves are a versatile and stylish addition to any home. With a little creativity and some carefully chosen decorative items, these shelves can be transformed into a functional and beautiful focal point in any room.

DIY Industrial Pipe Shelves Video Tutorial

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How to Make DIY Industrial Pipe Shelving at Home

Overall, I found that building this was a fun and rewarding project. Not only did it save me money, but I also got to create a unique piece that fit my personal style and needs. Here are some key takeaways from my experience:

  • Planning is key: Before starting the project, it's important to carefully plan out the design, measurements, and materials needed. This will help prevent mistakes and ensure the final product meets your expectations.
  • Industrial pipe can be versatile: While many people use industrial pipe for a rustic or industrial look, it can also be painted or coated to match different styles. I found that a coat of metallic spray paint gave my shelves a sleek and modern look.
  • Don't skimp on materials: While DIY projects can be a great way to save money, it's important to invest in quality materials. This will ensure the final product is sturdy and durable.
  • Be patient: Building industrial pipe shelving can be time-consuming, especially if you're new to DIY projects. It's important to take your time and not rush the process, as this can lead to mistakes and frustration.

Overall, I would highly recommend building DIY industrial pipe shelving to anyone looking for a fun and creative project. With some planning and patience, you can create a unique and functional piece that adds character to your home.

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