Okay, so I might be exaggerating a little bit. I mean, maybe my hacked Ikea Ivar shelf doesn’t look exactly like I’d pay $1000 for it but it definitely looks like I paid more than $15. (Which, by the way, was an excellent craigslist deal since brand new they retail for $72.50!).
My inspiration for this hack was this beautiful industrial vintage wood shelf from Hudson Goods:
I love the mix of industrial metal and reclaimed wood in this shelf and it reminds me a lot of the new collection at Restoration Hardware. I do not, however, love the $1500 price tag. And that’s where this lovely Ivar bookshelf comes in:
I actually bought a pair of these on craigslist for $30. My husband claimed one for storage and I went to work on the other.
First I painted it with a galvanized steel spray paint I found at Lowe’s for $5. Once it dried, the color was a little too light for me, so I sponged on a slightly darker metallic silver-colored craft paint I already had.
Next, my husband bought a long piece of pine lumber and cut it down into four pieces for me. Unfortunately, I’ve lost the pictures I took to show you how this looked, but it was very close to the original color of the shelf. I sanded each piece lightly, wiped it down with a damp cloth, and after it dried, applied a deep walnut stain.
Once the stained shelves were dry, my husband nailed them into place. The end result?
Here’s a couple of close up pictures:
(See those little porcelain Foo dogs? They were vintage originals from China circa the 2nd world war! A freecycler GAVE them to me! Her mother brought them home after the war as souvenirs– I still don’t know what she was thinking to give them away…)
I was SOOO proud of myself for pulling this off! I know that the silver is much lighter than the inspiration picture, but we had silver accents in the living room so I felt a lighter shade worked better. The walnut stain on the shelves also pulled in the walnut color of the mid-century armchair that was right next to the shelf.
- $15 shelf
- $5 galvanized steel spray paint
- $12 lumber
- $8 stain
- Jamie Zawinski offers step by step instructions to make an industrial bookcase from steel pipes on his website. I’ll warn you now that he says he spent $300 on pipes which doesn’t agree with my tight-fisted budgeting ways, but I think it’s a clever idea and $300 is still much less than $1500, so it’s theoretically a budget-friendly project.
- HGTV has a great tutorial by Dan Faire on how to make an Industrial Rustic Bookshelf using pipes and lumber. I probably won’t repeat this for our new place, but if I were going to, this is the tutorial I’d try out.
- Finally, The Crucible, a nonprofit in California that offers all kinds of amazing industrial design classes to regular folks like you and me, offers a Weekend Warrior wood and metal working class that can teach you how to build a pretty fine knock off of that Hudson Goods piece. (If you’re in California and can take this class, I will be SOOOO jealous of you!)