DIY Industrial Shelves

DIY pipe shelves

The Spruce / Lauren Thomann

How to Make DIY Pipe Shelves

Do you want to add some industrial pipe shelving to your home? DIY industrial shelves are easy to make and can be customized to any wall space regardless of the size. 

This pipe shelf tutorial might require an extra set of hands and some patience depending on the size and the type of walls in your house. Follow the step-by-step instructions to learn how to make a pair of simple shelves that are perfect for a small space. 

Gather Materials

industrial pipe shelves supplies
The Spruce / Lauren Thomann

The first step is to sketch out the size and layout of the shelves you want to make. This tutorial shows you how to make two 16" wooden shelves with two brackets per shelf. Each bracket uses ready cut pieces of pipe. If you need custom sizes, the pipe can be cut down and threaded at most local home improvement stores. 

If you are making a larger shelf, consider adding an extra bracket in the center of the shelf for additional support. 


  • Reclaimed pine shelf
  • Wood sealant
  • 1/2" black pipe x 4, 4" long
  • 1/2" black pipe x 4, 2" long
  • 1/2" floor flanges x 8
  • 1/2" black elbows x 4


  • Table saw
  • Drill
  • Sanding block 
  • Screwdriver
  • Pipe wrench

Cut Wood Shelves to Size

how to cut shelving
The Spruce / Lauren Thomann

Use a table saw to cut your shelves down to size. If you are purchasing new lumber, ask the supplier if they will cut the shelf for you. These shelves measure 16" long and 10.5" deep. 

Sand and Finish Wood as Desired

how to prep wood for shelves
The Spruce / Lauren Thomann

Sand down any rough edges with a sanding block or sandpaper. Once the wood surface is smooth, decide how you want to stain and finish the wood. This wood has a deep, aged color, which goes well with the industrial brackets. Finish the wood by following the instructions on your desired sealant. 

Assemble the Pipe Brackets

how to make pipe brackets for shelves
The Spruce / Lauren Thomann

Tighten the pipe to the flange and elbow using a pipe wrench. Here are the steps to make this bracket:

  • Connect the 1/2" flange to the shorter pipe and tighten. 
  • Next, connect the elbow to the other end of the shorter pipe. Tighten. 
  • Insert the longer black pipe into the other end of the elbow. Tighten. 
  • Connect the remaining flange to the end of the long pipe and tighten. 

Screw the Brackets into the Shelves

how to screw in pipe shelves
The Spruce / Lauren Thomann

Square the brackets to the end of the shelf so that the flange is flush with the shelf edge. Some people may decide to hang the bracket on the wall first and add the shelf after. However, it's easier to screw into the shelf when it's flat instead of when it's floating on the wall. 

Hang the Shelves on the Wall

industrial pipe shelf
The Spruce / Lauren Thomann

 How to Hang Industrial Pipe Shelves 

Using a level, draw a line where you want the top of the shelf to be installed. Then, loose fit the shelf on that line and use a pencil to mark the bracket holes. If the bracket is not square to the wall, loosen or tighten the flange so that it's flush to the wall.

Remove the shelf and drill a hole where the pencil marks are and insert wall anchors. Make sure your wall anchors are appropriate for the type of wall. Plaster anchors are different than drywall anchors. Have someone hold the shelf back in place while you screw through the flange holes and into the wall anchors. 

Enjoy Your Finished Shelves

diy industrial pipe shelves
The Spruce / Lauren Thomann

Make sure your shelves feel sturdy and gripped well to the wall before you put any objects on them. Since pipe brackets tend to be heavy, they need extra support by either drilling into a stud or using appropriate wall anchors. Good luck and have fun!