Industrial Pipe Bookshelf and Shoe Rack

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Introduction: Industrial Pipe Bookshelf and Shoe Rack

About: Former Instructables employee CHECK OUT MY WORK www.carleyjacobson.com

This industrial pipe shelf is the perfect project for any handy -- or non handy -- person looking to update their room. The shelf is quick and easy to install and its hard industrial yet shabby chic look makes it a great addition to any room. All of the pipes have threaded ends which makes it really easy to update the shape of your shelf every few months.

I've seen similar shelves on etsy of the same size starting at $150. I made this shelf myself for under $70.

Step 1: Materials

Materials

  • (2) Flanges to mount pipe on the wall
  • (8) Wood Screws - size 12x2"
  • (8) 12" threaded pipes (1" diameter)
  • (9) 90 degree pipe elbows (1" diameter)
  • (2) 5" threaded pipes (1" diameter)

Tools

  • Hand drill
  • Drill bits
  • Pencil
  • Measuring Tape

Step 2: Mount Flange on Wall

Find a Stud:

You want to mount the flanges on studs so you will need a stud finder to help you.  I mounted my shelf in the corner of my room where I knew there would be a stud.  Check out these resources for finding studs:
Mount Flange:
  • Once you have figured out where you want your shelf to be, decide where you want to mount the first flange and mark the holes with a pencil where you will drill.
  • Drill pilot holes using a drill bit that is a bit smaller than the size of your screws.  
  • Hold the flange up to the wall and screw the flange in with the hand drill.

Step 3: Attach Pipes

Attaching the pipes is pretty straight forward.  Screw the 5" threaded pipe into the flange.  Attach an elbow pipe to the end and start adding the 12" pipes.  

TRICK: to get the pipes tight enough, after attaching the elbow pipes to the ends of the pipe, use the 2nd 5" pipe to tighten the connections.  The 5" pipe gives you more torque, and is helpful when you need to tighten pipes near the corners.

Step 4: Mount Second Flange

Attach the second 5" pipe to the second flange and attach an elbow pipe to the other end of the 5" pipe before attaching to the rest of the bookshelf.

Determine where the flange will sit on the wall (should be in a stud, if not make sure to use dry wall screws) and mark the holes where the screws will go.  Drill pilot holes using a drill bit that is a bit smaller than the size of your screws.  Hold the flange up to the wall and screw the flange in with the hand drill.

Step 5: Bookshelf

Lay your books upright or on their sides.  It may take some time to balance the books, but I found that as long as the book on the bottom of the stack was stable it was easier to stack the rest of the books.

Step 6: Shoe Rack

I think any girl can appreciate how fabulous this shoe rack looks.  I've always likes to display my shoes in my room (because I just love to stare at them).  I used to have them on a wooden bookshelf, but the bookshelf was too clunky and took up WAY too much space in my room.  Now that I've found this awesome solution I'm going to keep this pipe shelf to display my favorite shoes.

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    50 Comments

    I love the look, but I'm not personally keen on the balancing routine. A small bit of 1/4 lexan or 1/2 painted MDF added for shelving would make them a lot more platform-ish.

    2 replies

    Good point! I'd love to see someone attempt this!

    I was also thinking this could be improved greatly by a few sheets of Lexan bolted to some clamps around the pipes.

    Thanks!! I appreciate the compliment!

    I totally love it! I love the industrial chic! :) And I like to stare at my shoes too!

    1 reply

    Thanks! I moved rooms and am now back to the shoes on the bookshelf design. I'll have to recreate this!

    The books will just stay there? I would be afraid that they would slide down.. atleast the ones on the bottom shelf.

    1 reply

    The books have to be placed very carefully. It is important to know how far away the pipe is from the wall. I found it works best for shoes.

    nice industral design!!

    Where did you get the pipe from??

    Wow great work! It's very unique

    Nice project. ;) You also gave me an idea on how to build a ladder using "Ts" instead of elbows.

    Poorly. It looks good, but depends on balancing stuff on the pipe. Bumping the bottom book will likely bring the whole shebang down and getting, for instance the fourth book down from a pile of seven will be difficult and require three hands.

    Building it with two courses in parallel would be better but would also dramatically increase the price, by doubling the materials costs.(basically build two of these and replace the vertical sections between elbows with a T linking the two together.)

    Alternatively, simply attach wooden or metal shelves to the pipes with screws.