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The Pink Samurai: Our DIY Custom Shelves

The Pink Samurai

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Our DIY Custom Shelves

When we moved into our new apartment in Austin just a couple of months ago, we had to make some big decisions.  In Virginia, we had a two bedroom, kind of gigantic apartment.  But in moving to Texas, the cost of living was so much less, we decided to downsize to a one bedroom so we could save even more money for a house next year.  This meant getting creative with the space!  One of the things we did was get rid of our dining room and convert it into an office space.  Our desk is on one side and this empty corner on the other.  I had a vision for wall-mounted shelving here to create more space for our collections.  And it totally worked!
This type of shelving is super simple and only cost $150 to make.  You can't even do it that cheap at Ikea :P  Here's the super simple instructions:


  • Utility Single (or double if you're feeling fancy) Track Upright to fit your height
  • Single Track Bracket in the same width as your boards and enough to fit at least 3 per board on the long side and 2 per board on the short side.
  • Wood.  Measure before hand and do a little math to make the most for your money here.  You can buy one long board and get it cut once or twice.  That's usually less expensive than buying multiple shorter boards.
  • Measure your wall for width and height.
  • Decide how many shelves you want for your height.
  • Go to your home improvement store and get your supplies.
  • If you're doing a corner bit, measure the shorter wall's total width, and then subtract the width of the board that's going on the long part of your wall.  Ex: my short wall was was 32" wide, and the shelf width was 10", so I needed the short shelves to be 22". 
  • Sand your boards, hang your racks and you're good to go!
  • You could also stain and seal the wood, or paint the edges an accent color, or paint patterns on them, or maybe paint a gradient on them going darker to lighter...go crazy!  We chose to leave them nekid because we like the look.
I'm so excited to finally be able to display some of our collections that have been in boxes for a few months!  Here's a quick little tour of some our favorite stuff.
Andy's owl collection.  We love finding new little guys to add to it.  Our friend Matt gave us the bitty guys in the front...he painted them to look like us!
We have a small, but growing, collection of cameras.  My mother is a photographer and grew up in the darkroom with her.  I also lead a team of phenomenal photographers and was the head of the photo team at one of the big daily deal sites, until we moved.  I love photography!
My kokeshi (and other super cute things) collection.  I've always got my eyes out for new kokeshi.  Check out this video of artists making them by hand.  I think they're gorgeous!  I'm also on the hunt to expand my Avon Small World girls.
Lego Star Wars dudes!  And a very on-trend copper Domo :P
Our wedding guestbook and photo albums from our first year of marriage.  The box is full of instax and polaroids we shot, too!

My Catwoman collection dwindled during college, because of books and rent and lame things like that.  But these were pieces that I kept safe from craigslist and ebay.  Now to figure out where to hang my signed glossies of Lee Merriwether and Julie Newmar.  Because I totally met them ^_^
PONIES!  I loved My Little Ponies when I was little and I kind of love the new show now.  I've spent a lot of time crocheting to it on Netflix.  I've amassed quite a collection of the little blind bags that started on our trip to Michigan last year.  If only they'd make more big ones!
Being a fan of all things cute, I love Tokidoki.  They're Unicornos are amazing and I need more!  I don't have any of the new series, and still need to round out the first series.  Sometimes I'm a bit of a completionist with collections.
Star Trek corner.  The metal Enterprise D and the The Next Generation tricorders were mine from when I was little.  They were some of my favorite toys to play with.  Now we've got an Original series tricorder and phaser to go with them.  

The bottom shelf is home to our graphic novels.  And domo.  And a pencil line from when we hung the shelves that needs to be erased haha!

I hope this little DIY and tour was fun and inspiring!  We love collecting fun things that make us smile.  Do you have any collections you like to display?  We've got a lot more stuff that I'm clearing out space for now ^_^

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