New life for an old shelf

So… I got a new shelf.


So cute, right?! I know!!

I got it at a certain over-priced thrift store that I’m refusing to name anymore because I think they are way too overpriced considering all their stuff is DONATED to begin with. So I’m not giving them any more props on my site until they stop charging premium prices for crap people didn’t want anymore and gave to them…

So I got this shelf for $14.99 at previously un-named thrift store.

However, it originally came from The Great Indoors for $39.99, so I suppose I got a decent deal.


I’m sure I would have paid like $5 if I’d found it at a garage sale, but whatever. I like it and I needed a FLAT SURFACE in this place. (See rant about my red stand.)

Okay, so obviously I’m me so I’ve done something crafty to this shelf (if the white behind the price tag didn’t give it away already).

Here’s the shelf the day I bought it:


It’s already pretty cute just the way it is. I love the scroll design on the back! I’ve got a few issues with this shelf though.

A) all my decor that I’m going to set on top of the shelf will cover up the beautiful scroll work

B) I don’t want pegs because then I’m going to feel the need to find something to hang from them and also the thought of my kids hanging stuff on the pegs thus knocking the shelf off the wall causing all my breakable decor to fall to it’s death isn’t a thought I’d like to follow through with.

A modification is in order! Yay! You know what’s more fun than shopping at thrift stores? Taking my junk, modifying it with spray paint and other random supplies, and making my junk awesome!

First thing I did was pull all the pegs out.


Don’t panic! I KNOW what I’m doing. Maybe. I hope. This project has the potential to go south very quickly.

Next I took some wood filler and filled all the holes left from where the pegs use to live.


After the wood filler dried I sanded it really well and made it nice and smooth.


So the next thing I want to do is hang my shelf upside down on the wall. Yes, I really did just say upside down. What use is that great scroll work if I can’t show it off? I need it at the bottom of the shelf, not the top.

To do this the first thing I have to do is remove the brackets on the back and put them on the opposite side of the back of the shelf. I took a mini screwdriver and removed the little brackets, saving the tiny screws and brackets because I’m going to re-use them.


I then flipped the shelf over and decided where I want the new brackets to go. I used a ruler to make sure they were perfectly straight on either side. I’d hate to put them at different heights and have my shelf hang wonky. Yup, wonky. Don’t hate! I’m a Texan. I’m allowed to say words like wonky.


Remember this picture I just showed you?


See how the wood is carved out? When you hang your shelf on the wall the screw sits in this open space behind the bracket. If you don’t carve out this space these brackets wont work. And if you use other brackets your shelf wont sit flush to the wall. So I’ve got to figure out a way to carve out a space where my brackets are going.

I’m sure there are tools designed for this, but I don’t have any so I had to improvise. I decided to use the largest drill bit I’ve got on hand and just drill several holes next to each other until I’ve got a hollowed out space the right size.

Fun tip! Figure out how deep you need your drill to go (you don’t want your drill going all the way through the shelf and showing from the front. That would be tragic!) and put a piece of painters tape around the drill bit. That way when you drill, you can stop drilling when the tape reaches the wood. Now you won’t drill too deep!


Once my holes were drilled and I attached the brackets, I took the shelf outside and spray painted it FLAT BLACK and then a top coat of OIL RUBBED BRONZE (ORB).

Now I’m ready to hang it!


I committed a serious builders faux pas – I used long plain nails to hang my shelf. Normally you should use anchors and screws but I’m moving soon and I didn’t feel like semi-permanently attaching the shelf to the wall. Laziness. Pure laziness. And also I really don’t want a large hole in the wall when I rip the bracket out when I move because then I’d have to putty it up.


She’s rearing and ready to go!

This is my favorite part! Now everyone can always see it and it won’t be covered up by my stuff.


Here’s how I decorated it the day I took the pictures, but since then I’ve already changed it up a bit. Don’t worry, I’ll show you more pictures of it updated in due time.


Do you recognize the little white vase with the orchid in it? Or maybe my IKEA plant? What about the decor balls? I’ll show you those jute jars in a future post. The large glass vase I bought at the Thrift Store that I’m not talking about.


Do you recognize the plant container hanging on the other wall?


This is the entry way to my apartment. Next to the yellow vase on the right is our front door. On the left is a 1/2 bath. When I say the entire apartment is granite – The entire apartment is granite. Granite is great and pretty, but seriously? There is a limit. Counters, floors, fire place surround, back splash… Do you realize now why I make has granite in it? This apartment is granite overkill!

Aside from where I hung my H Plate, this hallway is the 2nd worst lit spot in the entire place. Even the sky lights don’t help. Hopefully you can appreciate the shelf in spite of this lighting!

One more time, just for fun!



Thanks for taking the time to read my blog! I seriously love all of you!! Your support means so much to me. I’m grateful there are so many amazing people out there who actually like my junk.


Related Posts with Thumbnails


  1. Allison that looks awesome! I wouldn’t have thought to flip it upside down. I love that!

  2. Wow, it really looks like a totally different shelf! What a genius idea to hang it upside down. I bet the previous owner wouldn’t have taken in it GW (am I right?) had they thought to do that! I use nails to hang my stuff too. Charles gets all professional with the wall anchors and screws. Oh, and I say wonky too, but I’m also a Southerner so I don’t know if that makes it any better. 🙂

  3. Allison, that is fabulous! It’s such an obvious thing to do, flip it over so you can see the pretty bit, but exactly the kind of thing that would never occur to me!!


  4. Brilliant to turn it over!!

    BTW even my favorite thrift store that is not the one you didn’t name has gotten more expensive. Urgh!!

  5. very cool. I would have never thought to turn it upside down.

  6. Very purdy! Thanks for linking up to Mad Skills Monday!


  7. Uber cute!!!! I know what you mean about the outrageous prices…it happens here too.

  8. Allison, you turned me on to the flat black + ORB combo and I love it. My husband, however, says I’m going crazy and it’s too much. I say you can never have too much ORB.

    I LOVE the shelf and I love that you hung it upside down! I never would have thought of that!

  9. I love your “junk”!! What an ingenious use of that shelf. Putting the scroll work on the bottom…priceless!

  10. I have a shelf almost identical and it has never occurred to me to paint it. Thanks for sharing.

  11. Amber @ Two Nuts in a Shell says:

    Never would have known it was upside down! Great idea!

  12. This is seriously cute! I never thought about turning a shelf the other way. Brilliant.

  13. how genius!! i love the scrolly detail on the bottom. this is an awesome project 🙂

  14. Great transformation. Loved turning it upside down for a totally different look!

  15. So cute! I love how you flipped it upside down to show off the pretty details!

  16. GOOD THINKING! Looks GREaT! 😀 Thanks for joining us for Anything Related!

  17. What a great Do It Yourself project. You are a clever and creative gal.

    I just completed a project that took 23 years. Come take a peek. 😛

  18. Yes! Wonky is a word.:) It is in the Texan dictionary. ( I have one)

    great idea for this shelf. Love how you turned it upside down. VERY clever.

  19. I have one of those thrift stores in my area, used to be such a great place to shop, everything was donated, but they were doing such a great business that I guess they got greedy. Prices went up, and it took a while, but now their business has gone down. the only good thing about that is that if I see something I want on thursday, most likely it will still be there when I go back three days later…still, I don’t go there as much as I used to.

  20. Definitely an improvement upsidedown!

    Thanks for linking up to the Mad Skills party!

  21. Love it! Great idea to turn it over!

  22. Great idea to turn it over! Love it!

  23. So cute! I wouldn’t have ever thought about hanging it upside down! Cute!

  24. ok- so I love this turned upside down! Perfect! Thanks for visting my blog- I’m a big fan of yours!

  25. Great re-do! I love it! Your projects always inspire me. Come by and link this up at today’s Bargain Brag Wednesday:

  26. Looks great, I love how you gave it a new lease on life. VERY smart for hanging it upside down too!

  27. Great find! I think it’s genius that you turned it upside down!

  28. I Made It!!

    Great pictures. I love how thorough your instructions are. And what a beautiful shelf.

  29. Great job! and I love that you turned it upside down!: )

  30. I’ve been to the same overpriced thrift store as well, and thinking of not going back…

    Great job. Oh and good luck with getting your house..

    Thanks for joining Get Your Craft on Thursday at Life As Lori. Please join me next week for another great party.

  31. Great job turning that thing upside down- who woulda thunk?

  32. Awesome job fixing up the old shelf! It looks great! Thanks for linking up with PonyTails and FishScales!

  33. This looks awesome! And thank you- I hate overpriced thrift items. When I can get brand new picture frames at Wal Mart for $3-$5, and clearance clothes in the mall for $4, why would I pay twice that for something at DI?

  34. I found you on WFMW, I don’t know what thrift store you go to or where their funds go but here’s something to keep in mind. My husband works for an addiction recovery and homeless ministry and they have a thrift operation that helps to fund the ministry. I personally feel their prices are very reasonable but with your particular thrift store is it one where your funds are going to make a difference in your community?

  35. What a great idea to turn it upside down so you could see the scrollwork!

  36. What a great transformation!!

    Thanks for linking up to Saturday is Crafty Day!

  37. Very VERy cute! Love what you have done with it! Thanks for linking up again with Sweet Charli!

  38. I love the new color, great job!

  39. I like it! I think it looks better black AND upside down.

    I’m from Idaho and I say “wonky” too. It must be a panhandle state kind of thing. 😀

  40. Turning it over was such a smart idea – I never would have thought of it.

    Thank you so much for helping me kick off my first blog party – I appreciate it!

  41. Great find Allison. I love it black…and I think you got a deal considering the original price tag! Fabulous job! Thanks for joining The Sunday Showcase. I greatly appreciate it! Hope you have a wonderful week! ~ Stephanie Lynn

  42. fun project! you can never have too many shelves in your house! thanks for sharing at my saturday soiree

  43. This is a great redo–what wonderful details in the shelf.

  44. AWESOME! Great …a little paint goes a long way! 🙂 thanks for linking up to Making Monday Marvelous [MMM]!!

  45. YES! Overpriced for sure!

  46. Found you on Thrifty Decor Chick. I live in Texas too and I use wonky all the time! BTW, love the shelf. I’m a sucker for swirls! Good job!

  47. maria harvey-starkey says:

    So CUTE!!! I love Goodwill!!! I buy stuff from there ALL the time and ‘redo/paint’ it!!!

Speak Your Mind