Remember last month, when I shared this photo of a wooden shelf with leather straps holding it up? Well, I made my own version a couple weeks ago for my dining room! I was really happy with how my DIY shelves turned out, and they weren't too difficult or expensive (plus they have way more character than most store-bought shelves). Definitely worth doing! I have to give credit to my husband Ben, who installed them for me after getting home from a really hard two-day bike ride. Thanks, sweetie!
For this project, you will need:
-board(s) from the hardware store, cut to the desired length. We bought a 6 ft long board and cut it in half--$7
-paint in the color of your choice & blue painter's tape (optional)--$4 for the paint, the painter's tape we already owned.
-four belts or leather straps, about 1" wide--$6 per belt
-four drywall anchors, a drill, and a philips screwdriver--$5 for a box of drywall anchors, the drill & screwdriver we already owned.
I painted the edges of my boards with gold spray paint, masking everything else with blue painter's tape. You could edge-paint the boards any color you like, or leave them wood--it's up to you. A bright pop of color would be really fun, but I like the subtlety of the gold. You almost can't tell they're painted until the light hits at a certain angle!
For the leather straps, we went to Tandy Leather to find some cowhide strips like in the tutorial I was inspired by. The ones they had were $17 apiece, which was a bit more than I wanted to spend. So I started thinking...Forever 21 and H&M are always selling cheap belts for $5-6, and I thought it might look cool to have the buckles showing anyways. I found a simple belt at Forever 21 and bought four of them, for a total of $25--a lot less than I would have spent for the plain straps!
To install the shelves:
-Cut the belt straps to the same length. I laid one of the boards on the floor against the wall, so I could see what the strap would look like before I cut it. Then I used the first strap as the template for the others.
-Fold the straps in half and screw in the screws that came with the drywall anchors, about a half inch from the top of the straps.
-Mark on your wall where the straps will mounted, starting with the top board. Make sure that the marks are level, and that there is room for the board to hang over on either side of the straps. Then, follow the instructions for using the drywall anchors.
-Once both sets of straps are installed, slide both the boards through, adjust them to be level, and admire your handiwork!
I know this tutorial isn't as simple as some of the ones I've posted in the past, where the instructions are so obvious they're practically unnecessary. So feel free to ask any questions you may have in the comments!
And if you're skeptical about shelves held up by cheap Forever 21 belt straps, I'm happy to say that (so far) these shelves feel really secure! They don't swing at all, and the boards don't tilt or move around in the straps. I'd definitely recommend trying it yourself!