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DIY Industrial Pipe Shelving: Stylish Ideas For Your Living Space

Industrial pipe shelving is a great way to add space and character to various areas like a bedroom or home office. As a popular alternative to wood shelves, industrial pipe shelving offers just what you need. DIY pipe shelves are also a great project for beginners and experts.  

DIY Pipe Shelves

For many people, wood shelves are boring. Home decor comes in many different shapes and sizes, and DIY industrial pipe shelving is a leading decor item found in homes across the country.

More than anything, DIY industrial pipe shelves are versatile, and here we’ll show you why. 

What Is The Industrial Style?

Industrial is an aesthetic movement in interior design that draws from old factories and industrial facilities. 

Exposed Elements

Due to the high cost of incorporating or concealing industrial leftovers like pieces of black pipe and ductwork, instead, they weren’t removed and became a characteristic of the design. 

Ceiling beams, exposed brick walls, wood, or concrete flooring serve as a reminder of the building’s original purpose. Wood and metal are two materials that remain when a business closes its industrial location. 

The materials have evolved into vital components of the industrial style. No other design style is associated with metal components. Wood lends a sense of coziness and texture, whereas metal is sleek and futuristic.

Open Layout

Interior walls were optional with loft conversions in industrial home architecture. The solution was to denote spaces with objects. Appliances and cabinets defined a kitchen, bed, and storage shelving defined the bedroom, while chairs and couches defined entertainment areas. 

Neutral Colors

In keeping with the industrial aesthetic, the color palette is dominated by warm neutrals. Warm colors like tans and brown soften the industrial edge of a space, making it more inviting, while neutral tones draw the eye away from the exposed parts.

How To Make Industrial Pipe Shelving

How Do You Make Freestanding Pipe Shelves?

To make industrial pipe shelves, you will need the following materials for the entire project:

  • 5 x 8′ by 1′ wood
  • 8 x ¾-inch diameter 24″ black iron gas pipe
  • 20 x 3/4-inch diameter 15″ black iron gas pipe
  • 32 x 3/4-inch diameter 16″ black iron gas pipe
  • 40 x 3/4-inch diameter threaded T connectors
  • 16 x 3/4-inch diameter 1″ threaded nipples
  • 16 x 3/4-inch diameter 90 degree threaded elbows
  • Stick-on felt pads
  • Acetone
  • Pipe wrench

Everything listed here can be found at your local hardware store or online.

One: Cutting Wood 

Cut the wood to the appropriate size and sand the very top and bottom to ensure a smooth finish. You can also oil the wood along with way with mineral oil.

Two: Cut Pipes

Make sure your black pipes are cut at the recommended length. Also, make sure to degrease the pipes with acetone along the way.

Three: Frame Assembly

Due to the interrelated nature of the pipes, each “ladder” segment will require at least one pipe to be screwed into one end. Then, you have to slightly unscrew to screw into the opposite side.

To do so, assemble one side of each “ladder” and tighten the “rungs” with your pipe wrench, then align the other side of the “ladder” with the “rung” and “unscrew” it. When the “rung” is “unscrewed” from the tightened end, it screws into the opposite end.

Four: Adding Left Pads

Since this freestanding shelf has a considerable amount of weight to it, you want to add left pads beneath the elbow connectors to make sure your floor doesn’t end up scratched.

Five: Adding Pine Boards 

When you have two frames that look the same, add the pine boards on top. If you want five shelves, do the same to the bottom shelves.

How Do You Assemble Industrial Pipe Shelving?

How Do You Assemble a Pipe Shelf?

Assembling an industrial pipe shelf might seem daunting, but it’s rather straightforward. The entire project typically requires four hands. so you’ll need to enlist a friend to help you. Here are the steps you should follow when putting together DIY pipe shelves:

Step One

Assemble each bracket and put them on the floor.

Step Two

For two equal shelves, the pipe lengths must be aligned with each other or you’ll end up with a wavy shelf. When trying to align the pipes in the same direction, you will notice that some are tighter than others. This is not an issue because after the pipes are fastened to the wall, the secure connection required for shelf stability is created.

Step Three

Place the assembled device against the wall in the predetermined area.

Step Four

Make sure it is straight with a balance and mark the walls to know where to put the screw anchors.

Step Five

Align the unit and secure it with a screw. 

Step Six

Repeat the steps above for the second support bracket.

22 DIY Pipe Shelves For Your Living Space

Here are a few innovative ideas for industrial pipe shelving. 

Wall Mounted Copper Pipe Shelving

Copper Wall Mounting Pipe Shelving

The first project comes from heylilahey and is a tutorial for a DIY copper pipe shelf. It’s a wall unit with three separate shelves. It’s something that you could add to your bathroom, the kitchen, the entryway, or even spaces like the living room or the dining area.

Bedroom Industrial Pipe Shelving

Industrial Pipe Shelving for the Bedroom

Believe it or not, pipe shelves can look chic in the bedroom. We were convinced about this once we saw this industrial pipe shelving unit from onebroadsjourney. It looks cool and it has these two clothing rods that let you have an open wardrobe in the room. 

Boy’s Room Industrial Pipe Shelving

Industrial Pipe Shelving for Boy's Room

Pipe shelves can take many different forms and while some are more common and popular, there are also a few that stand out in terms of originality and looks. A nice example is this set of industrial pipe shelving from simplydesigning.

What’s interesting about them is how the actual shelves are hanging from the wall via pipes and fittings. This shows just how creative you can get using just a few simple things.

Simple DIY Pipe Shelves

Simple DIY Pipe Shelving

One of the coolest things about DIY shelves is the low cost of the project. You can keep the cost low if you decide to use reclaimed wood or leftover pieces from other projects. You need a few things to make stylish and functional shelves like the ones featured on thediyplaybook.

For two shelves you’ll need four pipes, four caps, four galvanized floor flanges, two pine boards cut equally, sandpaper, wood stain, flat black spray paint, four two-hole straps, dark screws, and 16 wall anchors.

Entryway DIY Pipe Shelves

Stylish DIY Pipe Shelving for Entryway

Check out this project on Mindfullygray. The shelving unit featured here is nice and elegant. The design is simple and versatile and there are a lot of possible ways to use such a feature, both for storage and for display. 

DIY Bathroom Pipe Shelf 

Easy DIY Pipe Shelving for the Bathroom

A bathroom could use some pipe shelves too. You could build individual shelves out of pipes, fittings, and a solid wood board. You can have as many of these shelves as you want and you can install them anywhere such as above the door, on the wall above the toilet and by the sink

They can hold extra towels, toiletries and other things. Check out houseofhawthornes to find out all the details about this particular project.

DIY Bookshelf Pipe Shelves

DIY Pipe Shelving Bookshelf

Industrial pipe bookshelves are another cool option. Since you’re building them from scratch, you have total control over the design.

If, for example, you prefer something simple so the focus can be on the books and the other items you’re storing on the shelves, check out instructables to see how these lovely pipe shelves can be built.

Large DIY Industrial Pipe Shelves

Large DIY Pipe Shelving Ideas

Speaking of bookshelves, check out this awesome project from instructables. It’s a shelving unit that forms an L shape and wraps around the interior corner of a room, with pipes serving as supports for both the shelves and the accent lighting. 

Modern DIY Pipe Shelves

DIY Pipe Shelving with Modern Look

Not all DIY pipe shelves or shelving units follow the same design guidelines. In fact, they’re each unique and different from the rest. Some have a strong industrial look, some tend to rather look more rustic and some have a modern vibe like these featured on instructables.

If you like how clean and simple this design is, be sure to check out all the instructions and tips so you can build your version of the shelves.

Kitchen DIY Pipe Shelves

Kitchen DIY Pipe Shelving

If there’s one thing we learned from the projects it’s that pipes go well with wood, especially reclaimed wood. They complement each other in a truly wonderful way and that’s why we’re going to show yet one more project from instructables that focuses on this exact idea.

In this case, there’s a strong contrast between the pipes. You’ll notice they have a metallic finish and are thin and slender. Meanwhile, the wood shelves are thick.

Asymmetrical DIY Pipe Shelf 

Asymmetrical DIY Pipe Shelving Idea

Here’s a great idea if you have a lot of books and plenty of wall space. Metal pipes and wood boards can be put together to make a cool geometric wall unit.

We found one example that you might also find interesting right here on instructables. It seems like a great source of inspiration for other similar projects so perhaps you should first look at the space available on your wall for such a unit so you can properly plan a unique design.

Ceiling Mounted Pipe Shelving

Ceiling Mounted Pipe Shelving

One thing all the previous projects had in common was the fact that the pipe shelves were designed to be mounted on walls. On Magnolia we found a design that differs in this sense.

These DIY industrial pipe shelves are attached to the ceiling as well as to the walls. It’s a cool detail that makes them stand out from other similar shelves so perhaps you’d enjoy adopting this idea for your next DIY project.

DIY Pipe Shelf With Pallets

DIY Pipe Shelving Using Pallets

Last but not least, a project from unoriginalmom shows you how to build stylish wall shelves for your own using pipes and wood boards. We suggest using reclaimed wood if you’re a fan of rustic beauty or pallet boards if you enjoy recycling and upcycling items and materials.

Modern Industrial DIY Pipe Shelf

Modern Industrial DIY Pipe Shelving

If you like the look of industrial-style pipe shelves but you’re not exactly excited about having to design and build them yourself from scratch, there are plenty of options in stores that you can take a look at.

This wall shelf, for example, has a simple and modern design with just the right amount of detail. It offers three platforms for you to keep books, framed photos, plants, and numerous other things.

Small Pipe Shelf

Modern entryway pipe shelving design

The Wyndham pipe shelf is a great idea if you’re short on space and you only need a smaller shelf or two. It has a simple metal pipe frame with no unnecessary additions or accessories and two sturdy shelves crafted from faux wood laminate planks.

Single DIY Pipe Shelf

Modern entryway pipe shelving design

Sometimes all you need is a single shelf to fill in a gap on your wall or to add some interest and a bit of extra storage to a certain area. The Scheel wall shelf is perfect for that, especially if you enjoy the rustic-industrial flair and clean and simple lines of its design. The shelf is made of solid pine wood and is supported by barely visible metal hardware.

Narrow Pipe Shelving Idea

Modern entryway pipe shelving design

At a glance, this is a great accent shelf for modern and contemporary interiors that have that unique industrial twist in their designs. The metal pipe frame is paired with three shelves made of solid wood with an antiqued finish. It’s a nice piece for any type of space as it can be easily integrated even in small rooms thanks to the reduced size and simple proportions.

Tiered Pipe Shelving

Modern entryway pipe shelving design

The Mouzon pipe shelf stands out and it’s all due to its unusual design. This is a three-tier staggered shelf and it’s meant to be eye-catching and decorative more than anything else. The frame is made of bare pipes with a black finish and the shelves are made of stained wood.

You can use this chic accent shelf in areas such as the living room, home office or the bedroom to display and store books, plants, or collectibles.

Staggered DIY Pipe Shelving

Modern entryway pipe shelving design

Speaking of eye-catching pipe shelves with cool and unexpected designs, check out this accent piece. The Mowery is a four-tier staggered pipe floating shelf with tons of character.

It stands out both thanks to the overall structure, and also the little details such as the decorative gauge and red valve attached to the central pipe. It’s a very versatile piece suitable for contemporary, industrial, and even rustic spaces.

Small and Simple Pipe Shelving

Modern entryway pipe shelving design

If you’re looking for something simple, compact and versatile perhaps you’ll enjoy this lovely set of two floating wall shelves. They’re made from aged recyclable aircraft grade aluminum and sustainable solid wood.

They have a nice weathered finish which adds warmth to the otherwise very simple design. You can display the two shelves as a pair or use them separately.

DIY Pipe Shelving Over Brick

Modern entryway pipe shelving design

The Borrero floating shelf set also has a noticeable industrial vibe but is not as prominent as in the case of other models. The reason for that, in this case, is because the wood has a lighter finish which adds warmth to the design and softens the harsh look of the metal pipes.

The shelves are crafted from solid pipe wood and the set includes three coordinating pieces which are great for kitchens and bathrooms.

Modern entryway pipe shelving design


How Do You Remove Grease From Pipes?

There are two ways to get grease off and out of your pipes. You can either use a special degreaser, which is a chemical-based solution found in different online or offline shops, or you can make a solution by mixing vinegar and baking soda.

How Do You Clean Galvanized Pipes?

This sort of pipe should ideally be replaced. The pipes leak, have low water pressure and discolored water. 

If you are unable to repair your water pipes immediately, you can remove rust by washing them on the outside. You can remove little traces of rust with vinegar and simple steel wool. If you notice more extensive signs of rust or if it has penetrated the pipe, it is advisable to engage a skilled plumber to remove it.

What Kind of Pipe Do You Use for Industrial Pipe Shelves?

Iron plumber’s pipe is the best option to use for shelves. There are numerous ways to construct shelves out of an iron plumber’s pipe. Pipe shelving systems are excellent investments due to their ability to fit in any environment.

How Do You Make A Plumbing Pipe Shelving Unit?

Pipe shelves are easy to make. All you need are the supplies, which include ¾-inch pine board, ½-inch diameter iron pipes, and matching fittings, and pipe clamps. 

Make sure you cut the boards to size, sand and finish them, assemble the pipes, screw the flanges to the wall, paint the pipe clamps, secure the boards, and you’re good to go.

How Much Weight Can Black Industrial Pipe Shelves Hold?

Pipe shelves are generally capable of holding around 140 pounds in weight. 

Pipe Shelving Conclusion

DIY pipe shelves are popular home decor features because they’re easy to make and look great. Another reason is that a DIY pipe shelf is a good project for those who want to improve their DIY skills.

Once you have all the parts necessary for your DIY pipe shelf, create a plan and follow it. Paint your industrial pipe shelves with spray paint. Home improvement projects aren’t hard, and in fact, they’re rewarding.

DIY industrial pipe shelves add character and style wherever you install them. After you make one set of shelves you find that you’re good at it and you’ll want to make more. Depending on your creative skills, shelf making could be your next career.