industrial shelf for boys’ room

18 February 2015

Our next project: little boys’ room! I wanted shelf in here for some book storage, some Lego creation displays and let’s be honest,  for cute stuff we have hoarded gathered over the years.

industrial shelves boy room

You have seen these type of shelves right? I swear every store carries a version. Metal frame, particle board shelves. When we moved into our rental last fall, it had no storage. I needed some shelving, so I found some bookshelves on the online classifieds -- this one was $10. It was a perfect place to hold some toys and games in the basement. I always thought it would go out in the garage but I started looking at it and thought it might be cool in the boys’ room. The only part I didn’t like were the cheap particle board shelves:

particle board

Nothing that can’t be fixed with a trip to the hardware store! I got a sheet of 1/2 pre-sanded plywood for $35 at Home Depot and brought one of the shelves with me so I could have them cut the shelves to size for me (free!) I brought them home and used pre-stain conditioner, then a Minwax stain called special walnut. I didn’t want it super dark, so I brushed it on with a disposable foam brush, then wiped it off.

staining plywood for shelves
Much better!
metal shelves with wood

Then, my favorite part: accessorizing! The baseballs on top were from a yard sale I hit with Kristin in Montana -- a big bucketful for $5! The metal basket was from another yard sale. Heck, everything on this picture was from a yard sale (except the license plate, that came from our car!) I’ve just been saving it until I finally decided to tackle this room.

boys room shelf

I framed a picture from one of our favorite books, a radio from Target’s men Christmas gifts last year (??) an old tackle box from a yard sale, deer bookends from Target clearance, travel souvenirs, and of course Wimpy Kid books.

boy bookshelf

Lego creations from my boys, and on the bottom some cool old milk crates my friend Lydia found from a local guy that was selling them for $5 each.

kids book storage

It’s a start! So excited to get going on this room -- more coming!



  1. I love this idea! Those shelves are really sturdy and look great for a boys room!

  2. that turquoise peg board (in any color) would look great attached to the back as a way to to tie in color with bedspread or curtains plus it would prevent items from falling off the back.

  3. melissa*320 sycamore2/18/15, 2:56 PM

    Thanks, April!

  4. melissa*320 sycamore2/18/15, 2:57 PM

    Peg board would be very cool on the back! I love that idea

  5. You are so smart! I never would have thought of having good wood cut for shelves. Now the whole thing has a cool industrial vibe. And of course I like the accessorizing!

  6. Kristen@fit2feelbetter2/19/15, 3:17 PM

    What a great idea taking the board with you to HD. I would have never thought of that! :)

  7. GREAT idea, Melissa, and thanks so much for sharing it! I showed it to my daughter; she loves it too, and plans to use it in her boys' room. (They're 6 and 3 yrs. old.)

    By the way, it's a good idea to anchor it to the wall at the top, especially if you have young ones who are "climbers" and *might* be tempted to climb to the higher shelves.


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