So last time I left off with what I fancied as a cryptic photo of another bedroom project. CAN YOU HANDLE THE SUSPENSE??
Zoom out a little, and BOOM. Rope Shelves.
I decided we needed some shelving somewhere in the bedroom to display knick knacks, and after brainstorming with the husband and going through various options, such as floating shelves (too hard to build), and bracketed shelves (take up too much visual space) we settled on making this Pinterest inspiration our own:
They were the perfect solution because 1) fewer holes in the wall, 2) easy peasy to make, and 3) cheap! How can you say no to that trifecta? We started with the proper lengths of 2×12 and I sanded them with the random orbital sander using 2 successively finer grits (hmm…probably 60 and 300? Again, this was PB – pre-blogging – so I wasn’t the, ahem, journalist I am now). Then, M drilled four 1/2” holes (using a spade bit) on each board, two on each side about 2 inches in from the end, kind of like this low-budget powerpoint mock-up of the plan view:
After staining with Minwax English Chestnut and sealing with Minwax Wipe-On Satin Poly, began the rope work. I estimated the space I wanted between each shelf (if I recall, about 18 inches) and started the trial and error of knotting and re-knotting and re-knotting again (x~53). I made sure the bottom shelf would hang high enough to allow our TV to sit on the dresser underneath and calculated upward from there. There was a lot of finagling and balancing the boards upright with my toesies as I measured rope lengths. I do my best DIY in sweatpants.
I threaded each length of natural jute rope (from Homey Deeps) up through a hole in the board, measured approximately and made a simple knot, then threaded it up through the next board. At the top, I tied a butterfly knot
and then repeated the process down the other hole on the same side of the board. Rinse and repeat for the other side of the boards.
Meanwhile, M had been devising an anchoring system for the rope shelves to hang on. Because we live in an ancient and piecemeal house, our studs are nowhere near the normal 16” on center. Consequently, he decided to screw a 1×4 scrap to the studs we could find at the top of the wall. (Side note: Whenever it comes to hanging something load bearing, I always defer to Mike. I have no time for finding things like studs and have the broken artwork to prove it.) We then caulked the seams and painted the whole schmear with the wall color (Benjamin Moore Newburg Green) for a seamless
enough finish. Then, we screwed in two large stainless hooks at the appropriate distances and we were in business for shelf hanging. You can see the pre-painted anchor board at the top of this stunningly bad pic:
And the painted version here:
Ugh, if you could only have seen the first go at hanging the shelves. (I can’t wait to start blogging current projects. I am a pic maniac now!) The shelves would have looked perfectly at home in the carnival fun house. But with a little lifting and knot adjustment, we were in business!
The only issue left to take care of was the raw ends at the bottom of the shelves. Lucky for me, M has some knot know-how, he was On the Mayflower, after all. Click the link if you don’t believe me
So he ‘whipped the line’ with some yellow string we had left over from the wedding to prevent any fraying. Parfait!
Then all that was left was to accessorize those babies…it’s still a work in progress, and accessorizing is not exactly my strong suit. Sometimes I feel weird just displaying things for display sake (“Why yes, that is a moss covered Styrofoam ball, doesn’t it just make the most stunning vignette?”), so I try to use things that are at least marginally meaningful to us. Anyway, here is how the shelves look today:
And much to fishy’s delight (on the bottom left), the shelves have hung tight. Anyone else made a Pinterest project their own?