Shelvin’ It

**sorry if you see this post twice in your feed readers, i had some issues**

After we painted the dining room, we talked about putting up a 7 foot shelf above the buffet. The wall needed something of the appropriate scale, and I liked the idea of having a shelf so I could rotate the decorations. I liked the Pottery Barn Holman shelf, so I checked the prices on that.

First, shelves don’t come in 7 foot lengths. Second, to purchase enough shelves (1 3ft and 2 2ft) to get up to our 7 ft length would cost almost $200. Third, we didn’t want gaps between the sections.

Further Internet searching confirmed that nobody makes 7ft shelves. Later, we learned why.

So we set about to build our own. We purchased a 7ft length of 1×4 and 2 7ft lengths of 1×2. We used the 1×2’s to create a front “lip” on the shelf and the second one to create the same “lip” that we would use to secure the shelf to the wall.

I glued, screwed, sanded, and stained. Then after a few coats of spray poly, we were ready to hang.


This was definitely a 2 person job. We determined the precise location for the shelf and screwed that baby in. Then we had to take it down because it was *way* too high. We came down about 6 inches and screwed it in… again.


We got about 3 screws in (to the point where we didn’t have to hold it up anymore) and discovered why shelves don’t come in 7 foot lengths.


As we were screwing in the far right side, the glue gave way and the back lip popped off. So we had to take it down, *again*, and re-glue and add a screw. While cursing this darned shelf project, I looked down the wall and saw a terrible sight. And learned why shelves are not produced in 7 foot lengths.

Our wall is *not* flat.

It bows out smack dab in the middle. So much, in fact, that the difference between the center of the shelf and the ends of the shelf is about ¼ of an inch. I can fit a finger between the wall and the back of the shelf.

At this point, I thought we were doomed. I was ready to give up totally, but Matt was sure that we could get that baby up there and stable. So once the shelf was ready for mounting attempt #3, we screwed in the center then the right end. We did some not-totally-tightened screws on the left end, but there is still a gap on that end.


But the shelf is sturdy enough. In fact, after Thanksgiving, the kitten was being especially naughty and searching for attention, so she jumped up onto the shelf and perched herself on the right end.


So at least now we know it can support a Savannah.

Have you ever built a shelf? Or had any other “my walls are not flat” dilemmas?


2 thoughts on “Shelvin’ It

  1. oh no! I’m so glad your hard work wasn’t wasted. It looks great, I love that you can change it. We had trouble with uneven walls with our built in bookshelves.

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