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Rustic Bathroom Shelving That You Can DIY

Finally learn what to put on that blank wall behind your toliet

Around here we love when one project leads to another. Isn’t that exactly how life goes (especially these days). Well, our inexpensive small bathroom remodel started simply with us wanting to paint the bathroom cabinets. Then it turned into adding a new countertop and painting the walls.  Eventually, we realized we need to figure out a DIY bathroom shelf that could go on that blank wall.

In one of our bathrooms, we have a simple word art canvas and in another, we have industrial shelves with a painted accent wall.We love that accent wall and bathroom shelves that we decided to use as inspiration for our upstairs bathroom. 

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What shelving works well in a bathroom?

Generally, we see 2 shelves above your toilet. We decided we only wanted one DIY bathroom shelf and that we would love a basket or wall hanging that would work for below to store toilet paper and more. 

If you are looking for a more in-depth project to really add more storage to your bathroom, then you have to make sure to check out how to build a recessed bathroom shelf in this post. One day we hope to accomplish this, once our children are older and need more space.

How to make an industrial pipe shelve?

We had a set of these leftover flanges from when we created a DIY corner shelf for our corner-mounted television. So why not go with the same farmhouse-inspired DIY shelving that we had used before?

Read More: DIY Corner Shelf That Will Save You Money!

My husband decided that he wanted to try to repurpose an old piece of wood that we had lying around the garage. He liked the idea of this bathroom shelf having more thickness than a simple standard wood size (and not to mention it is free to repurpose what you have)!

Yes, we are aware that not every just hoards wood scraps for their next DIY project (but maybe you should start).

If you do not just have reclaimed wood lying around, then you can use any standard size would that you would like for your shelf. You can for our other DIY shelving projects with flanges that we did not use reclaimed wood.

How To Make Cheap Pipe Shelves

How do you make a wooden wall shelf with the width that you want from a narrow piece of reclaimed wood?

1. Find your piece of wood.

2. Cut to length. Our shelf is 24” long.

Reclaimed wood used for shelf

3. Use an orbital sander and 45 grit sandpaper to clean-up the wood.

  • The piece of wood we used was an old piece of dunnage that was rough sawn (saw marks from the mill were visible).

Sanding rough wood for bathroom shelf

4. Use wood glue to glue together the two or three pieces (depending on the thickness you desire).

5. Once the glue has set (after 24 hours),  sand both pieces of wood that are now glued together

  • If you have access to a planer then the two (2) pieces could be planed which would save a ton of sanding time. This planer is on our wishlist!!!
  • Due to the rough condition of the wood, our sanding took a very long time.
  • If you want to know more about the difference between planing and sanding this article by the Woodwhisperer may be helpful.

6. Once the wood is sanded stain and poly. We used this stain color, but wiped it off very quickly after applying it so that the overall color would be lighter.

How to attach pipe fittings to the wall for a shelf?

1. Find wall brackets that you like, such as the curved pipe flanges that we have used in numerous shelves.

Pipe Flanges for shelf

2. Mount the wall brackets to your wall with drywall anchors or into studs.

Two pipe flanges before wooden shelf


Studs are typically 16”s apart and Use a level to make sure the brackets are level or else you may have a slanted shelf when you are all finished.

Level on DIY Bathroom Shelf

Once you have your pipe fittings attached to studs and your piece of wood stained and sealed (if you want) then you can attach your piece of wood using the hardware provided.

These pipe flanges are great because the piece of wood literally can just sit on them while securing it to the flanges.


Other bathroom shelving accessories

Because I really wanted a basket and I only had one set of pipe fittings, we decided to shop around for a basket shelf (I don’t think I am using the proper terms) that could go on the wall. I found ours at AtHome. However here are other baskets that can give you the same look. 

Portable Farmhouse Wall Decor Baskets from Amazon-We actually have these above our children’s art table and use them to store art supplies. If I had not found ours at a local store, I would have probably ordered these.

Metal Basket Storage Organizer with Hooks: Similar to the style above this basket from Target has hooks that could easily help your family stay organized.

Or you could even do a mix of industrial DIY bathroom shelving with a cool crate underneath your shelf as you see in this tutorial on the HGTV site by Ana White.

Looking for other DIY shelf ideas?

Read more of our related shelving projects! Because who doesn’t like to get organized in style?

23 Epic DIY Shelves For Any Home Decor Style

Easy Closet Shelves You Can Build This Weekend

We love that we finally dressed-up that boring wall above the toilet. 

DIY rustic bathroom shelf

Follow us on Pinterest or Facebook for more DIY inspiration!

This DIY reclaimed wooden shelf really helped finish our cheap bathroom makeover (and you know we love that)!

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