Plumbing Pipe Bookshelf

Plumbing Pipe Bookshelf - The EGG

The Hubby and I moved into a loft almost a year ago and we have been slowly decorating and making it a home ever since. Surprisingly we did not have to buy very much new stuff, because most of our furniture ended up looking better in this space than it ever did in the house we were in before. Still there have been projects that have needed our attention. First up and the most important was, “What to do with all of our books?” We both have quite a few books and knew a standard bookcase would not do it. Nor would it complement our new space and high ceilings. We quickly realized we would have to do some sort of custom-built in. We both always wanted a full wall with a floor to ceiling bookshelf, but to have that put in was going to cost us quite a few pennies. So I hit Pinterest and searched for a way that we could accomplish the look we needed while not breaking the bank.

Plumbing Pipe Bookshelf - The EGGI stumbled on the idea of using plumbing pipe, which not only would look great in our space, it’s also pretty easy to work with so any novice DIY junkie could pull it off. I found a couple of different options that we liked and combined a few different processes to make the most economical bookcase for our needs. See below to see our process and I will let you know along the way the things I like and the things I would do differently the second time around.

Supplies

  • Wood Lumber
  • 3/4 Galvanized Pipe (2 for each shelf plus 4 additional for the top wall connection)
  • 3/4 Flanges (4)
  • 3/4 Elbow Fittings (2)
  • 3/4 Coupling Fitting (2 for each shelf)
  • Wood Stain
  • Miter Saw
  • 7/8 inch Rotary Drill Bit
  • Sand Paper

Directions

Plumbing Pipe Bookshelf - The EGG

1. Cut the wood the length you want you shelves to be. Be sure to take into account that the pipe on each side is going to shorten your actual space a bit. Also be sure not to make them too long, because depending on what you are putting on the shelves, you do not want them to bend due to weight.

Plumbing Pipe Bookshelf - The EGG

2. Measure 4 inches on each length end and make a mark that is centered width wise. This is where you are going to drill your holes for the pipes. You want the wholes to be big enough for the pipe to slide through but small enough for the stopper to hold the shelf up.

Plumbing Pipe Bookshelf - The EGG

3. Sand the cut wood to clean up the edges. Be sure to get rid of all slivers around the areas that were cut. I added a bit of rounding to corners to make them look a little less than perfect. Each one is a little unique, which I like.

Plumbing Pipe Bookshelf - The EGG

4. Stain your wood in a well ventilated area. Follow staining directions until you reach your desired color. We did not put any seal on top our stain because the shelves were going indoors and would not be subjected to any weather elements or moisture.

Plumbing Pipe Bookshelf - The EGG

5. Once your stain is completely dry you can start building your piece. Start with 2 flanges on the floor. I decided to paint the flanges to match the grey industrial look of the pipe and we also cut a perfect piece of cork to place under the flange so it would not ruin our hardwood floors. You will also want to wipe down all of your pipe before handling it, because it is covered in a greasy residue.

Plumbing Pipe Bookshelf - The EGG

6. After you have reached your desired length with the pipe, couplings and wood, use the 2 elbow fittings, 2 short pipes and the flanges to attach the bookcase securely to the wall. Don’t forget to admire the view if your Hubby is helping you.

Plumbing Pipe Bookshelf - The EGG

6. Now it’s time to start staging your shelves. I thought this would take me forever,but it actually just all fell into place. Next we are going to have to build complimentary ladder so we can actually reach the high shelves and if we buy anymore books we are going to have to build another bookshelf, because this one has no more room! Looking at this picture I am realizing we also might need a larger mirror. Something that is much more of a statement piece.

NOTES: I am super happy with the shelves. After the brick walls it is my favorite thing about our space. However, if I had to do over again I would make a few adjustments. I might have considered doing the version that does not require holes and each shelf has 4 flanges drilled into it. It may have been a more expensive but it would have made a sturdier shelf. Trust me the shelves we did are sturdy, meaning they definitely are not going anywhere, but when there are no books on the shelf the wood part does wobble a bit back and forth. Nothing falls off, but with the hole down the middle version there is nothing holding it completely steady. So if that is a concern for you I would opt for a different style. Try this one that I found on the Pottery Barn Blog. I wish I would have seen this one before I built mine. I probably also would have not made the 2 really tall shelves. We did a mix of 6, 8, 10, 12 and 18 inch shelves. I think we could have done without the 18 inch. Or at least only incorporated one.

How-To Clean Makeup Brushes

While living in Singapore my makeup brushes have gotten extremely dirty. The combination of the extra sweat and humidity, along with my own personal laziness, has not been a healthy combination for my skin. Usually I clean my brushes using baby shampoo, but I did not bring any with me and for some reason I can only find economy size bottles in the stores here. Sure it’s only $10-15, but I can’t bring myself to buy a gallon of baby shampoo if I’m only going to use a couple of ounces. So I went in search of alternative methods. There are a couple of different options out there, but I settled on one that used dish soap and olive oil, because it was super simple. Plus I already had them in the house and the theory behind the process made perfect sense. The soap is used to obviously clean the brush and the olive oil is used to condition the bristles to keep them from getting dry and brittle. So far I am pretty happy with the results, but please be sure to rinse your brushes thoroughly. I am not sure I rinsed them as well as I should have and think I may have left a little residual olive oil behind. However, so far I don’t mind it, because it gives my skin a little glow. I will keep you posted if I break out or have some horrible reaction. So far so good!

Supplies

  • Dish soap
  • Olive oil

Directions

Use equal parts dish soap and olive oil. (About a teaspoon of each to start – add more as needed) Mix soap and oil in a bowl and swirl brushes in the mixture and watch as the makeup starts to flush out. Squeeze suds from brush and repeat swirling motion. (Repeat as necessary. Like I said, my brushes were super dirty so I did this about 4 times. I even rinsed and used fresh soap and olive oil for round 3 and 4.)

Rinse with lukewarm water to remove all remaining soap. Continue to rinse until water runs clear. (Make sure NOT to get water in the metal part at the top of the bristles. It will ruin the integrity of the brush)

After washing all of your brushes, gently reshape and lay flat to dry. (Brushes usually need to dry overnight.)

Notes: You should clean your bushes about once a month. I don’t even want to tell you how long it had been since I washed my brushes. It was waaaaaay to long. Let’s leave it at that.

How-To Weather Wood

Well, yesterday in my Recycled Wood Pallet Table, I promised you a How-To on how to weather wood, and today I bring to you How-To weather wood. I am not one who likes to disappoint, but I do have to warn you, this is a very stinky project. Like serious gagging type smell, but the finished product is so worth it. I stumbled upon this How-To on one of the blogs I frequent, Show & Tell. I absolutely love this blog, because Sausha does everything I want to. She creates, paints, builds and has an amazing DIY filled home that she is constantly changing and upgrading. She also refurbishes furniture and transforms it into gorgeous conversation pieces that will definitely get people talking. She recently just refurbished a piano, that is absolutely amazing. CLICK HERE to check it out!

Supplies

  • 1 piece of 0000 steel wool
  • Glass bottle
  • Vinegar
  • Tung Oil (if desired)
  • Paint brush

Directions

  1. Rip steel wool into small pieces.
  2. Put it in the jar and cover with vinegar. After 24 hours most of the steel wool will be dissolved.
  3. Brush concoction on wood and let it sit and dry for about a day.
  4. After the wood has soaked up all the horrible smelling vinegar you can give it a light sand.
  5. If you like a richer look, finish with Tung Oil. (FYI this will take some of the rustic look away)

Notes: I have a couple of pieces I am going to be trying this on this week if the rain ever stops. I will keep you posted with a post 😉

Orange You Glad I Painted This Door?

Orange Door

In our new place we have the most amazing deck. It’s huge (about the size of our living room, dining room and kitchen combined) and it is in perfect location for ultimate privacy. It is high up and in the very back of the lot, so nobody even knows we are back here. Plus BooBoo Kitty loves it because she feels like she is on top of the world looking down on her subjects below.

With all this space, we need a lot of stuff to fill it up and make it our perfect oasis. We already have a conversation patio set, a pot belly fireplace, a storage bench to store pillows and such, and a new grill (thanks Aunty Rena for the wedding gift). Now we need to start filling in the holes with some greenery and fun colorful accessories. Right now I want to hold off on actually purchasing any greenery, because of the unpredictable winter Houston weather, but that doesn’t mean I can’t get started on the fun accessories. First up, colorful yet distressed doors. The Hubby and I went to the Houston Habitat for Humanity ReStore and bought some great solid wood interior doors for $15 each. The idea was to paint and distress the doors and then lean them up against the deck to create some more privacy and colorful decor at the same time. Our furniture is black and our cushions are a lime green, chartreuse color. Hmmm what color do I paint the doors so they match the furniture without being too matchy matchy. We decided to go with a citrusy flair. The first door will be painted orange, which is quickly becoming my new favorite color. I want to paint everything orange. I am definitely dangerous with a paint brush. I get the bug and I can’t stop. One day the Hubby might come home and the cat will be a different color. Now there are tons of ways to paint wood/furniture. Each and every project is different and depends on the function of your piece, but this is how I did it.

Supplies

  • Door
  • Paint
  • Stain
  • Paint brush
  • Sandpaper
  • Towels (ones you don’t mind getting dirty and ruined)

Directions

Step 1: Sand the door to remove and paint chips. You do not have to remove all of the paint because the goal is to make it look weathered and rustic so layering the paint is a good thing.

Step 2: Vacuum the door to remove sanding shavings and then wipe down entire piece with a tack cloth or wet towel. (I prefer a wet towel, because it also cleans any dirt of your piece)

Step 3: Some would prime at this stage. I decided not to, because I wasn’t to worried about the door’s paint quality/durability since I was going to distress it and keep it outside. If it was a piece I was keeping inside and not putting in the garden then I may have spent the money and taken the time for the extra step, but in this case I just started painting. I think I was too excited to see the orange on the door to take the time to prime anyways. I am not the most patient person in the world. I only did one layer, because the goal was to make it look rustic, but play with it and do what seems right for you. Some areas I applied the paint thicker in some places and very thin in others. This whole thing is a learning process and every piece is different so my process will be forever changing.

Step 4: Distress the door. Take a fine grit sand paper and start sanding the areas that would normally get wear and tear (the edges or any raised detail work). The level of distress is up to you. To can sand just enough to see the paint below or you can go all the way down to the wood.

Step 5: Brush stain over the door and wipe it off. Leave the stain on as long as you like, but start off slow and only leave it on for a few seconds. You can always apply more until you reach your desired color.

Step 6: Paint a layer or 2 of sealant to protect the door from weather. Or you can skip this step if you would like the door to continue to distress.