My New Crown Moulding Shelves (Updated)

Okay, I'm excited to post about my new crown moulding shelves, which are finally done and up.

My inspiration for this project came from (can you guess) the Pottery Barn catalog. I have about five different "crown moulding ledge" pages torn out from various catalogs over the past few years, but here is the most recent one. You can see this picture on their site here, in case you want to rush right over there and buy some:

Once I took the wallpaper off the front hallway wall and bought/painted the table, I started looking for some shelves like these. I finally settled on a set of three from a popular craft/fabric store here, and was excited to get them 60% off - which made them $20.00. However, they were short little shelves - I think the longest of the three was only 36". So, not very much shelf surface area for $20, and certainly not for the original price of $50.00.

Not long after I bought those though, my friend Gay and I went to the Habitat for Humanity ReStore, where I saw these pieces of alder wood crown moulding that were each about 4 feet long.
The price? $3.00 each. See, you can still see the price tags right here:

As you can see from the picture above, my main problem with them was that the ends of the moulding were open, which I didn't think would look very good on the wall. So, I went on an Internet search to see how to close the ends up. I found this very helpful web page that explains just how to do that. Unfortunately, being tool-challenged (not to mention tool-less), I could not make sense of a word of it, so I took it to a friend who has a lot of carpentry know-how, plus a lot of tools in his garage. He looked at it, said, "Yep, I could do this for you, but you know - (he paused suddenly, and looked really thoughtful here, as if a brilliant idea had just sprung into his head) - really you should know that it is my dear and wise father who taught me everything I know about wood and tools, and he really is a carpenter expert, so he would feel insulted if you don't ask him. Besides - he's retired and has lots of time on his hands." (Okay - I embellished that a little bit, but I'm sure he really feels this way about his dear and wise father.)

So, off I went to the father, who was cutting wood for me for the church mosaic project anyway, and asked for his advice. He suggested that we skip the mitering shown in the website and just cap the ends of the moulding with thin pieces of wood. So, we did. Okay - I mean, so he did, and for that I am truly appreciative. Thanks, Doug.

So then the shelves looked like this:

After I primed them and painted them, they looked like this:

Then I had to figure out how to hang them. Technically I am using the shelves with the part of the crown moulding that is intended to be against the wall as the shelf surface. Crown moulding is really supposed to go the other way, but doing that would leave a narrow, open gap on the top that I would have to get my good friend Doug to cut more pieces for, so I'm using them the way that works - with a flat board exposed on top where I can put things. I took some pictures (below) to show how the moulding should go, and how I am actually hanging them, but now that I look at the pictures I can't even figure out which way is which, so I guess that means that it just doesn't matter.

To put them up on the wall, I went to Home Depot and browsed the "hanging hardware" section until I found these nifty little things. They're called "keyhole hangers". You can either buy them in a package with other hanging hardware, or you can get the individual pieces in those great metal drawers with the thousands of pieces of various hardware in them. They were $1 each. I just screwed one in each end of my shelves, like so:

Then I marked my spots on the wall, and using the level, put my anchors in the wall. Then I slid the shelves on, using the keyhole hangers. I found this a little bit challenging to place the hangers right on the screws in the wall without too much sliding. So, I got this look on the wall, as the shelves slid all around and marked the wall up like giant black crayons:

That's okay, though, because there's a lot more paint where that came from.

Now, finally, here are are the shelves up on the wall:

Total cost of the project? Well, considering that I already had the primer and paint, that would be about $11.

Now the fun part begins - the decorating. I really like how they kind of layered all kinds of things together on the Pottery Barn shelves, plus hung some other things on the wall, too. So, I'll go for that look. Of course, that kind of decorating for me always takes a long time, because I usually have to put a few things up there, and then decide on them gradually as I walk into the room over the course of a few days.

So far, I only have these few things, on a trial basis:

Well, it's a start. I'll let you know how it goes.
I'm posting this at Transformation Thursday at Shabby Chic Cottage, and at Shanty2Chic.

Rob  – (4 February 2010 at 09:46)  

Very nice! Good job on the shelves and I also liked how you documented the project step-by-step along the way.

Bob  – (4 February 2010 at 09:51)  

Everything I know about decorating was taught to me by my daughter!

Really nice.

Jason  – (4 February 2010 at 10:05)  

Shelves? We have new shelves?

Ann  – (4 February 2010 at 20:18)  

This definitely qualifies as "work first". Good job!

Thrifty Miss Priss  – (10 February 2010 at 18:51)  

this looks so nice! What a transformation!

Brittany  – (10 February 2010 at 21:43)  

love the arrangement on the shelves, i have the hardest time arranging floating shelves, i can never decide what to do.

stop by my goodwill goodies blog party every wednesday!

Enchanted Rose Studio  – (11 February 2010 at 09:25)  

Your shelves came out great! Looks wonderful! You did a great job.

Thanks for the tutorial!


Angie @ The Country Chic Cottage  – (11 February 2010 at 09:34)  

thanks so much!!! I have been eyeing those PB ones -- seriously but priced way too high!! Yours are just right!

Cindy  – (11 February 2010 at 15:57)  

Your shelves are perfect! What more could you ask for than little cost and perfect size. And they look great all done up with your pretty stuff on them.

tjhumbert  – (19 January 2011 at 09:47)  

Thanks for the post! I was looking for these keyhole hangers to build my own and had no idea what these brackets were called.

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