DIY & Projects,  Home Improvement

Some Display Shelves! I Made!

Okay so making a shelf is like… By no means rocket science.

However, I can’t stop marveling at their beauty over the top of my refrigerator.

It all began when someone (cough my mom cough) mentioned to me that I ought to get a cabinet for over my refrigerator. This was because I, as everyone in the entire world does, was using the top of my fridge as extra storage. Mostly for my additional five million coffee mugs. Anyway, because my home is an open floor plan, one of the first things you see when you walk in is my kitchen, and the fridge, and the clutter associated with the top of the fridge, etc.

Seeking a cabinet was not an easy task. Even used ones were going for $40 – $50, which I considered ridiculous, and also they simply didn’t match. The previous owner of my home decided that traditional cabinets weren’t really her thing and instead put up vintage, green, metal display cabinets that were probably used at a pharmacy in their former life. Unlike some people (cough my mom again cough cough cough), I think they are totally unique and adore them. However, purchasing just any old wood cabinet to set by them was risking it looking out of place.

The other problem was, as I mentioned before, the majority of this clutter was coffee mugs. And I’d really rather not hide my coffee mugs away. I mulled over the idea of purchasing a display cabinet, but they too were very pricey.

It was then that I decided to really roll with the open floor plan concept and, instead of a cabinet, put up display shelves. Again, on Amazon (for the length I needed) the cheapest were going for $30ish each and were made of particle board! Blegh! A nice piece of 36-inch pine wood at Lowes is about 4 dollars, and that’s when I decided to make my own.

I was a little worried that display shelves over the fridge might look a little goofy, but ultimately I am happy with the result. Now when you walk into my house, one of the first thing’s you see my (slightly) neatly lined up coffee mugs all on display! Open floor plan approved. No more clutter.

Goals & Garbage - Finished shelves



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  • 2 36-inch x 8-inch Pine Wood Boards, 1 inch thick (or whatever your desired length/thickness is) – I bought mine at Lowe’s for about $4 each
  • 4 shelf brackets – I bought mine at Lowe’s, but you can find a similar pair for cheaper here.
  • Rust-Oleum Ultimate Wood Stain – I used Kona to match my floors
  • 1/2 inch flathead screws (depending on board thickness)
  • 2-inch flathead screws
  • Sandpaper
  • Staining paint brush
  • Drill
  • Level
  • Stud finder
  • Measuring tape

Goals & Garbage - A photo of Rust-Oleum Stain and a shelf


  1. If your wood is already cut to size, begin sanding! Once the sides and surface are smooth, wipe off dust with a microfiber cloth or damp rag (allow the shelf to dry).
  2. Next, retreat to a well-ventilated area and begin to stain. I did two coats on each side, allowing to dry each time in between. 2 coats made it extra shiny.
    According to Rust-Oleum’s stain, it says it only takes 1 hour to dry. I think that estimate is wishful thinking, and I instead allowed a complete 12 hours of dry time. My basement is cold so I am sure it impedes on the dry time, but 1 hour seems pretty ambitious. But you do you.
  3. In the meantime, find a stud behind your fridge using a stud finder. Measure with the intention of placing one of your shelf brackets where your stud is to ensure the shelf will be sturdy. If not you can rely on anchors, but I personally find anchors unhelpful and evil.
  4. For me, there was a stud alongside the corner of the fridge which worked perfectly. Once the shelves were dry, I measured to where the stud would be and placed my shelf bracket on the wood. Using a pencil, I marked where to drill and then using 1/4 flathead screws, I drilled the top portion of the bracket to the shelf itself. Repeat this on the other side of your shelf.
  5. Now your shelf is ready to place on the wall! Using my 2-inch flathead screws, I drilled one side and used a level to ensure it was… level, before screwing the other side.
  6. Top with all of your coffee mugs or other assorted clutter.
  7. Rinse and repeat. Enjoy your shelf!

Goals & Garbage - Rust-Oleum Kona Wood Stain

Goals & Garbage - Finished shelf


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