Open shelves

Open shelves seem to be a farmhouse staple. Whether they’re in your kitchen to display your dishes and plants (check out my latest plant care post here), above your toilet to house your bathroom essentials, or even your dining room over your buffet to display all your special serving trays. Really, the possibilities are endless. The good news is that it’s super easy to make and doesn’t require a big budget.

lumber yard for boards

I decided that I wanted two open shelves above my buffet in my dining room. It was such an easy solution to hold all of my dishes and serving trays. We called up our local lumber yard (much more affordable) and ordered some 3-inch pine boards and my husband cut them to size and ran them through a planer to smooth them out. I did two coats of stain on each board and then did two coats of polycrylic to seal them. I went with a polycrylic instead of urethane because I like the matte finish of the crylic. Scroll down to see what stain and polycrylic I used! I also ordered the brackets on amazon. Which again are also linked in the shop this post section.


We found it much easier to attach the brackets to the wood first instead of attaching the bracket to the wall first. This way we could visually see if the self was in the perfect spot or not.

Mark your spots

Next, we held up our shelves to find the perfect spot and then marked them on the wall before hanging. Make sure you space your shelves out accordingly. You don’t want them too close together before hanging or it can limit what you can actually put on your shelves themselves.


Be sure to level your shelves to make sure they are perfectly aligned. Nothing is worse than finishing a project and then kicking yourself afterward because you didn’t make sure it was level beforehand. Believe me – I’ve been there. This is part of the reason I’m not allowed to hang anything at our house. (My husbands rule!)

no wrong way to do open shelving

Basically, there’s really no wrong way to do open shelving.  The key is to make them the same size as each other and the same size or slightly smaller than whatever they’re mirroring. If it’s above your buffet like mine, try and mirror the size of the buffet. If it’s the kitchen try and mirror the size of the cabinet it’s replacing or if it’s a large wall mirror the size of the cabinet below.

The key is finding good quality material to make the shelf and hardy brackets to support your shelf. luckily below you can shop this post! This post may contain affiliate links… thanks for supporting the brands that support this blog of mine!

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