Open shelving is not my jam (as previously discussed during the kitchen cabinet painting project of 2017). Having said that, I admit we actually do have 2 open shelves. In my defense, our shelves are over by the trashcan nook, where they are grease-free, and don’t actually hold much of anything besides pretty things. In the name of streamlining the kitchen (and having no countertop appliances), we have our toaster oven over there on the tilt-out cabinet (and microwave under the coffee bar), and would prefer to have it up on a shelf, and I want shelves with pretty corbels to help fill in the wall.
This is one of those quick projects that provides a great opportunity to pack in character to the house. Using corbels for shelf brackets is always on the top of my list of high-impact pieces, but new corbels are forever out of the budget, and all the gorgeous older ones I find in the wild are never the size we need. So, we made our own DIY corbels with our GoPak Tools!
You can enter to win a $500 giveaway after the post, so make sure to get your entry in there!!
Make a set of DIY Corbels:
We used (2) 1″ x 2″ x 10′ pine to make our 4 craftsman style corbels, and had 2 pieces of stain-grade pine boards to fit our nook ready to go. The only tools you’ll need are the BLACK+DECKER GoPak System (where to buy), level, tape measure, screws, drill bits, carpenter square, pencil, and wood glue. Stain, paint, and wood filler are optional.
The GoPak System is pretty awesome – it’s got a drill, jigsaw, sander, and flashlight, which all use the same battery. Get this – the battery charges devices with a USB port. Ha! Andrew loves to listen to Christmas music, and he has the phone plugged in a few times for all that Bing Crosby!
Cut List (for 2 corbels, but we did 4):
Down: (2) 10″ w/ 45* miter on the bottom
Top A: (2) 9″
Top B: (2) 8 3/16″ w/45* miter
Cross Bar: (2) measure for your personal taste, mark angle location with pencil
We cut all the pieces, except the crossbar, with the jigsaw first. We found doing the miters first, then cutting the piece to length was easiest. Using the carpenter square, we marked the angles, then cut. For the crossbar, we laid the pieces out and decided where we wanted it to end up, marked it, then cut with the jig saw. When you make these, you can put the cross bar higher or lower, depending on the look you’re going for.
To hold these babies together, we went with wood glue and screws. We pre-drilled (the LED light is so very helpful!) holes, then screwed in wood screws in the top, back, and crossbars to hold it together. We opted to countersink the screws that would be visible, then fill it with some wood filler.
Once the glue dried, we hit the corbels with the sander. The sander is my favorite, it’s so lightweight, and the triangle pad gets into tight spaces wonderfully, it was a dream on the crossbars. We sanded the edges, so it wouldn’t be such a crisp corner.
At this point, I did a crackle finish with some leftover paint, and let them dry while I stained the shelves. I want to add a wax, but I couldn’t decide if I wanted to do a white wax, or antique wax, so for now… they are just alabaster crackle finish.
We hung these in the studs by drilling straight through the corbel and into the wall, leveling as we went, but you may add one of the brackets on the back if you prefer to not go through the corbel.
The shelves fill in that wall (which is so awkward, right?!) beautifully, and I love that the project was done with literally one box of tools. It’s great having the tools you need, without intimidation, at your fingertips, for an affordable price!