Pine Shelves: Installation

Hi, I’m Staci’s husband, Doug. She has asked me to write a guest post on the blog about the details of our new pine shelves.

Just like nearly all of the projects that we have undertaken in our three domiciles since we have been together, Staci was once again the lead engineer of this endeavor. Her creativity never ceases to flow! I was happy to help, and after a bunch of careful measurements (which ended up not being so careful after all– more on that later) we began by buying the needed materials. I’m decidedly a “list” guy, so instead of intricately weaving each material into a well written example of how it was implemented like I’m some sort of writer, I’ll simply list what we bought and from whence it was got;

  • The hanging structure, and shelf supports —IKEA’s ALGOT (link to similar configuration)
  • Drywall screws –Local hardware store, such as Ace, Home Depot, Lowe’s
  • Untreated pine boards 1″ X 10″ X 12′ –Home Depot
  • Laser level –Lowe’s
  • Power Drill –Home Depot

Putting up the brackets and shelf supports was the easy part. We simply bought enough length of the top horizontal piece, which came in several sizes and slapped it on by pressing the pieces against the underside of the counter and screwing them into place. We then placed each of the vertical supports evenly throughout the 9 feet, with the laser level as our trusty companion. Once we popped in the super-easy shelf supports, we decided to call it a night. The only thing left to do was to put the carefully measured and tenderly cut shelves into place!

pine shelf how to 1

Since the spot we wanted to shelve measured exactly 9 feet (or 108″) I proceeded to buy enough pine to make 3 shelves that spanned the entire space. This was the second day of the project. I bought three 12-foot boards and had them each cut into 4.5-foot pieces. This obviously gave us extra, but it seemed to be the cheapest way to buy 27 feet. In other news, Mosey appears to be taking a yoga break after some diligent work.

pine shelf how to 2

Wait, the space was 108 inches, right? Wrong; we must have rounded up from 107 and 3/4 of an inch-ish. Oops.

pine shelf how to 3

Commence the troubleshooting! While Staci was at work, I started using a small sanding block to carve down the end of one of the shelves to see if I could make them fit. After about 20 minutes of this nonsense (and the onset of a rapidly over-exerted arm), I remembered that we owned an electric sander. The sander bailed me out, not unlike San Diego’s Philip Rivers bailed out my beloved Kansas City Chiefs a few years back during a Monday night game… by fumbling a crucial snap and resulting in a Chiefs victory!

So, after some fluid electric sanding and the aid of a make-shift saw horse out of a cheap folding lawn chair, I adapted the shelves to fit in the space! And…. voila, when Staci got home from work, she was greeted with this:  (!!!)

pine shelf how to 4

Staci here– A huge thanks to Doug for not only saving the day by finishing the shelf installation, but also for filling in by writing this post on an evening when my brain couldn’t put coherent thoughts into sentences. We have really enjoyed filling up the shelves and are both truly enamored with them… We’ve spent many hours patting ourselves on the back and gazing at the finished product. ;) 


Our Pine Shelves are Installed!

This post’s alternate title: “It’s Been A LONG Time Coming.”

Ever complete a project, step back and it seems like you can hear the angels singing?

Completed Pine Shelving

Ever since the day we moved in and realized our faux-tolix barstools wouldn’t work with the kitchen counter overhang (overhang is too short/ stools are too tall), I wanted built-ins here under the overhang. However, given that we’re simply in an apartment and not in an owned home, I thought that we wouldn’t be able to install anything permanent or semi-permanent like shelves. So we got a few IKEA units (on sale in the as-is section) to act as a stopgap solution…


This looked OK– better in photos than it did in person, though. Since they were on carpet and hadn’t all been assembled identically, they kind of leaned back or forward from each other and didn’t look as neat and clean as what I had in my vision. So little by little the area underneath here was altered…

Living and Dining Area

One unit was removed to make way for our turntable… then all three units were relocated to the west wall when we got our green couch and reoriented the whole apartment.

After hanging art

Now… Ahhhh. This is so much better!! They are only ten inches deep which actually gives us five more inches of floor space in that area when compared to the EXPEDITs. Five inches may not seem like much, but it’s almost half a foot, and the space is so much more streamlined, as the photo below makes clear. The pine warms up the space in a very honest way. Somehow, yeah, “honest” seems like the word for this simple solution. Here’s a few more shots:

Pine Shelving

Pine Shelving

Completed Pine Shelving

I feel like purposefully leaving the area underneath the bottom shelf empty makes it seem light and creates the illusion of more floor space. The best part is that the project was affordable, there aren’t many screws in the wall, and the whole thing can be taken with us to our next place next fall! I will have a how-to and budget breakdown here for you Wednesday!

DIY Wedding Bouquets (Faux Flowers)

To save money on her wedding, Steph agreed to let me try my hand at arranging flowers for her bouquet and the bridesmaids’ bouquets. I had so much with these faux flowers!

My first foray into faux flower arranging was a year ago when I helped create my friend Lisa’s bouquet for her own big day…

Lisa's Flowers

Lisa's Flowers

Photos by Scout Weddings.

So since I had a little experience, I kind of had a starting point for Stephanie’s wedding. First, we identified the color scheme of the wedding– Magenta and “metallic tones.” Since the venue was more of a tropical setting, with a pond, palm trees, and other lush greenery, we decided to go with bright and vibrant greens, as opposed to the dusky earthy tones I had used with Lisa’s bouquet. I created the bride’s bouquet first, and then did the MOH’s as a kind of “prototype.” We realized that the “star” flower was out of our price range to include in every bouquet (we were trying to save money after all) and created a scaled-back version of the MOH’s bouquet for the rest of the girls.

For the Bride, we found the most amazing pink flower, perfect for the color scheme, then accented it with browns and whites:

The Bride's Bouquet

The MOH (me) got a gorgeous white version of Stephanie’s pink flower, with matching white hydrangeas and a brown version of the anenome flower:

The MOH's Bouquet

And the bridesmaids (six!) got arrangements of white and brown. They are the same as the MOH arrangement minus the more costly white bloom–they have the same brown anenome, brown roses, and white hydrangeas:

The Bridesmaids' Bouquet

Since these photos are close-ups, it’s a bit more obvious that the arrangements aren’t real flowers. On the day of, however, I doubt people could tell, or were even thinking about them.

Here are a few tips if you decide to try your hand at a DIY faux flower bouquet. Got more tips? Share in the comments.

  1. Splurge and get the nicer flowers. It’s easy to tell the difference between a $15 stem and a $5 version of the same flower.
  2. Shop when they’re on sale. Both times, I got flowers from Hobby Lobby and they put their silk flowers on sale every two to three weeks.
  3. Bunch all the flowers together while shopping, and create the loose idea of what you want the arrangement to look like while still in the store. Our cart looked very crazy with all kinds of different flowers until we decided on our winners.
  4. Keep warm tones and cool tones in mind when choosing flowers, and pay careful attention to the leaves–they are the most tonal (brownish, blueish, yellowish green) and more apt to clash.
  5. When arranging, start with the main flower and accent flower(s) and create what looks like a triangle from above. This will help the bouquet look attractive from any angle. Then, begin adding in greenery as filler. Here’s a little illustration:
  6. A Bouquet Triangle
  7. Keep turning the arrangement around and around while working on it. Make sure all the sides look nice, because the person holding it will not remember to hold it a particular direction. I guarantee it.
  8. Get creative when it comes to greenery! It’s the weakest link, in my opinion, when it comes to faux flowers. There are simply not as many plain foliange options! I wouldn’t have normally gone for this faux boxwood but the vibrant, pure green was just the tone we needed. I’m so happy we used it!
  9. Tear it apart! Our boxwood stems came with four to six (I can’t remember) “pieces” attatched together. By separating each boxwood sprig, we could poke it into the bouquet just where more greenery was needed.

Bridal Party


Photo by Faithfully Focused Photography

My favorite thing about faux arrangements is that they last forever! My mother had faux flowers at her wedding in the 80s and she still has her bouquet.

Thanks for reading! I really had so much fun creating these.