Here's a quick tutorial for a simple alternative to traditional shelf brackets - hang your shelf instead on two pieces of ribbon.
You will need:
- A hammer and 4 nails
- A plain shelf - You can buy a prepared shelf or use any straight piece of wood. I purchased unfinished wood at the hardware store, cut it, and finished it with Minwax Wood Finish in Special Walnut. A piece of barn or drift wood would be perfect for this, too. Mine is 15" long...I would recommend keeping on the smaller size, only up to about 24" or so, for weight purposes.
- 2 pieces of ribbon - A strong grosgrain-type of ribbon is best, nothing stretchy or easily ripped. I used a 1-inch natural cotton ribbon similar to this.
- It is helpful to also have a level
I'm the worst person to give crafting directions, because I craft like an Italian Nonna makes bolognese - I eyeball most things. I say things like, "do this until it feels right." So...I'm not quite sure how to tell you how long to make your ribbons. I held it up with the shelf until it looked right to me (above, right). Play around with it. If the ribbon is too short, the angle is very wide and will pull on the nails. If it's too long, the proportions look wrong and the shelf seems to dangle below. I can tell you that my shelf is 7" wide, and my ribbons are 32" long.
When it looks right, snip it, measuring the second ribbon against the first so they are the same. Fold each ribbon in half, then fold the joined ends over a little (about 1/2") at the end.
Once you've held up your ribbon and shelf to see where the top of your bracket should be, nail the folded-over joined ends with two nails into the wall. Use a level to measure where the second ribbon should go, and nail that in as well.
Slide the shelf into the hanging loops and position it so that it's perpendicular to the wall. I didn't secure the wood to the ribbon in any way - it's just hanging.
And there you have it! Arrange knick-knacks, curios, plants and treasures to your heart's content.
(I've never been able to justify buying these designer nails, but this would be a pretty good project for them, I have to say).
(all photos, Jamie Grill Photography)