DIY Natural Wood Shelves

pin natural wood shelves

Natural wood shelves have been a secret obsession of mine for some time now. I love the effortless beauty of raw wood and the warmth it brings into a home. This was the perfect project for us to tackle due to the fact that our backyard is practically a mini forest.

Shelves in general are a great way to fill up an empty wall space and get organized. Plus, we had plenty of lovely cedar trees to choose from.

I knew it was only a matter of time before I started a project involving wood shelves in our home and I’m glad we did because they turned out amazing!

So here’s how it went down.

Slicing and Dicing Our Cedar Tree

Since this project was basically screaming to be done, we dove right in and got it done. The hubs busted out our monster of a chain saw and connected the chain saw mill attachment and sawed away.

I wanted thick shelves, so he cut the planks on the 1.5″ setting.

cutting cedar planks

Measure Twice, Cut Once

All I needed was 2 planks from this log since it was so large. My goal was to make 3 shelves, each at 26 inches long. These babies are going into my laundry room that’s currently under construction.

The next step was the cutting process. I measured the 26 inches I needed and marked it with a pencil for an accurate cut. We used a table saw to do the dirty work.

raw cedar shelves

The Sanding Process

I decided to sand the chainsaw marks down for a smooth surface by using our super convenient mouse palm sander. I used 80 grit sandpaper.

The higher the sandpaper number, the finer the grit. The lower the sandpaper number, the grit is more coarse.

For example, if the wood is really rough it would be best to use a 40 or 80 grit sandpaper to easily remove large indentations in the wood.

sanding cedar 80 grit

Use a finer grit such as 120 or 220 to get a smooth polished feel after the initial sanding. I, on the other hand, only used 80 grit and the result was smooth enough for me.

There were a few slight chainsaw marks left, but I liked the look so I stuck with it.

sanded cedar plank 80 girt

I also sanded all the edges for a rounded worn look.

rounded cedar plank edges

Sealing our Cedar Shelves

The natural color of cedar is way too pretty to stain in my opinion, so I opted for polyurethane finish to seal my shelves. I used the clear Minwax brand with a 2″ synthetic bristle brush.

Minwax clear polyurethane

Excuse my can. Its been used and abused.

Make sure to dust and wipe the wood down before applying any type of sealant.

The last thing you want to deal with is getting your brush gunked up with loads of wood dust and messing up your smooth finish.

cedar shelves with polyurethane

The color came out so rich after applying the poly. LOVE.

Once the shelves dried, I sanded lightly with a 220 fine grit block and reapplied the poly. I only coated the bottoms with one coat of poly because who cares?…I didn’t. I was ready to slap these beauties on my wall. I have no patience. That’s one thing I’m still trying to master.

All done!

cedar planks with 2 coats of poly

Mounting Our Natural Wood Shelves

This was probably the scariest part for me. Not counting the chainsaw part because chainsaws and I don’t get along. I like my limbs attached to my body.This project wouldn’t have happened without my husband’s help.

I hate the leveling and drilling aspect of this because I feel like I just plain out suck at it. If I could eyeball everything and have it turn out perfect I’d be golden. Anyways, back to reality.

Tools You’ll Need for Mounting Shelves
  • Stud finder
  • Leveler
  • Screws
  • Screw driver

I decided the best way to do this was to mount my brackets to the wall first. So I grabbed my stud finder and went to work.

stud finder

The red light on the stud finder supposedly indicates the “edge” of the stud. I used my pencil to lightly mark the edges of the stud from both directions.

Next I placed the leveler on top of the bracket to make sure I screwed it in properly.

wall bracket with leveler

I’m not sure if this is the best technique for installing shelves, but it worked for me.

I measured the space I wanted to have between my shelves and continued on my way until I had all my brackets in place. Then I put the icing on the cake when I attached my cedar shelves, Viola!

installed natural wood cedar shelves

I present to you my beautiful natural wood shelves with my final touches.

Complete natural cedar wood shelves

Fill me in on your latest project using raw wood or shelving you’ve been aching to attempt!

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DIY Bird Bath for $20

DIY Two Tier Bird Bath pinterest


For the longest time I’ve wanted to add an adorable bird bath to our front yard, but I could never find one within the right price range.

I wanted something that had a great color to make our yard pop and had that water fountain-like elegance.. Anyways I decided what better way to get what I want than to make it myself.

I’ve seen people use candle sticks and lamp posts for bases in a couple of projects so I thought that would be perfect for my DIY bird bath. Goodwill is my main go to.

One day I’m hoping to get myself together become a more consistent garage sale hunter, but Goodwill is always there for me at 4:30pm on a Sunday afternoon. Well, here’s what I was lucky enough to nab up during my Goodwill raid:

My Finds

  • Large table lamp in a Roman column design. (Great bargain for $3.13 since it wasn’t working.)
  • Small and shallow flower shaped bowl. ($1.25)
  • A baby shower platter. ($1.57)
  • Decorative glass cup ($1.91)

Good will bird bath finds

I came across the flower bowl first and then the lamp second. I initially thought the flower bowl and lamp would work great together and then I thought why not go all out and make it a two tier bird bath. Yea! I could definitely pull that off.

DIY bird bath bowl

Oh, you fancy huh?

Why yes, yes I am. Thus the idea of the two tier DIY bird bath was born.

I started looking for a larger shallow bowl of some type that could serve as my base for the bath and then I stumbled upon this tacky pink baby shower party platter. Yes, its uglier than hell but I had a good feeling about it. It was the right size and depth for what I needed.

The shopping wasn’t done yet, I had to find something to separate my tiers. I was thinking along the lines of a decorative vase.

To my surprise I found this really cool cup aka the goblet. It was wide enough on the bottom and top to support both levels of the bird bath and tall enough to separate them nicely.

DIY bird bath tier base

Pickin’ Paint and Glue

I’m not sure why exactly but I desperately wanted a royal blue bird bath. I stopped by Walmart to grab Krylon spray paint in a lovely shade of Oxford blue and clear sealant. $3.98 each.

Krylon Spray Paint

Krylon is supposed to be a quality spray paint and non toxic after it’s dried so I thought that this brand would be the best choice.

I also needed glue to put my bird bath together. After some research I found that Dap Aquarium Sealant is what I needed for a strong bond and to keep the water safe for the birds. $4.57 at Home Depot.

Dap Aquarium Sealant for safe bird bath water

Let the Prepping Begin

Once I was ready to paint my bird bath parts I made sure all pieces were wiped clean and dry.

I took them outside and laid them down on some old random piece of plywood in the yard and began spraying with my blue paint. So far so good.

DIY blue bird bath parts

I let them dry for a night and then went out and sprayed over them with the blue paint again. The instructions mention that you only need about 2 hours to dry in between coats so you don’t have to wait over night like I did.

How to Drill a Hole for the Base

One question you might have is how to set the bottom bowl on the base of the bird bath to begin with.

We used a circular drill bit/hole saw bit for this process. Anthony rummaged through our tool shed and found a drill bit that was perfect for what I needed.

I didn’t use any measurements, I just eyeballed the size I needed. As long as the drill bit could drill a hole slightly wider than the light bulb base on my lamp I was good to go.

hole for bird bath base

Assembling the Two Tier Bird Bath

All my parts were dry and ready to be put together! I found a nice level area in the yard to stack my two tiers. After some practice balancing all the pieces of the bird bath, I was ready to glue.

aquarium sealant on bird bath base

I finally got enough sealant around the base of my bird bath so it was time to add the party platter bowl.

DIY bird bath base

This sealant takes a full 24 hours to cure. This was good for me because I had plenty of time to rearrange and center all three of my pieces.

Getting them all centered was trial and error but it only took a matter of minutes to perfect it.

I was ready to put the finishing touches on this beauty. I let the glue cure over night and stepped out the next day with my Krylon Clear Coat in hand.

DIY bird bath finished

I absolutely enjoyed every minute of this DIY bird bath project. I felt like this was going to be an awesome idea and I’m thrilled it turned out better than I imagined.

Here is the finished product in all its glory.

Completed two tier DIY bird bath

This was an excellent DIY project for our yard this spring. I’m looking forward to watching the birds splash around in this! What spring time accessory does your yard need?

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