Photos by Patricia Eakin/Charles Cain, Illustrations by Noah Mitchell
Photos by Patricia Eakin/Charles Cain, Illustrations by Noah Mitchell

Storage is a fact of life, so you might as well make it look damn good. Unclutter your bathroom, add some industrial charm, and craft a shelf that does double duty with this simple, six-step, DIY home project.

A true Texas native, Jinny Carder built a business reclaiming and re-loving wood. She’s salvaged the wood dance floor of an iconic Austin honky tonk and transformed it into benches, wall decor, and more. “Repurposing and recycling not only saves you money, it ensures your decor is one of a kind,” Jinny says. This particular Mason jar shelf works well in small spaces or areas you need to display things for easy access, such as spice jars in a kitchen or screws and nails in a workroom.

“Using weathered wood for the shelf adds a special touch,” says Jinny. Her grandfather and father taught her to work with wood and ever since she was young, Jinny has been constantly looking for new potential in worn out items. Case in point: her former fence post ended up as this modern rustic shelf.

So have a dig around your salvage yard or backyard for a worthy piece of wood. Then all you need is a few screws, Mason jars, L-brackets, a hook, and a saw. You’ll be done in no time – six steps to shelf actualization. Let’s do this.

Materials:

Old 4 x 4 fence post
2 3-inch L-Brackets
Hook
A bunch of screws
4 Mason jars

Tools:

Saw
Drill

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Steps:

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Step 1: Choose wood with character, wood that shows its age. “I sourced a former fence post from my backyard, so it has a solid, weathered look,” says Jinny. “The length is adaptable to your space (use it for spices in the kitchen, or screws and nails in the workroom). I cut my shelf at 27 inches. I used a chop saw, but you can also use a handsaw or table saw.”

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Step 2: Pre-drill the holes for the Mason jar lids and your towel hook, evenly spacing the lids down the wood when drilling the holes. Drill two holes in each lid to prevent unwanted turning when you’re screwing the jars on and off later.

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Step 3: Screw on everything you’ve pre-drilled. You’ll insert two screws in every lid and two screws in the towel hook.

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Step 4: Mount the L-bracket to wall. Aim to anchor at least one of the two L-brackets into a wall stud to keep the shelf steady. “You can use a level if you like, but I eyed it and it turned out fine,” says Jinny. “When choosing location, it looks best to tuck the raw (recently cut) edge of the wood into the corner, instead of facing out into the room. This maintains the overall weathered appearance of the wood.”

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Step 5: Position your shelf onto the L-bracket that’s been secured to the wall. Once in place, screw the remaining four screws up through the base of the L-bracket to lock the shelf in.

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Step 6: Fill Mason jars with whatever your heart desires and screw them on. Done.