A Beautiful Mess

abeautifulmess.com · Oct 6, 2014

Easy Hanging Rope Shelf

Do you have a bunch of prints you want to hang but don't want to commit to framing them or want to make a bunch of holes in your wall? Well Elsie did, and she asked me to make her some shallow shelving for her prints and photographs. Since the house we work in has all plaster walls, hanging and screwing in shelves is a big hassle. So I decided to make a shelving system that could be hung from only two hooks. This a quick and easy solution which you could be placing stuff on today.

-1.5" x 5/8" pine furring strips
-1" x 1/8" wood strips (which I ripped from 1/8" hardwood ply, but you can find something similar at the store if you don't have a table saw)
-rope (I used 3/8" woven)
-wall hooks
-wood glue
-wood filler (optional)

-miter saw (a hand saw works just as well)
-tape measure
-table saw (optional)
-nailer (optional)

Step One: After you figure out where you want these shelves and have your measurements, cut out all the pieces. I made ours 5' long with five shelves.

Step Two: Once I had the pieces cut and sanded, I attached skinny pieces (they act as a lip so things don't just slide off all willy nilly). I glued and nailed them on, then filled the holes with wood filler. I think just gluing the strips on would have sufficed. It's not like they're going to have a huge amount of force against them. After they were attached, I gave each shelf another good sanding, then painted them with a couple coats of glossy white.

Step Three: After the paint dried, I measured in an inch on either side, then drilled a hole through. Since the rope was 3/8" wide, I used a 3/8" bit.

Step Four: This step is probably the hardest, only because I did it by myself. If you have a helping hand (to measure while you hold the rope), it'll be a breeze. First I wrapped the frayed ends of the rope with painter's tape so it would slide through the holes easily. Then I started with the bottom shelf by threading the rope through both holes (the rope ran along the bottom) and made sure the rope was equal on both sides. Then I measured up a foot on the rope, marking with a Sharpie, and tied a knot on either end. After that I slid the ends through the second shelf, and then it was just a matter of measuring, marking, knotting, attaching, and repeating till all five shelves were attached. Then I screwed two hooks into the wall and tied the rope ends to them. You could also pre-tie some loops and just slip them over the hooks. Be sure to find studs, or use anchors, and try to get the shelf to hang as close to the wall as possible.

There you go, easy as 1, 2, 3...4 steps! Let me know if you have any questions in the comments.

Credits // Author Joshua Rhodes. Photography: Joshua and Sarah Rhodes. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions.

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