This fun pipe bookshelf can be put together in one sitting and requires no fancy power tools. Only a drill and some screws to attach the frame. How cool is that!? If you want to see how it’s done, you’ve come to the right place.

DIY Industrial style book shelf. This is so cool. I'm heading to the plumbing store ASAP!
The idea for this project came about when my daughter’s high school Drama teacher asked me to build an industrial style bookcase/shelf for the set of The Wizard of OZ. I have built other pieces for the program (for fundraising purposes), like my blanket ladder and my country style bench.

This time, the piece would be going on stage, so the pressure was on. The Wicked Witch of the West needed a place to hang her broom and store her dark magic potions.

So, this is what I came up with.

I want to make an industrial bookcase shelf like that for my house!
Photo Credit: Virginia Michaels Photography

The piece was screwed into a wooden base for ease of transport on and off stage. The teacher requested that the bottom shelf be level with the top of the caldron. For home use, I would recommend making the legs shorter for added stability. Adding a third shelf closer to the floor would be a great option if you want to keep the height.

Build an Industrial Style Book Case with plumbing pipe
Photo Credit: Virginia Michaels Photography

Do you agree that this piece could look great in any room? Without further delay, let me share some tips on how to put this together. If you like video tutorials, scroll down for a quick one minute video summary.

DIY  Pipe Bookshelf

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Materials Used:

Pipe is 3/4″ in diameter and galvanized

Step 1:Cutting the Pipe

* I found it much more affordable to buy one long piece of pipe and have the store cut and rethread it, than buy the pieces separately. I also had a lot of leftover pieces from the sofa table I built a while back  so all of the short pipe nipples came from that. I purchased the 120″ long piece online for store pick up, then I called and gave them measurements over the phone. By the time I picked it up, the pipe was all cut and rethreaded at no charge!

Tip when shopping for pipeMeasurements of all pre-cut pipe include the threaded portions.

Step 2: Sand and Stain the Wood

Using my handy battery operated sander I gave the wood pieces a quick sanding with, then followed up with walnut color stain. As the pieces dried I put the frame together.

Step 2: Putting pieces together

I’ll be honest with you. The hardest part of making this pipe bookshelf was the planning! Make sure you really take the time to plan and do a little math to figure out your cuts.

Once the pipe is cut it’s just a matter of putting the pieces together. I washed the pipe first but even then, I would still recommend wearing gloves if you don’t want to smell like pipe.

I started by putting the legs and mid support pieces together. Easy. It’s a good idea to ma sure they’re leveled.

Building with pipe is so easy and fun! This industrial style pipe bookcase was a breeze.
After that I moved on to the top bar. This is where I got to play with my leftover pieces and figure it out as I went. The idea was to have a place far enough from the shelf where things could hang. I could have used longer pieces on the sides, but I opted to join shorter pieces using  elbowsT-pieces, and couplers for a more industrial look.

How to build furniture the easy way using industrial pipe

DIY Industrial Style Bookcase. This is so easy, I am going to do it!!!

Step 3: Paint, if desired

The drama teacher preferred black, so I spray painted the frame using my favorite flat black spray paint

Build an industrial style pipe bookcase in no time! This is easy and so cool!

Step 4: Attach the frame

Finally it was just a matter of attaching the frame by drilling through the holes in the flanges. Two screws per flange is plenty!

Make book shelves with plumbing pipe! Super easy!

Step 5: Enjoy your new pipe bookshelf!

I was able to sneak in a quick shot before I gave this piece away, but it truly does NOT do it justice. I was already behind on the deadline so this is all I got!

DIY Industrial Pipe Book Shelves

Why not pin for later?

This is super easy! I think I might be addicted to building furniture with pipe!

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Janice| Sawdust Sisters

Novice woodworker and serial Popcorn eater, Janice Thomas writes detailed tutorials that motivate others to "dare to try". Originally from Puerto Rico, Janice is fluent in Spanish and dreams of owning a beach house on the island someday! Janice currently lives in Utah with her husband and children, where she works as a university professor.

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Toni

    Very nice, I love the walnut stain and the black pipe! And what a great tip about having the store cut and thread a longer pipe. I wanted to do industrial pipe for my living room shelves but buying the individual pipes and flanges was twice as much as buying the brackets. I probably would have made it affordable. In your article you mentioned making the legs shorter for more stability. You could add one more piece of stained wood at the bottom and that would help as well. It would still give you plenty of room for baskets, etc 😀

    1. Janice

      Yes Toni! Adding a bottom shelf would be perfect! Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Anika

    Love the vibe of the bookshelf! It was so perfect for the play and looks perfect in your home too! Great jjob!

    1. Janice

      Thanks for stopping by Anika!

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