I’m a huge Anthropologie fan, but I’m certainly not a frequent customer of theirs. Oh no, I much rather prefer to simply browse their products online in search of new DIY inspiration. Their products are beautiful and quality, but in my opinion that hardly justifies their exorbitant prices, and frankly a great deal of their home goods can be DIYed with minimal effort or experience for just a fraction of their retail price. Case in point: This stunning, $108 (yes, you read that right) teak swing Shelf.
I had planned on making my own Swing Shelf for a while now, and when I realized just how ridiculously easy and inexpensive it was to recreate this Anthropologie piece I immediately wanted to jump over to the hardware store and get working! All in all, this adorable swing shelf retailing for over $100 ended up costing me less than $10 to make and took only about 30 minutes to complete, making it perhaps one of my favorite projects to date.
Here’s what I used:
- 12 ft. of 1/4” natural sisal rope ($0.19 per foot at True Value; I asked an employee to divide mine into two 6 ft. pieces to make my job even easier)
- 8” W x 24” L x 5/8” D melamine laminate shelf in color Espresso ($5.99 at True Value).
- 3/8” drill bit
- Ruler or measuring tape
- Masking tape (only necessary if you are using a laminated particle board in lieu of natural wood, as I was)
- Copper or gold acrylic paint and paintbrushes (optional)
*Note: You’ll notice in the picture above I have some cheap, dollar store thimbles, which I intended to glue to the ends of the Rope for a decorative metallic touch. I thought I might be able to use pliers to crimp the thimbles to size, but inevitably they were just too big to fit snug around the 1/4” rope and I decided to scrap the idea entirely. If you want to achieve the full look of the Anthropologie shelf, though, you can simply paint the ends of the bare rope with copper or gold acrylic paint, or you can pick up some copper end caps from a plumbing supply store and adhere them to your rope ends with some E6000.
**Also note: No need to fret if you don’t have access to a drill or the right size drill bit! A lot of small, local hardware stores are happy to drill or cut wood for you, sometimes for an hourly fee and sometimes free of charge (don’t bother going to a big chain like Lowe’s or Home Depot, though). Considering the minimal amount of drilling required for this project, there’s little reason to think your neighborhood mom-and-pop hardware store wouldn’t be inclined to help you!
1. Mark with your pencil where you will drill your holes. You will want to mark two sets on each side, evenly spaced.
2. IF YOU ARE USING A LAMINATED PARTICLE BOARD SHELF, cover you marks with masking tape on both sides. This will prevent the laminate from cracking, or at the very least seriously reduce the amount of cracking. If you are using natural wood, you can skip this step. Natural wood will give you a more rustic looking shelf à la our Anthropologie model; however, I found simply buying a melamine shelf for $5.99 was a lot cheaper and easier than paying for an entire plank of wood and having to cut it down to size—something to keep in mind when choosing your material.
Making the shelf:
1. Drill your holes in your shelf with a 3/8” drill bit. I recommend a 3/8” bit because this will create holes that are big enough to accommodate a 1/4” rope, yet small enough for a snug fit.
2. Measure two pieces of rope of equal length (again, many local hardware stores will measure and cut your rope for you). Make sure each piece is long enough to tie four knots and hang the shelf according to your liking. String the end of one rope through one of the holes and tie a first knot underneath the hole, then a second knot on top. This will hold the shelf up steady.
3. With the other end of the same rope, tie a knot above the hole on the opposite side of the shelf, this time knotting your rope before stringing it through your wood. Be sure you are spacing your knot evenly with the other side. Then push the rope through and tie your second knot underneath.
4. Repeat this process on the other side with your second piece of rope. Because this shelf will have to lay flush against the wall, you will probably need to tie the rope closest to the wall slightly more taut to ensure the shelf is as level as possible (see below). You may need to retie your knots a few times to get it perfectly right, so keep a level handy.
5. At this point, you may paint or glue copper caps to the ends of the rope that hang under the shelf. If you are using E6000 glue to adhere copper end caps, allow it to dry for at least 24 hours before hanging your shelf.
6. Lastly, simply nail a hook into your wall and hang your shelf!
This is such a gorgeous and simple decor piece, and it fits just about any space in your home! Now I finally have something to fill this empty wall space above my bed.
KEEP IN MIND, these swings shelves aren’t intended to be very load-bearing, so keep your decorations on the lighter side and enjoy your new, $10 swing shelf!