Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Faux Hanging Pink Ombre Shelves (That's a lot of adjectives)

Just last week I was all like, "blah blah blah Valentine's Day...blah blah it's phony...blah I can't not hate it", and then bam! Today back I'm posting pink shelves with pink ropes and hearts and flowers and books with titles like "Hug" and "How Do I Love You?".  Women are complicated.

I was recently interviewed by my mom for a magazine, and they asked me where I get my DIY project ideas.  My answer was something really insightful, like "ummmm....from people and places????" to which they replied, "Thanks. For nothing." If only I'd been able to offer up these faux hanging pink ombre shelves (which have are so awesome they have four adjectives) as an example to demonstrate how sometimes one project is the sum of a few disparate, random projects I've filed away in my DIY brain, which is apparently very pink and full of adjectives, some of which are French. (#faux)

In the case of these shelves, the mathematical equation for the project was:

this hanging shelf + this pink shelf now available at Ikea + this ombre dresser that made the rounds=
my faux hanging pink ombre shelves.

I'm so good at math that someone should give me a trophy.

This project was very manageable, easily divisible into three phases - 1. painting your shelves and starting the ropes, 2. hanging your shelves and 3. finishing the rope.  I would say at most the whole thing took an hour, assuming part of your 'hanging your shelves' phase doesn't involve hanging the first shelf in the wrong place, hating it then trying to be lazy and wanting to leave it but then deciding to do the right thing but still being lazy enough to not patch the wrong holes and instead covering the holes with a picture of your children, which I would estimate would add another 12-15 minutes to the project if I were the type of person who would do such a thing (nervous laughter).

Without further ado...how to make faux hanging ombre shelves!

What You'll Need:

- a glue gun + glue sticks
- three floating shelves (I got mine last weekend on clearance for $12 each from Home Depot)
- tools to install your shelves (mine were a drill, stud finder, pencil and level)
- poly cord (about $5)
- Spray paint x 2 (these two colors are 'candy pink' and 'berry pink', about $7 total)
- painters tape and scrap paper
- scissors

What You'll Do:

1. Prep your shelves: Tape off the edges of your shelves and the areas you want to keep white (if any).  At first I had considered spraying the entirety of both shelves pink, but after course-correcting away from the all-pink Ikea shelf mentioned earlier and towards the all-white Home Depot shelves, I decided to paint just the edges, keeping the shelves from being too visually heavy and providing a white backdrop for all the stuff that would end up on the shelves.

2. Paint your shelves:  Spray the edges of your shelf in your selected colors and allow to dry, removing the tape before the paint dries completely.

3. Cut the cord: Determine how far apart you want your shelves on the wall.  Then cut a piece of cord 
about 6-8 inches longer than your selected shelf distance.  Tie a knot at one end of each piece of cord, making the tail end of the knot as short as possible.  Later on, this will help promote the illusion that the rope runs through, rather than in between, your shelves.

4. Get glued: Fire up your glue gun.  Before pulling the trigger (see what I did there?), double check that you're not only gluing onto the bottoms of each shelf, but also that you are not gluing onto the wrong shelves.  In my case, I glued onto the white and light pink shelf, not onto the fuschia one.  At this point your bottom shelf gets no glue.  Glue the knotted end to the underside of your shelf (mine are about 3/4" in from the edges) and allow to set.  Try your best to tuck and hide the tail under the knot.

5. Mount your shelves: mount your shelves as directed according to the packaging.

6. Complete the cord: Once your shelves are up, it's time to tie off the cords. Grab your scissors, glue gun and, if needed, an extension cord to reach from your outlet to your shelf location. Pulling the cord gently taut, tie a knot so that the bottom touches the shelf below.  Cut the excess rope, again trying to leave as little tail as possible, for all eight ropes.  Glue each knot in place so that they are straight and in line with your first set of knots, enhancing the illusion that the rope is running through the shelf.

Ta da! So fresh and so pink, pink.

One happy accident from filling the shelves was how many relics of past DIY projects made it into the mix (a full guide for the curious at the bottom).

See that little rocking horse on the floor? I actually made that in 7th grade for a school project. I got an A. Duh.  Any 13-year-old who risks life and limb at the mercy of a table saw deserves top honors.

Here's a rundown of the non-DIY-project items on the shelf, including Debbie, pictured above:

- a stack of baby books one or both of my kids have loved at some point
- tiny, sweet baby booties given to the birdie by Jess + Weeb
- my Math Olympiad trophy from 4th grade (oh, you thought I was kidding when I said I'm so good at math that someone should give me a trophy? I wasn't kidding. Didn't see that coming, did you.)
- an embroidered fox print from Mike's brother Tony
- a fake plant from Ikea
- a 7th place trophy from JV cross country districts, 10th grade (this and the other trophy will go the way of the basement, but I needed a placeholder until I cultivate more permanent items)

Here's a view from the door.  We're getting there as far as her room goes. Baby steps.

And as for a round-up of DIY projects past, here's the breakdown:

1. I used leftover paper from this picnic caddy project to make hearts like the ones from Beth's best baby (or bridal) gift ever.

2. These animals are still around, nearly three years after I painted them to use as birthday party cupcake toppers.

3. The duckling painted this the time he and Weeb and I painted a watercolor zoo.

4. This was the day we brought the birdie home from the hospital.  See the video here.

5.  That's the flower headband I tweaked for the birdie's first birthday.

6. If you scroll up one photo, you can see part of the birdie's dry erase dresser.

7. Each of the paper airplanes in this mobile contains a note for the birdie to read when she turns 18.

And you thought all my past projects just died a slow, dark death in my basement.


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