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Chain Shelf

I found this plumber's chain at Ollie's, it had a great look.  I thought there had to be a simple yet striking project that could be made with it.  After some brainstorming I came up with this.  It's a little nod to the gold/brass trend in accents, and it's surprisingly simple. 

I began with cutting an eight foot board into 24" lengths.  Next, I sanded the cuts smooth and foam brushed on the first coat of black paint.  Another coat will go on after giving that first coat time to cure a enough for me to sand again (a coat of paint on raw wood tends to bring out splinters and imperfections). The boards got another coat of paint and I let them dry and cure a few days before handling them again.  

I decided to hang the shelf by the chain and from the studs, (which were and usually are 16" apart).  That meant that I would be attaching the chain to the boards 16" apart to match up.  I found some screws I felt would be stout and long enough to hold the shelves up and fit through the chain links.  I then pre-drilled holes (slightly smaller) than the screws I was using to attach the chain to the boards, (that's in the second pic). Those holes were drilled center of the thickness of the board (and 16" apart).  (You may want to measure the distance between your studs before attempting to lay out your project.  You'll need a stud-finder.  Not all studs are 16" O.C. or on-center: which means 16" from center of stud to the next center of stud.) 

I decided the length I'd want between shelves, held the chain from the back of a shelf to the front of the one that would go below, and marked the link so that I could count the links that would go from board to board.  Each chain would be that length and that many links long, and would help me to know where to attach the chain to the shelves.  The difficult thing when doing that was insuring that the links stayed one way (not twisted) while I'd screw through them.

I'd had this all put together for a while, but I kept thinking I needing help hanging it, so I kept putting it off and forgetting about it.  I finally just hung it myself.  I used long trim head screws to go through the chain, the drywall, and into the wall studs.  I also placed two screws through the chain directly beneath the bottom shelf and directly below the second shelf into the wall.  (Those screws help stabilize the shelf and distribute it's weight.)  If you try making this, you'll find it very difficult to get the shelves level from front to back how I have the chain cris-crossed.  This project would be remarkably simpler if one would just hang the chain vertically from shelf to shelf (but this way is cooler).  After I was done putting it all together I figured out where to cut the chain off at the top and bottom (I used a pair of metal snips). 

Lastly, I took some upholstery staples and nipped off their heads (that sounds a bit gory, huh?)

I used a sturdy pair of side-cuts (metal snips) and it was still a bit difficult.  I used those tack caps to glue over the small nail heads on the front of the shelf.  Maybe you can come up with a simpler way to cap the screws at the fronts of the shelves for a more finished look.  


Well, that's about it.  It turned out really well.....If you attempt to make this and need some more tips or if this project/process explanation wasn't clear enough, feel free to message me, I wouldn't mind helping.  Thanks for dropping in!

black and gold chain shelf DIY
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