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DIY Pipe Shelving Entertainment Center

Updated: Aug 17, 2022

Hi there!! I am so excited to share this DIY pipe shelving entertainment center with y’all! When we decided to do this we thought it was going to cost way too much and take forever to build, but neither of these were true! Yes it does cost money, takes some planning and a few hours to get it built, but I think it is so worth it and it turns out to be such a statement piece! Seriously, anytime we have someone at the house whether its the DirectTV worker, the furniture delivery guys or just family and friends they are always asking questions about it, and we get nonstop compliments!! But let me just say, we did not come up with the idea of industrial shelving. It is all over Pinterest, but we did not see anyone who had done an entertainment center, so we were slightly creative! ha! I keep saying “we” because I could not have done this without my handy husband! He is so helpful and really has an eye for design! Anyway, I hope I can make this as simple as possible for you! Please let me know if you have any questions and if you do decide to take on this project I would LOVE to see pictures!! Here is a before and after picture of our living room, if you’re interested in doing this yourself or are just curious about how we made it, keep reading! Here is a quick before and after!

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Step 1: Plan and Purchase!

 

This part did take a while.. We had to make sure of the exact size we wanted our entertainment center to be, keeping in mind the size of our TV. We decided to do it 10 feet wide so we could just buy 10 foot lumber and not have to make multiple cuts, this would save us time and money. The height is totally up to you and what will fit in your home, we wanted ours to go almost to the ceiling. The bigger the better right? After lots of planning we made a big list of what we would need. And today is your lucky day, because I am going to give you our list! If you wanted to, you could order everything online and have it shipped to your house, I have linked all products below to Home Depot because that is where we purchased all of our supplies. *Keep in mind when figuring out your dimensions, unless you choose to buy a pipe wrench to screw in the pipes completely, you will gain about an inch every time you connect the next set of pipes. We chose not to tighten our pipes all the way because we liked the “ridges” showing. So I would recommend subtracting about 4-5 inches from how tall you want it.

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Some of the terminology may sound confusing because I’m guessing you’re not a plumber who uses tees, nipples and flanges everyday! But Home Depot employees are always super helpful and I bet if you printed out this list they could help you find all of the piping pieces that you need! Below is what you will need to purchase before you get started building..

  1. 4 small cans of Cordovan Brown by Behr – This is our favorite wood stain, as I have mentioned in most of my blog posts so far! We ended up needing 3-4 smalls cans of this stain to finish this project, but you could buy one bigger can if you would like. (This stain is semi-transparent and for exterior use)

  2. Furniture Felt Pads – We bought these to put under the flanges, (the round pieces of iron) that were going to sit on the floor, just so we wouldn’t scratch our new laminate flooring. I have linked these to Home Depot, but they do sell them at Walmart, and I have even found them at Homegoods.

  3. 4 pieces of 2inx8inx10ft Pine Lumber – We got treated pine because it is cheaper (and was the only option in that size at our Home Depot), and since it is treated you need to use exterior stain. Make sure you stain it within 48 hours of bringing it home to make sure the wood absorbs the stain correctly. You will need to have one of your pieces of pine cut so that you have two 30″ pieces. This is for the shelves that go on the sides of your TV. If you don’t have a miter saw you can get it cut at Home Depot or Lowes in the back of the store by the lumber.

  4. 3/4″ Black Iron Elbows – These are for the very top of the shelving unit. You will find all of the black iron piping in the “plumbing” section of your home improvement store. These are easy to remember because they look like elbows!

  5. 3/4″ Black Iron Flanges and 16 1/2″ Black Iron Flanges – Flanges are the circular pieces in the picture above, these are used to mount on the wall and the pieces that actually sit on the floor. We chose to do all of the piping for the front of the shelf in 3/4″ inch pipe so that it would be thicker, but we used 1/2″ pipes for all of the piping that the boards are sitting on because you can’t see them. This saved us quite a bit of money! That is why you need the two different size flanges.

  6. 16 3/4″ 3/4″ 1/2″ Tees – Im not sure why these aren’t on the Home Depot website, but you need the tees that aren’t “reducing.” Only the “hole” (for lack of a better word) that sticks out the side of the tee should be 1/2″ the other two should be 3/4″. It’s also easy to remember what they are called because they look like “T’s”!

  7. 3/4in. x 24in., 8 3/4in. x 18in., 16 1/2in. x 12in., 4 3/4in. x 12in.  and 4 3/4in. x 4in. Nipples – Phew, thats a lot of nipples! ha! I know it sounds so confusing, but it really won’t be once you go in the store and are able to look at all of them! Don’t forgot to grab a shopping cart on your way in! Lots of little pieces!!

  8. Not pictured, but you will also need a drill and lots of drywall screws! We actually didn’t worry about finding studs in our walls, and even if we had tried there is no way they would have been in the right places. But since the whole shelving unit sits on the floor it is secure and sturdy!

** I think by the time we collected all of our supplies we had spent around $450, which is a lot of money BUT this is such a huge piece and if you could buy something like this in stores i can guarantee that it would cost at least $1,000!

 

Step 2: Stain!

 

One of my favorite hobbies is staining wood, so this was so fun for me! Just grab your pieces of lumber (you should have 3 long pieces and 2 short pieces) and a paint brush and start brushing it on! I always prefer using a paint brush to stain, because I think it goes on better than using a rag. We brushed it on quickly and tried not to layer it because we wanted it to look really natural, but this was our preference! Do what you think will look the best in your home!

 

Step 3: Build!

 

Luckily my husband was taking pictures while we were building this, because if he hadn’t this would be a lot harder for you to visualize. I am going to try and explain how we built this the best way I can in words, but at the end of this if you have any questions please comment! I am going to give it my best shot! So let’s jump right in and start building this thing!

  1. First thing you are going to do is take your 4 Furniture felt pads and stick them to your 4 3/4″ flanges! Easy Peasy!

  2. Next, screw in one of your “felt pad flanges” that you just made into a 18in. nipple (you can go ahead and do this for all four of your felt pad flanges) and set aside for a second.

  3. Now grab 4 of your 1/2″ flanges and screw them into 4 of your 1/2in. x 12in. nipples

  4. Now grab each of the pieces you just made in steps 2 and 3 and screw them in to a tee so that you make an “L” shape (pictured below) then do this 3 more times so you end up having 4 “L’s”

  5. Set one of your “L’s” on the floor felt side down and then the flange at the other end of the “L” should be sitting against the wall. Screw it in (4 screws per flange)! Do this step with your remaining “L” shapes. Once you’ve completed these steps it should look something like the picture below!

  6. Now just place one of your long pieces of pine on top of this “shelf” and were on to the next step!

  7. **You can put these four pieces wherever you need them to go so that your tv will fit in between the middle two. Ours are, (from left to right) 26 inches between the first two, 69 inches between the 2nd and 3rd and then 26 inches again between the 3rd and 4th pieces.

Processed with VSCOcam with hb1 preset
  1. Now we just go up and up! Here are the main steps that you will use for the rest of this project! Listen carefully! Grab one of your 3/4″ x 24″ nipples, and screw it on top of one of your “L’s

  2. Then grab a tee and screw it on to the nipple that you just put on and leave that there for a second

  3. Next screw one of your 1/2in. x 12in. nipples into a 1/2″ flange

  4. Are you still following? I know it’s getting tricky but once we finish this step you will know how to do the whole thing!! With the piece that you just made (flange and nipple) you are going to screw this into the tee that you previously added to your wall shelf. (you may have to slightly unscrew the tee so that you can screw this piece into it) Once that is attached to your tee just slowly turn the piece until the flange is flat against the wall and screw this in with 4 screws!

  5. wow! that was a lot of explaining. Honestly now you just continue doing that last step… tee, then flange + nipple piece, screw into the wall. Do all four for every level and then lay a piece of lumber down! And up and up you go!! As a side note, from top to bottom, the nipple lengths we used on the front were 4in., 18in., 24in., 24in., and 18in.

Processed with VSCOcam with hb1 preset
Processed with VSCOcam with hb1 preset
Processed with VSCOcam with hb1 preset

You are more than welcome to leave your shelving unit like this, but we wanted our very top shelf to go back into the wall. So just a few more steps until the finished product!


  1. Take one of your 3/4in. x 4in. nipples and screw into the first line of piping, just like you are going to add another shelf

  2. This time instead of using a tee you will use one of your 90 degree elbows.

  3. just like before, go ahead and make a piece that consists of a 3/4in. x 12in. nipple and a 3/4in. flange

  4. screw this into your elbow, rotate until the flange is flat against the wall, and then screw into the wall! Continue this step on the rest of the wall shelf and YOU. ARE. DONE!! Pat yourself on the back, and snap a picture! You may want to start hosting get togethers at your house so you can show this beautiful thing off, that you worked so hard on 😉 We want to build more of these in the future so next time we do we will make a video!

 

Step 4: Decorate!

 

Although the whole project was fun and enjoyable, mostly because I got to spend quality time with my hubby, this step has to be my favorite! One reason I was so excited to build this was so I would have a big space to decorate! It has been so fun! I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and that is was pretty straight forward for you! I would love to see your pictures! Thanks for stopping by!

Processed with VSCOcam with hb1 preset

Processed with VSCOcam with hb1 preset
Processed with VSCOcam with hb1 preset
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