How To Make Rustic Shelves In 3 Easy Steps

5 Minute Read

If you’ve arrived here, you’re likely thinking about how to make rustic shelves , or at least wondering about the process of making them. Many people consider working with wood an art form, and there’s definitely an art to creating a great rustic piece from wood. It can take time to master the craft of working this way, but we get so many questions about our shelves that we thought we would share a bit of insight into how we make our handmade shelves.The shelf style we are looking at today is our classic rustic shelves with brackets combination, which incorporates our rustic wood with unique handcrafted raw steel brackets – for our floating shelves, the process is a little different.

So let’s walk you through the step-by-step process of making rustic shelves.

3 Easy Steps to make Rustic Shelves

Step 1 : The Wood

The most important part of the shelf is the wood – without it, you don’t have a shelf! Our view is that only the best timber will do, but we also want our furniture to have the smallest possible impact on the environment, which is why we source all our wood from FSC certified Northern Scandinavian Pine forests.

All of our wood is kiln-dried, which allows us to match the moisture content found in an average home, and to prevent future warping and twisting. We select each piece of wood carefully for each build, to ensure that it meets our high quality standards, and so that we can make sure we can make the most of the natural beauty in the wood, and highlight the rustic characteristics of each individual piece.

✅   Certified FSC rustic Wood

✅   From 100% Sustainable Scandinavian Pine Forests

✅   Every piece of wood is Kiln-Dried, handpicked & checked before its made

Here is our Workshop Manager Grant inspecting the wood before cutting. We check all the rustic characteristics, this is an important first step in preparation for crafting a rustic bracket shelf.

❌   We never send anything out that isn't fully inspected

❌   We don’t  process anything that isn't a sustainable wood

Making Rustic Shelves

We are always making sure that the wood is up to the high standards that we have set

We are very proud of the quality and ethical source of our wood. That’s why for every tree that is cut down for our use, we ensure that three more are planted. Sustainability, and in particular, sustainable forests are very important to us! If you’re interested in learning more about our sustainability program, find out more from the links below!  

Step 2 : The Metalwork

All of our metalwork is handcrafted in our home county of West Sussex. The brackets for our rustic shelves are made from raw steel, and the handmade nature of the metal gives them a unique colour and texture.

Our brackets are easy to install, can carry a maximum load of 35kg, are extremely versatile and will last a lifetime, as well as adding a wonderful decorative industrial element to our rustic bracket shelves. You can choose from three styles of bracket to suit your home décor best; lipped, inverted, and non-lipped. Each type of bracket are just as strong as each other and are available in the right size for each shelf.

Handmade Rustic Bracket Shelves

We make sure all our metalwork is thoroughly cleaned before it is send out.

Step 3: The Craftsmanship

We’re incredibly proud that all of our products are handmade by our craftsmen based in West Sussex. By working with the wood by hand, we create something truly bespoke, making the most of all the features that the wood contains, from rustic saw marks to splits and knots. Each of the characteristics of the wood are enhanced as we work with it, to bring out the beauty and character of the wood.When our craftsman have cut the wood to size, they will continue to check that the wood meets the standards we require as they work to finish the piece, sanding each edge by hand until we feel we have made the perfect rustic shelf.

Handmade Shelves
Handcrafted Wooden Shelves

Our workshop...

The beauty behind any handmade piece is the natural variance of nature and the vision of the craftsman as they work with the wood. When the wood has reached the right shape and finish, then we apply natural beeswax by hand. This penetrates the timber, nourishing and infusing the grain. This application of wax not only intensifies the natural pattern of the wood, but it also protects the timber and gives it a water resistant finish – so if water is spilled, it won’t damage the wood for up to 30 minutes.

There are many other finishes you can use for solid wooden furniture, but we find natural beeswax is one of the most natural looking finishes, and is one of the most robust finishes available. Natural beeswax also has a much lower environmental impact, since it is readily available and naturally made, and because of the natural nature of the product, the chance that it might cause any health issues is dramatically reduced. Natural beeswax can safely be eaten and is often used in skincare products, which means it is much safer for our team, and in homes where chemicals can trigger allergies and irritation.

In addition to being a great finish for our rustic shelves, our natural beeswax finish is available in eight unique colours. This means our customers can have a gorgeous rustic shelf in the shade that suits their existing furniture and décor perfectly. Our range starts from the light ‘shabby chic’ – a whitewashed effect in light brown with a grey topcoat – to ‘antique pine’ through to the dark shade of ‘walnut’.

✅   Natural Beeswax Finish

✅   All our wax colours have a 30 minute water resistant finish

✅   We have a variety of 7 different wax colour finishes to choose from

Final Thoughts on Making Rustic Shelves

There you have it –a little peek into the process of how we craft our incredibly beautiful rustic shelves here at Ben Simpson Furniture. We take pride in our meticulous attention to detail and only use the highest-quality materials to ensure that each piece is not only stunning but also durable and long-lasting.

If you have any questions, we would love to hear from you, and if you would like to see our rustic shelves, you can see our range here, and you can check out shelves that our customers have installed in their homes on our Instagram – follow us @bensimpsonfurniture.


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