Be sure to follow all our other projects, here! We hope you enjoy our little corner of Blog Land and stop to look around a few other pages, like our DIY Foam Cooler Ottoman, Ruler Growth Chart, our Kitchen Renovation, and my free printables.
Enough with the sneak peeks, it’s time to show you our awesome new addition to the living room:
These honeycomb shelves are my jam…or my honey. See what I did there?
I like them for a few reasons, mainly because they’re pretty. But bees are also sort of a symbol in our family (my name means honeybee, for one thing) so I like that it seems sort of special in that way. I’ve seen these floating around blog land for awhile and thought they were cool. Recently, Wyatt had the idea to make some, and I jumped at the chance to join in.
We considered using pallet wood, and that would have been just fine, but we didn’t have any pieces the right size on hand, so we ended up buying four 8-foot 1″ x 4″ boards from Home Depot, which worked great.
The next step was deciding how large each shelf should be. We wanted each one large enough to act as a decorative shelf, but not too large. We decided on 8 inch sides,which seemed just right once they were all put together. This made them about 12 inches tall and 13.5 inches wide.
We were able to create eight complete hexagon shelves with the four boards we bought, the perfect size to fill the space over our TV in the living room. , Wyatt just had to make a jig with the chop saw.
There is some quick geometry (math with angles/shapes) to figure out the angle each board needed to make a hexagon. For any complete shape, the sum of the angles will be 360. So for a square/rectangle, each corner makes up a 90 degree angle, so 90 + 90 + 90 + 90 = 360. The other way to think about it is you have 360 degrees for 4 angles, so 360 / 4 = 90 (which is the degree angle for a square/rectangle.
So for our hexagon (6 sides with 6 angles) we just needed to take 360 / 6 = 60 degrees. So each angle need to be 60 degrees. And then we just divide by 2 to get 30 degrees so the angle is split equally between the two boards that make it up.
So, he set the angle of the blade on the chop saw to 30 degrees. After measuring and cutting the first piece, he clamped a stop block for a quick jig the same distance away. After the stop block was set up, he was able to just flip the board and cut without measuring 48 times.
Pretty soon, he had enough cuts made for all eight shelves.
Then came the gluing. We made a little timelapse video of that process to avoid having to try and describe how he did it:
I will call out a few specific tricks from the video, though, since you’re using a lot of glue for this (each joint gets a good smearing), Wyatt came up with a little glue stand by drilling a hole in a scrap board and letting the bottle sit upside down in there in between squirts. Just make sure you close the lid so it doesn’t all run out! The hole he drilled was the perfect size to allow him to close the lid when putting the bottle in the block.
Also, having some band clamps was really helpful for this project. I’m sure you could manage without them, but they aren’t all that expensive at Home Depot, so if you can, I’d recommend grabbing a few of these, especially if you’re making several of these like we were. (<—-Not affiliate links, just trying to help.)
Once everything was all glued and had dried for several hours (or overnight), Wyatt was able to sand them all down. We weren’t super concerned with a perfectly smooth finish because we had in mind that these would look a little rustic, but we needed to remove the excess glue and make sure there were no splintery edges.
Then, each one got a coat of stain. We used MinWax Dark Walnut for this, mainly because we had it on hand. It’s a nice medium brown, though, which matches our floors and TV stand really well, too.
After letting them dry for a day or so, I got to have some fun with the insides. We wanted to add a pop of color, and by painting them, it hid any glue imperfections from our rustic sanding job. Ha!
But, we wanted to be sure we didn’t get paint anywhere but on the insides, so I had to tape them all up. I also added some newspaper around the outside by sticking it under each piece of tape to protect not only the top edge, but the outsides, too, because I tend to end up with some excess overspray when I use spray paint.
I chose Rustoleum Ocean Mist for the inside color. It’s quite light, but a perfect shade of light teal. Just to compare, here it is with the light turquoise we used for the dining room chairs.
I did this entire process (two light coats each) one night while Wyatt was out and Will was hanging out in his chair. I’d guess it took me about an hour of taping and painting, but I think it was totally worth it because it looked a lot cooler with that pop of color on the inside.
We also sprayed on two coats of a matte clear coat for protection.
Then, we had to figure out how to hang them. We turned to one of our favorite wall decor tricks, taking a photo of the wall and then playing around with it on the computer. Wyatt made little shelves to the right scale and we could arrange and rearrange from the comfort of the couch while watching Netflix one night after Will was in bed. We finally settled on this arrangement.
(Yes, we use powerpoint for stuff like this. Photoshop is expensive, and we only have it on my old laptop at the moment. Don’t judge.)
We decided to use screws to attach them all together because it would give them stability and make them a lot easier to hang (one piece instead of eight). He pre-drilled the holes and used clamps to hold it all in place.
And since these are slightly rustic, we didn’t really care about the screws showing. I just gave them a quick, careful coat of spray paint to help them blend in and we were ready to hang.
I think the photo on the left below is funny because it looks like Wyatt is juggling these. He wasn’t amused by me taking photos while he was holding these though as they were heavy. Oops.
To hang them, we found the studs (always an adventure) and then used L-brackets to secure them to the wall. We used both the large and small size, depending on where the bracket was placed, so they would be has hidden as possible. (You can find the brackets here and here. Again, not an affiliate.) And you can’t even tell they are there now that it’s all done.
And then, I got to decorate…
I’m still not sure this is the final selection of objects. In fact, there may even differences between photos throughout this post. Consider your personal LovingHere version of find the 6 differences. (Or maybe 3 differences, I can’t remember…)
I can’t decide if I like one thing in each shelf, or I like some of them left empty. And I think I might keep stealing some other objects from around the house to switch out a couple of these that aren’t quite right.
Either way, I think these are awesome. I keep looking up and them and thinking how easy it was and how much better that wall looks now that it isn’t naked. It had been too long with nothing above the TV, for sure! Here’s the before and after:
Much better than dull empty wall space.
What do you think? Which objects should stay or go? And how awesome did Wyatt do with these shelves, huh? Best project of the year!? …So far! 😉