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How to make a leather strap shelf

Browsing through some lovely interiors catalogues that came in the post I kept finding myself looking at those lovely wall shelves that hang from leather loop brackets? – have you seen them? I think they’re really attractive and a nice change from ordinary wood or metal versions but sheesh they’re expensive!

I’ve been working on a shoot for the lovely British Ceramic Tile company where I have been designing and building lifestyle images to show off their lovely products. One set uses glorious petrol blue tiles and I really wanted one of those shelves but I was stretching the budget anyway and couldn’t stretch it any further. Then I thought about it and decided I could make one so I did. You don’t need to spend much and it was an easy DIY task so you could easily make one too. As usual there’s a great sense of satisfaction when you make things yourself and the joy is you can make this exactly how you want to be  – get the right length and width for your needs rather than be limited to what you can buy. I haven’t seen any, for example on black leather straps so this would be the way you could get one like that.

I bought new leather strap from EBay but you could use old belts which would be lovely and their softness would sit flatter on the underside of the shelf. And of course this would be very cheap indeed – even more of a bonus (and no the belts don’t need to match exactly, do they?)IMG_2278Start by deciding on how long you want the straps to be. Hold a loop on the wall and slot the shelf board in to see how it looks. Adjust this you get the look you want (please excuse that the photo shows the top of the tiled board – ignore that and do this flat on your wall). Keep holding the loop then cut the excess strap off (I didn’t do this but you need to) IMG_2057

Use a leather punch (or a bradawl) to make a hole about 1.5cm down from the cut edge. Make a hole at both ends then make a second strap the same.IMG_2059 IMG_2060 Hold the strap in place on the wall and push a pencil through the holes to make a mark on the wall. Drill a hole on the mark and put in a wall plug (always check there are no pipes or wires below the surface before you drill). Repeat with a second hole (check they’re level with a spirit level) then thread a screw though the two holes of the looped leather and screw tight. I used a standard screw because it wouldn’t be seen but it’d look nicer with a more decorative round head screw with brass or black finish.IMG_2064 Feed the shelf into the loops and check it’s central. I left mine like that because it was just for the shoot but it might be a good idea to make another little hole in the leather and screw it to the underside of the board so it can’t fall off.IMG_2067I also attached a hanging rail (£6 IKEA)to the underside which looks really nice and adds more storage. IMG_2071IMG_2073 To give you an idea of the cost saving – I saw one in a catalogue that’s 45cm long and it is £75. Mine is 60cm long (I used a shelf from Homebase that was £3.99) so a much more useful size I say and cost a teeny fraction of that. The project will take an hour or two to do and make a really lovely feature in your home so well worth it, don’t you think? IMG_2292IMG_2078

This entry was posted in: Styling


I'm an Interior Designer, Stylist, and writer for lots of lovely homes and interior magazines. I do almost anything that involves a paintbrush and am pretty handy with a drill, glue gun and sewing machine too. I believe you can make your little corner of the world your beautiful haven and if I can help you achieve this, I will.

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