If you’ve ever spotted a bar cart or plant shelf at the thrifts with broken glass shelves, here’s a quick hack: update broken glass shelves with DIY walnut plywood shelves.
I recently inherited a lot of plants, which has been stressing me out because I am a notorious plant-killer and these leafy new friends of mine are deeply sentimental. They help me feel connected to the loved one who passed, so I want to keep them thriving. I wanted a nice spot to grow them, so I scooped the perfect plant stand from my grandfather, the welder. The simple welded plant stand he made fits the spot to the right of our wall unit perfectly, but it needed a little TLC. The glass shelves had broken long ago and the white paint job was a bit dingy and rusted. In a pinch, I grabbed a leftover piece of old melamine shelving and placed it precariously on top.
Such a good look, right?
I didn’t want to pay to have new glass shelves cut, so I decided to update broken glass shelves with DIY walnut plywood shelves! I used some walnut-veneered plywood left over from my DIY modern walnut storage boxes. Despite my constant nagging to buy one, Hubs and I don’t have a table saw. Both of our Dads have one though, and this time my Dad got the pleasure of helping me (and feeding me – I timed my visit for pizza night). He cut two pieces to fit perfectly into the plant stand and then we did a little work reflection. I thought I might need two pieces per shelf, laminated together with wood glue and edge-banded, but one shelf does the trick and because it’s inset, you don’t see the edges at all so there’s no edge banding required!
I just love it when a DIY project is easier than anticipated, because that’s such an anomaly. Normally it’s a lot of hair pulling and I end up covered in paint or glue. I hurried home with my new shelves and, after a couple of applications of Danish Oil, the walnut was a beautiful, rich hue (on the right):
The plant stand got a light sand and a few coats of Rustoleum Universal Pure White Gloss (I love a primer + paint in one). This spray paint is good for metal and plastic (in addition to wood, glass, concrete, wicker, etc.), so I even sprayed the plastic feet. I like them better white than black. The plant stand just looks fresher now that it’s about ten shades whiter and I that I decided to update broken glass shelves with DIY walnut plywood shelves – they’re SO gorgeous!
The living room definitely has more life with some beautiful plants and I’m enjoying the leafy new additions.
You might have noticed my funny little orchid pots? I learned that a pot which offers a lot of ventilation and good drainage is ideal. This orchitop carousel pot seemed really innovative and I liked the modern look – plus the 5.25″ size fit the planter shelves perfectly – so I ordered five in the pearl finish (it comes in aqua too!) They are available on Amazon. The bottom tray clicks off easily, so I water them in the laundry room without the trays and let them drain a bit in the laundry sink before putting on the trays again.
Next time you see a sad shelf or bar cart, you know that you can update broken glass shelves with DIY walnut plywood shelves!