Outdoor Shelves {Part One}


Well, it’s about time. I’m finally making some progress getting my porches dressed for summer! My first little project is on my back porch.

This is the entrance that is most used. Guests that are staying at my little inn have a key to this door which leads into the kitchen.

(yes, I’m recycling pictures from yesterday. I forgot to take a before shot. Oops!)

It’s not a huge space, so things sitting on the floor of the porch usually get in the way. With that in mind, I decided to take advantage of that big blank brick wall with the oddly placed glass block window.

Let me introduce you to my new outdoor shelves!

Pretty cute, right? I filled them with some random things just to take some pictures. (That’s why this is only Step One). Decorating these guys will come on another day, in another post. I need to get my hands on some plants as soon as the threat of frost is over.

Let’s take a look at how these shelves came together! And don’t worry, they are a piece of cake!

First up, I did some measuring to determine what size boxes I wanted. I then cut up some leftover 2x4s to create three boxes.

Using some wood screws, I screwed the wood together at the corners.

Yep, it was seriously that simple. No fancy minter cuts here. I wanted it to look rustic and simple.

Once everything was together, I gave them a quick sanding.

Next I wanted to add some interest to these boring boxes. I picked up some stencils, black paint, and brushes at Wal-Mart and got stenciling.

I just choose some random (and not so random) words, numbers, and symbols. Some of the words will make more sense in Part Two of this little makeover.

Next step, stain! Again using a lighter and darker stain that I had on hand, I stained all three boxes.

After the stain was on, I felt like the shelves needed a little more interest. I grabbed some red paint and added that to various spots around the shelf. I used the same brush as my stain, so the paint went on very thin.

Once everything was dry, I gave the shelves a light sanding and then sprayed them with a clear spray sealer.

After that, the shelves were complete and ready to be hung. I drilled two holes into the back of each self.
Using a masonry bit, I drilled holes into the brick and inserted screws. The holes drilled into the shelves were placed over the screws and the shelves were hung and done!

Super cute, right? I just love they they turned out. A warm little welcome to everyone entering my home and little inn.

And while I’m not sure if this is where this adorable little sign will stay, but I’m loving it here for now. It was a special gift from the lovely Kathy of South of Main Street. Thank you so much Kathy, I just love it!

I also love how that oddly placed window doesn’t look so odd anymore. It now looks like it was supposed to be there. Success!

The stencils details also add a unique touch. When my Mom stopped by my house today she asked ‘where’d you get that wood!?’, having no idea it was just 2x4s in disguise.


Any guesses what I havve planned for that tall skinny shelf?

 The stenciling on the side may give it away, but if you need another hint, check out my ‘Ideas for the Garden‘ post.

Now I am even more anxious for summer to get here! Those little pots are just screaming for some dirt and flowers.

So what do you think of my little porch project? Do you like my outdoor shelves?

Disclosure: This blog post may contain affiliate links as part of the Amazon Services LLC Associate Programs and other affiliate services. This means that inspiredbycharm.com receives a small commission by linking to Amazon.com and other sites at no cost to the readers.

Posted By at 2:30 AM
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  • Melissa at

    Oh my goodness! I love it so much!

    You are so right about the window, it looks perfect now. You are so clever to put the shelf around it.

    The styling is perfect, no need to change it unless you really want to.

    I love the painting, stenciling and staining. They seriously look so amazing!


  • Mary @ At Home on the Bay at

    Those boxes look fantastic! The wood looks like it was salvaged from an antique crate. Beautiful!


  • Kelly at

    Beautiful, love love this idea! I can’t wait to create my own, thanks so much for sharing!

  • Christine In Hilltown PA at

    I love the framed window – perfect! Make sure you post more pictures with the more permanent decor. I really enjoy your blog and Pinterest boards. Hoping to visit your inn with some friends on a getaway weekend. It’s a half way point between me in eastern PA and them in Ohio.

  • Tracy at

    Ingenious! I can see how the window would look a little awkward on its own but looks great with the other frames. I also like that its not symmetrical but its totally balanced. I look forward to seeing it finished.

  • Kristi Stewart at

    I would love to see a picture of the box hanging by the door. These shelves are so cute and the styling is perfection!

  • Kristy at

    Such a cute but inexpensive way to add a bit of interest outside! As the weather warms up, I’ve been thinking about ways to add a little creative character to the outside of my home – and I just might use these as some inspiration!

    I love creative wall displays – and this would be great indoors as well.

    Thanks for the ideas – and great job making that window fit right in!

  • Funky Junk Interiors at

    Oh my gosh Michael.. I’m dying!!

    Totally gonna brag about this one! So so cool!


  • Miss Ellie at

    Micheal, I love this! I have a small footprint porch too.
    This will work perfectly. Thanks so much for sharing.
    Miss Ellie

  • Lisa at

    This is just so clever and wonderful! Your guests will be so excited to get inside to see the rest of your charming place. I look forward to seeing what you put in the skinny shelf 😉

  • Liz at

    Michael, this looks awesome! Nice job and I love your little sign there. I think you should leave it.

  • Bliss at

    Stopping over from Funky Junk’s shout out on FB.
    If I came to that door I’d have to stand and admire it for a while before I knocked!


  • Dana at

    I LOVE these shelves! I am filing this away for a future project. I love that they are simple 2×4’s. Easy to come by! You are the BEST!

  • Debby at

    I love that. Hens and Chicks of course. Do they need alot of sun…..really like the shelves.

  • GirlRural.com at

    This turned out so well! I really want a star mold now that I’ve seen yours. I have some garden inspiration. P.S. I want to stay in your cottage. Sounds lovely. Ha ha

  • The Olde Farmhouse at

    Your porch looks amazing!! We are excited to see your idea for that shelf:)

    Leah & Barb

  • Kath at

    LOVE this! it gives me an idea for our basement family room that also has an awkward window!

  • slip4 at

    I love the new shelves! They look like they were always meant to be there. And they do make the window look right.

  • Kayla @ Your Day Simplified at

    Love how you treated the wood…adding the red was the perfect thing. I also love how you highlighted the window- sooo much better! Good on ya!!

  • Lolo @ The Adventures of Stig and Lolo at

    I must tell you that I always enjoy seeing your posts pop up in my email 🙂
    I adore the rustic vintage look you created on your porch!!
    So….Im guessing maybe a “living” wall on that last shelf?! It would look lovely with a POP of color. Red and yellow 🙂

  • Anonymous at

    The cascading oil cans were a stroke of sheer genius. 🙂

  • Maureen Cracknell Handmade at

    I love it!! What a transformation!

  • Mrs. Limestone at

    Love it!

    Im working on something kind of like this (except different 😛 ) now for an inside display.

  • Sam I Am...... at

    OMG!!! I love it!!!! I have brick inside and outside and always wondered how to hang things. I was afraid to drill for fear I would destroy the brick (I’ve been known to destroy things a time or 2)but not now! I need a masonry bit and thanks to you I know how to hang things on brick now! Woo Hoo! Watch out brick…here I come! You are an angel! I may learn to love my brick after all. I do like brick but not when I can’t hang things on it! Oh…the possiblities! You are SO talented! I wish you could come here and help me sell my house! REALLY! How much do you charge for ideas if I sent you pictures? Seriously! Love you Michael!

  • Susan @ homeroad.net at

    Michael I can’t wait to see the Hens & Chicks! I love every part of that project, especially the stenciling on the 2×4’s. Great, great job!
    I bet your Inn is a great place!

  • dmw212 at

    You are right…the “odd” window looks precious. Amazing!

  • Susan and Mark at

    Very nice…love the idea of vertical gardening; I’m starting a fun little project ( little? um more like Texas sized eeek) this weekend with cement blocks and a bar top…see it here:


    and I may have to steal your shelf idea for our back garden/garage blank wall…hmmm…like you we have to wait for the frost date to pass before we load up outside.
    C’mon May!

  • Keeping it Cozy at

    Oh, these look fabulous! And you have them perfectly styled.

  • Kimberly M. at

    Love, love, love it! Especially the window frame. Great job!

  • Suzanne at

    Hehe I love the This is my Happy Place sign! Where do you bloggers always find these wonderful little vintage trinkets to line your shelves with?!?!

  • Amber at

    I love the shelves. they look awesome and I adore the way that you antiqued them. Thanks for sharing them with us!

  • Barbara Jean at

    they are adorable!!! (is it OK to say that to guy things???)=)

    Just found you on FB, via ‘I do not even remember who’ now.

    enjoying this post and cannot wait to see more.

    The tall frame: are you going to put chicken wire or something to put the hen and chick in??
    Guess I will go check out the link you had on there.
    so fun!!

    barbara jean

  • Sarah at

    I simply MUST know what stain you used!! 🙂 Please share!

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