Coastal Cottage Shelf

March Madness: 31 Days of Thrifty Makeovers

Welcome to day #27 of my March Madness, 31 Thrifty Makeovers in 31 Days, series!! This fun series is nearing the end, but don’t quit on me just yet, because I still have some great makeovers up my sleeve!

Yesterday I posted about decorating my hutch by shopping my home as part of a decorating challenge I was participating in that was already planned before March Madness was even a lightbulb above my head. I just wanted to mention in case you missed it, that the five fun girls from that challenge and I host a Decorating Enthusiasts Forum on Facebook where we talk about all things décor-related. Anyone can join. We wanted a place where we could connect with our readers on a more personal level. You can post things you’re working on or ask advice about what to do with a piece you want to change up…things like that. Or you can just follow along and say nothing at all, but we hope you will join in the conversation! Click here to join us!

We started it with this three-month decorating challenge, and now that this challenge is complete, we will be coming up with a new challenge that EVERYONE can participate in via our FB forum. The new challenge will be announced soon!

Back to what you came here for! 🙂

Today I’m sharing this wonky shelf I found at the thrift store:


It was part of this thrift store run I took, the weekend I redid my parent’s bedroom set:


For $4, I thought it would be easy enough to slap some bead board backing on, paint it and be done, but I decided to go a different direction…

Thrift store shelf made over with old fence pickets!

Remember my new stash of fence pickets I used on this tray  that I shared at the beginning of the week? I thought they would also work great as a backing for this shelf!

What do you think?

Thrift store shelf made over with old fence pickets!

Here is how they started:

Thrift store shelf made over with old fence pickets!

Pretty rough, huh?!  Now you know why Mr. House Flipper wanted to know what on earth I was going to do with them.

I cut them to fit with my chop saw…

Thrift store shelf made over with old fence pickets!

I cleaned them slightly first with a Clorox wipe before giving them a washed look. To do that,  I painted each one with flat white latex paint, and immediately wiped the paint back off with a dry rag.

I attached them with my nail gun.

Thrift store shelf made over with old fence pickets!


Thrift store shelf made over with old fence pickets!

I love the imperfection of the nail holes.

Thrift store shelf made over with old fence pickets!

The door they are hanging on was the old front door of one of my very dear friends. (Thanks, Jeannie!! 🙂 ) She was getting a new one and I just had to have this one. It came with two side panels and a really cool transom that I haven’t decided what to with yet. I love this just leaning against the wall near my kitchen. It makes a great photo backdrop!

Thrift store shelf made over with old fence pickets!


Thrift store shelf made over with old fence pickets!


Thrift store shelf made over with old fence pickets!


Thrift store shelf made over with old fence pickets!

I’m pretty sure I love everything about this now. Hope you like it too!

If you missed any posts in this fun March Madness series, you can catch up here:

March Madness Week #1 of 31 Days of Thrifty Makeovers!

1. Today is a Good Day

2. Fancy Chalkboards

3. Flea Market Swap: Fabric Covered Basket

4. Lamp to Memo Chalkboard

5. Sewing Cabinet Side Table

6. Stool Revived

7. Cigar Box Upcycle

March Madness Week #2 of 31 Days of Thrifty Makeovers!

1. Headboard to Organizer

2. Weathered Grey Caddy

3. Faux-Drawer Tray

4. French Linen Server

5. Three French Trays

6. Rosette Picture Frame

7. Planter Box from a Thrift Store Throw-Away

March Madness Week #3 of 31 Days of Thrifty Makeovers!

1. Basket Upcycle

2. Paris, Table for Two

3. Owl Figurine Refresh

4. Paint a table & Keep the Beautiful Wood too 

5. Mason Jar Blue Headboard Bench

6. French-Inspired Coffee Table

7. Fabulous Bulletin Board from Thrift Store Parts


Here are this week’s thrifty redo’s so far:

1. Reclaimed Wood Tray

2. Oak Dresser Makeover

3. The Rest of the Oak Bedroom Set

4. Shabby Sweet Cradle

5. Don’t Disturb this Groove

I’ll be back tomorrow. You come back too, okay?  🙂





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  1. Maureen Provost Ryan says

    Dear Christy,
    Another triumph! It was so creative of you to attach the boards horizontally — the piece came out great. I love the finished look — beautiful. Congratulations! I envy you your nail gun — isn’t it great to have the right tool? Can’t wait to see what you come up with next!

    • Thanks, Maureen! I love my nail gun, it was a Christmas gift from my hubby a couple of years ago. And yes, having the right tool does make all the difference! XO

  2. Christina says

    Christy you have a talent for taking a “sow’s ear” and turning it into a “silk purse”. Beautiful and the pickets are perfect. 🙂 Thanks for all the gorgeous inspiration!!

  3. Sue Farmer says

    Again, love it Christy!!! Have a great weekend and relax a little.

  4. Very nice. I love the painting technique. I’m going to have to do that to something soon. : )

  5. Adding the old fence boards to the back totally transformed this shelving unit – great idea Christy! You styled it beautifully too. You see these little shelf units all the time at thrift stores and I always pass them up. You’ve inspired me to think twice about that.

  6. I have been looking forward each day to see what new project you have posted. Lovem all.
    Thank you!

  7. This was a great idea. I have 3 shelves that need make overs & lots of pallet wood. I love the versatility of a shelf. I also like being able to move one from room to room. Especially during a long snowy winter! The contrast is subtle yet makes it unique. Great job!
    Is there a site to ask for advice but not on Facebook? thanks

    • Thanks, Celia! I love shelves too. I wish there was another way to chat, but FB seems to be it. Have you heard of Hometalk? It’s the biggest home and garden hub on the web. You can join for free and ask questions or chime in, very similarly to what we have created on FB, only on a much larger scale. Check it out at if you’re interested. 🙂

  8. Just subscribed to your blog and loving it! I’m not getting anything done as I’m catching up on your previous posts 🙂 Loving the 31 days challenge and really like today’s entry. We’ve just finished our new house and getting ready to move in, looks like that old storage shed on our property (part of a family homestead passed down) is going to get turned into a work shop! Thanks for all of the great ideas!

  9. Wow, Christy! Next time I see a totally ugly outdated piece at the thrift store I will think of you… And wish I could mail it to you! Haha! I’ve loved this series! Hope you enjoy your weekend! xo

  10. So cute! You’re getting your milage out of those fence pickets! We have a fence that’s in need of repair… I might have to start stealing the pickets to get creative!

    • Ha ha…I was so pleasantly surprised the first time I white washed one of those old ugly pickets and saw how pretty and coastal it looked. Now I’m hooked! 🙂