Make Flag Stone Wall Shelves

These flag stone shelves are remarkably easy to build. They will receive every bit as much attention as the collectibles.

When it comes to displaying your nick-knacks and collectibles there are many shelf sets and display cases available in stores. But why bother with plain old wooden shelves for your collectibles when you can make stunning and unique fieldstone shelves? They will get as much recognition and attention as the collectibles when they're displayed.

All you need is the stones and a piece of quarter-inch plywood. Don't try to make the shelves too large. Cut the plywood to 18" across at the top but only five inches across at the bottom. The length should be about 7". Paint the plywood including the top and bottom edges in a black, brown or gray shade. As you affix the rocks they will butt together in certain places but in other places the rocks won't butt together well allowing the board beneath to be seen. Painting the board keeps from having it stand out. Try to choose rocks that will butt together well. Drill two holes in the back part of the plywood, across from each other, a couple inches from the top edge. The holes should be only a couple of inches from the side edge as well.

Make sure the flagstones are new or newly cleaned. For reused rocks clean with a scrub brush until all dirt or residue is removed. No oiliness should be present on the back side of the stones.

Select flagstones of different sizes so that the shelf will be wide across the top and very narrow at the bottom. The first stone should be between 18" and 20" long and about 5" to 6" wide and very flat. Use a liquid-nail type of adhesive found at home improvement stores. It works like caulking which is dispensed from a tube. Put a good bit of liquid nail onto the back side edge of the stone. Place it across the top edge of the plywood, a half-inch above the edge. Put something against the rock to hold it in place while you mount the other rocks.

Select two rocks for the next row of the shelf. The two rocks combined should be a couple of inches shorter than the large rock. Apply the liquid nail and stand each rock on its side, side-by-side, under the first rock. The rocks should be butted up against the first rock. The next row of the shelf will be one long rock, slightly smaller than the above two. Place the liquid nail on the plywood and stand the rock sideways, butting it against the two rocks above.

The next set will be of two, side-by-side, under the above rock. After those one small rock finishes the shelf. The shelves can be made various widths and lengths but smaller shelves work best. The pattern can be changed to suit your fancy. Use all long rocks rather than one rock above two. Or use all small rocks and eliminate the long rocks altogether. This pattern makes it a little tricky to balance some collectibles. It's better to have at least one solid rock as the top shelf.

One other pattern is to use a large flat rock on top, smaller rocks as you build downward, then another large rock at the bottom. This allows you two shelves in stead of just one.

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