A Chili Bowl Display



When I was in college, I found these adorable $1 chili bowls (yes, a dollar!!) at my local grocery store. I loved their western, vintage flair and knew I had to display them in my apartment somehow! I did not have a wall shelf at the time, but I did have a pallet and some tools! I chose to do a basic construction, but added the chains for a special feature and enhanced stability. By keeping the construction of the shelf simple, it enhances the vintage aesthetics of both the shelf and the chili bowls. This cute little shelf is the perfect quick and easy project to add some rustic flair into your home. 🙂 Plus, the size of this shelf makes it easy to find a wall to hang it on in any home or apartment!


Be sure to check out our post, A Country Arrangement, if you are looking for the perfect dining room set up to go with your new shelf! Are you ready to start making your own rustic shelf?!




1×8 Wood Board

2×4 Wood Board

2’ #14 Black Jack Chain

(4) #8 Steel Screw Eyes

(4) 1” Steel Cup Hooks

(3) 2” Black Screws

(2) 4” Black Screws

Black Paint or Nail Polish

Long Nose Pliers

Electric Saw

Electric Drill

2 Bar Clamps (optional)


1×8 board at 32″ with 1″ overhang on top of 2×4 board at 30″



Begin by retrieving and cutting your pieces of wood to size. You will need a 1×8 board cut to 32” and a 2×4 board cut to 30”. Next, use pliers to detach the links of the jack chain and create two 9½” long strands. Lastly, paint the steel screw eyes and cup hooks with either black paint or black nail polish.


Note: I was able to get my hands on a very unique and gorgeous wood pallet that was used to deliver some furniture. I honestly do not know what kind of wood this pallet was made of, but I know that it has a red tone on the inside and did not require staining – yay! I have since not seen another pallet made of these quality 1×8 planks instead of the typical 1×4 pine. Therefore, you may have to use other scrap wood or purchase new boards and stain them.




Lay your 1×8 board with the top facing up. Drill pilot holes where two of the steel screw eyes will be, mine are located ¾” by ¾” from the two front corners, and hand screw the eyes into the holes. Use pliers to open the end links on the chains and attach them to each eye. Be careful to not chip the black coating of the chain. Do not worry if you do, simply use the black paint or nail polish from earlier to touch it up.


Clamp or have someone hold the back of the 1×8 to the top off the 2×4. Evenly space your three 2” screws along the back of the 1×8, drill pilot holes, and drill in the screws to attach the two boards. You can choose to add more screws depending on the anticipated weight of décor. Remove any clamps used. Next, lay your shelf with the topside facing down and evenly space your four cup hooks across the underside of the 1×8. Drill pilot holes and hand screw the cup hooks into the holes. You’re shelf is done and all that’s left to do is to hang it up!





Hold your finished shelf against the wall, check to make sure it is level, and drill two pilot holes through the 2×4 and into the wall. Drill the two 4” screws into the pilot holes to hang your shelf on the wall. You can choose to add more screws depending on the anticipated weight of décor. Finally, take your chain and extend it towards the wall until taut. To ensure a tight tension, leave a small space between the wall and the end of your chain to allow for the screw eye to fit in between. Mark the location of your two screw eyes, drill small pilot holes, and hand screw the eyes into the wall. Use your pliers once more to open the end links on the chains and attach them to each eye.



It’s decorating time! Hang your favorite chili bowls or coffee cups and enjoy your new pallet and chain shelf! Are you looking to make a handmade whimsical flower vase to go on your new shelf? Head on over to our post, Hand Picked (post coming soon!), for the tutorial.



Please leave us a comment to share your thoughts! We love to hear from our readers. 🙂

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