We are so excited to share this mountain shelf! It’s a really beautiful decor piece. It makes a great crystal altar and is also perfect for displaying jewellery. Read on for the step-by-step tutorial.

Mountain Shelf Tutorial | Upcycle That

This is a sponsored post for the new Bernzomatic TS3500 torch. Did you know you could use a blowtorch to patina wood?! That’s how we got the gorgeous finish on our mountain shelf! We made this upcycled shelf from reclaimed wood. The wood came from an unwanted bookcase.

Mountain shelf - reclaimed wood

Here’s what you’ll need to make your own mountain shelf/crystal altar:

  • Reclaimed wood – we used 3 pieces of 26″ x 10″ boards with a 3/4″ thickness
  • Bernzomatic TS3500 torch
  • Table saw
  • Miter saw
  • Brad nailer
  • Carpenter square
  • Measuring tape
  • Wood glue
  • Sandpaper
  • Tung oil

How to make a mountain shelf:

First cut your wood to the depth you would like your mountain shelf to be. Our wood had a 10″ depth so we cut it in half to 5″ using a table saw.

Mountain shelf - cut wood

Once you have your big cuts you can start making the outline of the mountain. The base of the mountain has a length of 35″. It would be best to use a board with that length. However our reclaimed wood was a bit too short, so we had to attach 2 boards together to get that length. Upcycling is all about working with what you’ve got! We drilled holes into both boards and secured them with dowels and wood glue.

Here are the measurements for the mountain shelf outline:

Base – 35″ length
Smaller peaks – 11″ on the outside and 5″ on the inside
Big peak – 15 1/2″ length on each side

Mountain shelf outline

Cut your wood at an angle to get the triangle shape. We used 45° angles to keep it simple. Use your carpenter square to mark it, and then use a miter saw to make the cuts.

Mountain shelf - angle cuts

Now it’s time for the awesome part, blowtorching! It’s ridiculously fun to patina wood with a blowtorch! The Bernzomatic TS3500 torch is the perfect tool for the job. It was so easy to use. You just turn on the fuel, hit the ignite button and you’ve got fire. Moving the torch back and forth over the wood will give it a gorgeous, aged patina.

Here’s a video showing the Bernzomatic TS3500 torch in action:

Put the mountain shelf together using wood glue and a brad nailer. This is a lot easier to do if you have a friend hold the wood together while you secure it with the brad nails.

Mountain shelf glue up

Now that the mountain outline is assembled, you can cut your inner shelves. There are infinite design possibilities! We wanted to use our mountain shelf as a crystal altar so we made lots of smaller shelves. Measure your shelves to the mountain shelf outline and cut them accordingly. Here are the measurements we used:

Shelves for the smaller peaks – 6 1/4″ length cut to a 45°point on one side and 45° angle on the other
Top shelf in the middle peak – 5 1/2″ length
Middle shelf in the middle peak – 10 1/4″ length
Bottom shelf in the middle peak – 6 3/4″ length
Sideways shelves in the middle peak – 6 3/4″ length with a 45° angle on one side and a 90° angle on the other

Mountain shelves

Use the Bernzomatic TS3500 torch to patina your inner shelves and then attach them with wood glue and a brad nailer.

Mountain shelves

Let your mountain shelf dry overnight. Then finish it by lightly sanding and rubbing it with tung oil. Once that’s set, it you can it hang up! We hung our crystal altar by putting a nail under each peak. Style your triangle shelves using crystals, plants and jewelry.

Mountain Shelf Tutorial | Upcycle That

A big thank you to Bernzomatic for sponsoring this post and letting us try out their awesome Bernzomatic TS3500 torch. We can definitely recommend this tool to upcyclers looking for a fun and easy way to patina wood!

Special thanks to The Dharma Temple for letting us shoot the crystal altar in their beautiful space.

5 Thoughts on Mountain Shelf / Crystal Altar

  1. No, I did not know about aging wood with a torch! Very cool and thank you!

  2. What a great idea! I had some scrap wood from a table i just upcycyled that i made this shelf with! Thank you Great plans easy to follow

  3. Can you use a box miter saw?

  4. how do you get a brad nailer to the small inside pieces”


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