DIY Farmhouse Corbels for Cheap

DIY Corbels for Decorating or Shelf Brackets

Where I live in Edmonton architectural salvage is rare, and like anything rare, when you do find something it’s ridiculously expensive.  These DIY corbels used part of a 1 by six piece of lumber, and unlike corbels, the lumber store has a mountain of them for cheap.

Each month I am so happy to collaborate with some of my favorite bloggers from around the globe.  This month’s IBC challenge is wood, and I have been waiting to create these DIY farmhouse corbels out of scrap wood.  Before I share how I made these DIY corbels let me share a little bit about the IBC (Int’l Bloggers Club)  Each month a group of bloggers from around the globe collaborate to create something on a common theme.  Each month I am fascinated to see how my talented blogging friends interpret the monthly topic.  Last month was all about linen, and my oh so girlie contribution was a pretty pin cushion.  Make sure to check out my friend’s Wood themed projects at the end of my post.

Supplies for Two DIY Farmhouse Corbels

To make two of the corbels you will need

One piece of 1 by 6 lumber about five feet long

Carbon paper

The corbel template or graph paper and your own template

Wood glue and clamps

120 and 150 grit sandpaper

Polyurethane or wax finish

Making the Corbel Pattern

Corbels can be very plain or really elaborate.  For these corbels, I tried to make them as elaborate as possible without having to purchase special tools.  The first step is to design a fun pattern for the sides. H here is a copy of my template, but I recommend grabbing a piece of graph paper and have some fun scribbling out your own pattern.  The only thing to remember is keeping your sketch less than six inches wide so it fits on a 1 by 6.

Once you have your sketch, transfer the pattern onto your lumber using carbon paper.

Transferring a pattern to wood using carbon paper

The pattern for the sides of the corbel haves an extra cut out than the centerpiece does to make the sides more intricate.

Cutting out the wood for a DIY Farmhouse Corbel

You will need one central piece and two side cutouts for each corbel.

Hubs spent a morning cutting out the corbel patterns on the scroll saw while I did some much-needed housework and baked him a rhubarb crisp as a thank you.

Layer the wood pieces together.  Start with one outer piece, cover with wood glue, then add the middle section.  Add more glue, and then the final piece. Line everything up and apply some weight ( I used canned goods).  Let dry several hours, I left mine overnight, you want the pieces to be very well attached.

Once all your pieces are glued together, place the flat back of the corbel the leftover 1 by 6 lumber.  Mark the four corners of your corbel and cut a rectangle.  Glue the rectangle to the back of your corbel and hold in place with clamps.

How to make inexpensive farmhouse corbels using scrap wood.

Finishing the DIY Corbel

Begin by sanding all your wood as smooth as possible and removing any glops of glue you may have.

DIY corbels painted with chalk paint and milk paint.

For the curved side wrap some 120 grit sandpaper around a small piece of wood.  The smaller shape makes it easier to get in all those pretty curves.  For the outside flat sides, I used a sander.

Once the corbel is well sanded paint the corbel with one coat of grey paint. I had grey chalk paint so I used that.  Let dry and sand with 150 grit sandpaper until smooth.

Repeat with a coat of white paint, I used white milk paint. Let dry then very lightly sand until smooth with the 150 grit sandpaper.

Apply a second coat of white milk paint and then distress it very softly using 150 grit paper.  Milk paint comes off really easily so use a soft touch.  I liked the final finish with the three coats as I felt confident about not getting bare wood in my finish.

White milk painted DIY corbels for farmhouse decor

Finally, add a coat of clear polyurethane to protect the finish.

Two DIY farmhouse corbels sitting on a tray with grainsack fabric and a clock in the background.

Here are my Int’l Bloggers friends posts.  Enjoy.

International Bloggers

International Bloggers club graphic
DIY Wood projects from the Intl Bloggers Club

Driftwood Fairy Scape by A Crafty Mix

Super Simple Decorative Wooden Tray by Northern Feeling

Old Door Idea Coat Rack by My Sweet Things

Farmhouse Stamped Wooden Placemats by Raggedy Bits

DIY Farmhouse Corbels For Cheap by That’s Me


  1. Love these corbels! I have experimented with a scroll saw. It’s really quite fun! Thanks for sharing at Tuesday Turn About!

  2. Hi Leanna!
    These turned out fantastic! I recently bought some very old corbels, but they aren’t chunky ones like I was hoping to find. I got them because I was afraid I might not find anything else. Now, after seeing this, I think I could make those thick chunky ones I need for the place I have in mind. By the way, I love your pattern! I would love for you to share these at Homestyle Gathering!
    >>> Kim

  3. These are just lovely, Leanna… and so smart! I’m trying to find a place to use corbels…. nothing is hitting me yet. 😉 Hope you’ll share these at Tuesday Turn About!

  4. Leanne these are so pretty. You really outdid yourself by carving them out of wood. They make great decor for any home.

  5. I thought I was the only one not being able to find corbels as I see them all over the internet, but I am so thankful you shared DIY them so from now they are in my to-do list. Yours are gorgeous!

  6. Like you, for the past two years, I’ve been on the hunt in Edmonton for budget-friendly corbels with zero success. I have a particular project in mind for them and kind of gave up. Never did I think to make our own! Thank you so much, Leanna, for the inspiration. This is SO happening at my house. Plus, a good excuse for mama to replace the old relic we call a jigsaw 😉 Pinned

    1. They are fun to make Marie. I am sure you will enjoy the project. I look forward to seeing what you create.

  7. What a fabulous project, Leanna!! They turned out so awesome!! I love that you can make them look old to give that nice old look! So fun to decorate with!!

    1. Thank you Sam. They really are fun to make. I have not mastered using dark waxes yet, but am loving milk paint.

  8. I love this idea Leanna, they turned out amazing! If I only dared to use a jigsaw…or had a hubby who did. I think I have to find a way cause these corbels are a must-have!!

  9. You just made my day Lea. I can’t tell you how hard I’ve searched for corbels and they are nowhere to be found. I’m convinced people here in South Africa leave them to the kids in their wills, they’re so scarce 🙂 Love, love, love how you and the hubby made these. I can’t wait to try making one using our jigsaw. The scroll work won’t be as detailed but who cares, I’ll finally have me some corbels

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