When I was a little kid, my very favourite kind of craft to make was simple popsicle stick projects. They might not look like much when they’re fresh out of the pack, but they’re actually super diverse and can be used to make all kinds of interesting things! In fact, now that I’m an adult, I’m always pleased when I see a new tutorial or think of a new concept that will help me continue crafting with popsicle sticks even though I’m an adult who prefers to make things that are both decorative and functional now. That’s why, when I found myself wishing I had a small trinket shelf for my latest little decor piece, I decided to make that need into an opportunity to get nostalgic by doing some constructing with popsicle sticks. I chose to make a hexagonally shaped shelf because the shape is trendy right down and I already have several pieces that use its unique lines in the room I envisioned the shelf in, so it helped create a sense of continuity!
As always, I opted to document my crafting process the best I could, just in case other DIY enthusiasts might want to try their hand at making the piece as well. Check out these step by step instructions complete with photos! If you’d rather follow along with a video tutorial instead of written words, scroll to the bottom of this post to find just what you’re looking for.
For this project, you’ll need:
- Popsicle sticks
- Wood glue
- Lazur paint (or wood stain)
- A paintbrush
Gather your materials!
Make the base shape of your hexagon! Lay out the top stick and then angle one stick diagonally outwards from the end on the left. When you’re happy with the angle, glue the spot where the two sticks overlap down. Then, from the free end of that left hand stick, overlap the end of another stick but angle it downward and to the right this time, once more on a diagonal. Glue the ends together with you’re happy with the angle. Next, lay down your bottom stick straight and horizontally, overlapping it with the free end of the stick before it in the same way and gluing the two together with the bottom stick on top when you’re happy with how it sits. The next stick, which you’ll glue to the right hand end of your bottom stick, with angle upwards and to the right on a diagonal, with its end sitting on top of the one at the bottom. Finally, lay down the last stick that will close the hexagon shape, sticking it down on top of the end of the one before it and angling it upwards and to the right on one last diagonal. Unless you’re losing hot glue, which dries very quickly and which I wouldn’t necessarily recommend for this project, your glue will still be tacky enough that you can adjust all the sticks slightly until you’ve got them sitting evenly for a symmetrical hexagon that you’re happy with. Press all the sticks back into place if you’ve moved things around to make sure their overlapped ends actually stick. Now do your second layer! You’ll follow precisely the same pattern as you did before; start at the top and work your way around counter clockwise (or you could do clockwise, if you really preferred), gluing the end of each stick over the end of the one before it just like before. Now you’ve got two sticks stacked on top of one another on each of the six sides of the hexagon, making it a little taller than it was before.
Keep building your hexagon! Work in the same pattern as above, layering your sticks end over end all the way around. I built up my hexagon until the sides measured about five inches in height, giving me lots of space to set small things on when I eventually hung the shelf on the wall.
Once your shelf is as large as you want it to be and all of the glue is dried, start painting it! I used a special wood paint that lies somewhere between a paint and a stain. I also used quite a large brush because I wanted to get good coverage and wasn’t working with a lot of detail. I did, however, make sure the bristles were small enough to reach between the sticks enough that some colour was added there as well. Paint the 3D hexagon all around, trying to get an even coverage on every part of its surfaces. If you get to the end and feel like you’d prefer your shelf to be an even darker brown, set it aside to dry and then do a second coating.
That really is all there is to it! Of course, you don’t have to keep your colour scheme neutral like I did; that’s just what suited my space best! Feel free to paint your hexagon shelf in bright colours instead, if you prefer. Just in case you’d like to try this project out for yourself, here’s a fantastic tutorial video to help you!