You guys were so sweet last week when I told you about my reckless abandon and tackling the breakfast bar project on my own last week! I’ve been having A BLAST. This is where I left you.
It’s almost done! And today, I’m going to show you how to make your own corbels! But first, let me back up and share how I came upon this design.
I knew I wanted something chunky and detailed, but I’m not very good at just coming up with these things out of my head. So, naturally, I turned to Pinterest. I love using Pinterest as a search engine. I just typed in ‘detailed corbel’ and started scrolling through all the gorgeous swirly corbels! Here are a couple that I seriously considered.
But when I saw this pic, I KNEW it was the one! LOVE!
It looked simple enough. I knew I would need to have 3 layers… one center chunky/solid layer, and two outer detailed layers with all the little cutouts. The only problem with the image above is that it has the corbels photographed at such an angle that I can’t just replicate it. I needed it straight-on so I could print it on a transparency and project it onto the wood. So that’s when I called on my BFF Dana and her schnazzy software to straighten things out for me. BAM!
I printed this out onto a transparency, traced it with a sharpie so the lines would be more bold, and projected it onto a piece of paper. Once I had it adjusted to the exact dimensions that I needed my corbels, I traced with a pencil.
The reason I projected onto paper instead of the actual wood is because I’m making 4 corbels… with 2 detailed sides each. So that means I need to make 8 of these EXACTLY the same. Having a template would make this a lot easier than having to trace all 8 boards using the projector. After I was done tracing on my paper, I used an Exacto knife to cut out the cutouts.
Then I just traced my template onto my wood! Easy peasy! (this is a 1×10 board below for reference)
Then, using my scroll saw, I cut along the outside lines. This is the scroll saw I use and it’s A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. But if you’re looking for a more mid-range (read: less expensive) then this one is also great quality and handles well! Whatever you do, don’t buy a scroll saw in the $100-$200 range. You’ll regret it for sure.
The next step was to drill holes in each little cutout so I could feed my scroll saw blade through and cut them out individually. This looks very tedious, but each one only took me about 20 minutes.
For the middle layer, I found some massive 2×10’s laying around the garage. Since I wanted the ‘inner chunky layer’ to be slightly inset, I let my template hang over the edge about a half inch while I traced. Then cut! No need to do all the little cutouts on the center layer!
Now you’ve got all 3 components!
I wanted my center layer to be stained dark. After sanding a little, I just wiped on the stain (RustOleum Dark Walnut) with a cloth, and used an old craft brush to get deep in those nooks and crannies.
I spray primed and painted the detailed outside layers white, and then glued together with wood glue!
Feast your eyes upon this gorgeous corbel of mine!
Probably the hardest part of these corbels (and the only part I had to ask for Nick’s help) is actually affixing them to the wall. Since these corbels are equally functional and decorative, they need to be sturdy enough to actually hold up the counter top. Using the Kreg Counterbore drill bit, he drilled 3 anchor locations through the corbel. Setting the stop collar on the bit to stop about an inch before it went through the back side of the corbel.
Here’s a diagram showing the angles and locations of the holes drilled.
Then we secured it to the island using 2 1/2 inch screws. And then once installed, I went back and touched up those holes with more stain and they’re practically invisible!
Those bad boys aren’t going anywhere. They’re secure enough that having two on the outer edges would have been sufficient… but I like the look of having 4, and the way it makes little ‘stations’ for each barstool. Speaking of barstools, I need to do some online shopping, because these 50’s barstools from our retro diner bistro aren’t going to cut it for long. But they work for now. (only 2 of the 4 corbels installed on the pic below)
As you can see we got a slab of live-edge wood for the countertop, and I’m installing a special ‘treatment’ of sorts around the island. MANY more details to come on that. In the meantime, I’ll tell you one thing… IT IS AWESOME! So so so so so awesome. Isn’t that mean of me?!
Thanks for pinning!
*this post contains affiliate links