I've been slowly redecorating my living room. It started with a really big couch. I fell in love with a really expensive sofa at Restoration Hardware, but I'm not ever going to pay seven thousand for furniture. I looked around and found a local furniture store that had one that was still a dark leather, and still 44 inches deep and 8 feet long (yeah, its about the size of a twin size bed--and yup, I love Sunday naps on it), made in America AND less than 1/4 the price of the RH one. With a big new couch I thought I needed new artwork over the back of it.
This shelf was really easy--and not terribly expensive. I hit the cull bin at the back of Home Depot and found a 10 foot board that is 6 inches deep and 1 3/4 thick. The end of the board was damaged, so I got the whole thing for $8. I cut it into a 5 foot length.
Next was plenty of sanding and then some dark stain and a coat of poly. Total time in making the shelf: about an hour. I let it dry for a couple days outside so that it wouldn't smell too much when I installed it.
The shelf is set on 2 brackets made out of plumbing fittings. I debated 1/2" vs 3/4" pipe fittings--and decided that the 1/2" looked just right (3/4 seemed a bit too fat). You need the floor flange, a 6" straight piece and a pipe cap. The flange was the most expensive at around $6 each.
I was lucky that I had a stud to hang one end of the shelf in, but the other bracket wasn't on a stud, so I used the drywall anchors.
Easy. Total cost for the shelf was less than $20. FYI, I don't have any little people that could potentially pull or knock the shelf off the wall. If you do, you may want to add some L-brackets at the back of the shelf and screw it to the wall, just in case.