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Ten Ways to DIY Like a Pro with Decorative Lag Bolts

Ten Ways to DIY Like a Pro with Decorative Lag Bolts

For the homeowner or DIY enthusiast, decorative lag bolts are more than just a fastener; they're an opportunity to infuse character and industrial charm into your projects. Their simplicity and robust design make them a favorite in the realm of do-it-yourself décor. These versatile hardware pieces can elevate the look of shelves, accent furniture, or create the perfect industrial accent. Whether you're aiming for a rustic look or an urban feel, decorative lag bolts can give your projects the edge. Here's how to make the most of them in ten different projects:

1. Choosing the Right Lag Bolts

Selecting the appropriate lag bolt is the foundation of a successful DIY project. Here are a few points to consider:

  • Size Matters: The size of the lag bolt will depend on the weight of the object it's holding and the material you're affixing it to. In general, aim for a diameter that's at least one-quarter the thickness of the material it's screwing into. For heavier objects, go for a larger diameter.
  • Head Shape: We offer a selection of square and hex headed lags with a hammered, distressed, or pyramid texture.
  • Finish: A hand painted finish can make a big difference in how decorative lag bolts add to your projects. Choose a finish that complements the overall aesthetic.

2. Creating Industrial Shelving

Industrial shelves are more than storage solutions; they serve as focal points in any room. Decorative lag bolts can be used to create a rugged, weathered look or to add a touch of modern style. Here's how you can do it:

  • Use a sturdy wooden board as the shelf and long, robust tempered steel pipes or scaffolding as the supports.
  • Drill holes where you want the lag bolts, making sure they align with the pipes' placement.
  • Screw in the lag bolts, allowing a few inches to protrude. Tighten until the shelf is secure.

3. Accentuating Furniture

Upcycling or customizing furniture can breathe new life into old pieces. Decorative lag bolts can give a simple update that turns a piece from drab to fab. Try these tips:

  • Choose furniture with clean, unbroken lines that will show off the lag bolts.
  • Position the lag bolts so that they serve as accents at the edges or corners of the furniture.
  • Consider painting or staining the furniture to match or contrast with the lag bolts for added visual interest.

4. Hanging Artwork and Mirrors

Hanging heavy items such as mirrors and large artworks requires sturdy hardware. Lag bolts are ideal for this task. Here's how to do it safely and stylishly:

  • Use a stud finder to locate the wall studs where you'll be hanging the item. For larger items, use multiple studs and for extra security, use anchors in the drywall between the studs.
  • Position the item on the wall and mark the points where you'll be drilling for the lag bolts.
  • Pre-drill the holes and then use a socket wrench to screw in the lag bolts. This will ensure that the bolts go in straight, which is crucial for stability.
  • If the bolts are visible, consider a texture and finish pairing that will complete the look and compliment your home.

Cowboy Wall Decor

5. Spicing up Shelf Brackets

Shelves are not only about function but also about the visual impact. Up your shelf game with decorative lag bolts and creative brackets:

  • Choose metal, wood, or glass shelves–they all work well with decorative lag bolts.
  • Incorporate the lag bolts by using them to install the brackets. Be sure to order the correct size if you're using metal brackets with pre-drilled holes.
  • Consider painting the brackets to add a pop of color or match the room's theme.

6. Crafting Customized Coat Racks

Coat racks are often overlooked in terms of style, but they can easily become a statement piece with the addition of decorative lag bolts. Here's a simple way to create a customized coat rack:

  • Find or create a wooden plank that suits the space where you'll be hanging coats.
  • Arrange and screw in the lag bolts in a pattern that suits your taste. They can be straight across, in a random pattern, or even in the shape of a word or design.
  • Add hooks or hang items directly on the lag bolts for a stylish and functional touch.

7. Building Statement Tables

Tables can be the centerpiece of a room. Whether it's a coffee table, side table, or dining table, using decorative lag bolts in their design can create a distinct look:

  • For a minimalist design, use a thick, solid wood slab as the table top with four long lag bolts as the legs.
  • For a more substantial look, use decorative lag bolts to affix a metal strip along the edges of the table surface, adding an industrial flair.
  • If your table legs are prone to wobbling, use counterbored holes and washers to secure them in place.

8. Designing Intricate Wall Art

Geometric or abstract wall art can be a striking addition to any space. Lag bolts can be used to add depth and structure to these designs:

  • Create a pattern on a wooden panel or canvas and mark where the lag bolts will go.
  • Pre-drill holes for the lag bolts and screw them in.
  • For a three-dimensional effect, vary the length of the bolts or attach objects to the ends, such as chains with hanging plants or lights.

9. Outdoor Décor Projects

Decorative lag bolts are not limited to indoor projects. They can also be used to enhance your outdoor living spaces:

  • Secure a pergola or gazebo with metal plates and lag bolts for a sturdy and stylish look.
  • Create a weather-resistant structure by using stainless steel lag bolts and treated wood or stone.
  • Add a decorative bolt to the entryway of your home supporting a unique door knocker.

10. Upcycling Old Items

One person's trash is another's treasure, and that's particularly true in the world of DIY. Look around for old items that could be turned into something new, and use decorative lag bolts to help bring your vision to life:

  • Turn an old window frame into a picture display by adding wire and using decorative lag bolts to secure it.
  • Transform a discarded wooden crate into a rolling ottoman or side table by screwing in casters with lag bolts.
  • Mount a vintage door horizontally on your wall as a headboard or an architectural statement, fastened securely with lag bolts.


Decorative lag bolts offer an amazing array of options to the home DIYer, from enhancing the strength and visual appeal of a simple project to turning complex designs into functional and stylish pieces. With the right approach to selecting and using lag bolts, you'll be well on your way to producing high-quality, professional-looking projects that you can proudly display in your home or outdoor space. Whether you're following one of the ideas from this listicle or coming up with your own, the key to successful lag bolt DIY projects is creativity and attention to detail.


Maddison Nedrow

Old West Iron


p- (844) 205-7266

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