19 Insanely Creative DIY Shelving Ideas

These inspiring DIY shelves are easy to make, and many of them repurpose around-the-house items that would otherwise be destined for the landfill.
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A DIY Shelf Can Be Easy to Make


Your home decor shows off who you are. Add your personality to a room with impressive and creative DIY shelving that looks as though it was made professionally custom-made for you. With a little time and effort, you can build shelves over a weekend or in a matter of hours.

Suited for Souvenirs


Vintage suitcases are perfect for displaying travel souvenirs and airplane reading material. Mount a small valise that you own, pick up a pair from a local thrift store, or shop with Etsy seller DoubleDeckerVintage and put the time you saved making them toward planning your next trip.

Get Off the Street and Onto the Walls


Breathe new life into a worn-down skateboard by converting it into a shelf. With or without wheels, anchor the deck to the wall using L-brackets, as Tetiana at CapsBoardStore did. If you don’t have a skateboard hanging around in your garage or basement, you can find one at the local big-box retailer. If a skateboard sports a design you don’t like, simply give it a coat of new paint.

Say Goodbye to Your Junk Drawer


When life gives you more drawers than you need—perhaps you found a dresser on the curb?—turn the spares into a curio wall shelf like this one, spotted at Madjda L’s shop on Etsy. Line the drawer bottoms with leftover wallpaper for added personality, then start arranging the drawers and hanging them on the wall.

From Shoes to Shelf


Need another reason to buy shoes? Those boxes are handy for all kinds of storage ideas. To turn them into shelves, choose boxes in good condition (no bent corners or flimsy cardboard), and decorate them with paint or scrapbook paper. Finish by nailing the boxes to the wall. Voila! An inexpensive way to showcase your tchotchkes.

Related: 5 Things to Do with… Shoeboxes

Reach a High Note


This formerly beat-up guitar’s second life is music to our eyes. After cutting an opening in its front and sanding off the finish, an old guitar becomes a ready shell for shelves, like these shelves from KidqweenyGoods. Hang the instrument from a hook on the wall to store a CD collection or non-music-related memorabilia.

DIY This Crafty Supply

Amaryllis Buffin at ohohdeco.com

If you’re a weekend-warrior DIYer, chances are you have more than a few paint buckets lying around the garage from past projects. Dress them up with a coat of plastic-friendly paint, as seen on the home decor crafting blog, Ohoh deco, then put them to work as cubby shelves in a playroom, nursery, or office.

Related: 9 Creative Uses for Old Paint Cans

Bring the Outdoors Inside


This imaginative structure designed by TheBirchHomeCo incorporates birch tree trimmings as an accent for wood shelves, elevating storage to new natural heights. The sturdy and smooth lumber used for the other three sides of this shelf offer stability and structure to hold your knick-knacks. The result of combining natural birch with lumber planks? A shelf that warms up a home with comforting, rustic appeal.

Related: 20 Insanely Easy Ways to Build Your Own Furniture

Hang Up Heavy-Duty Storage


Shelving is a great place to experiment with the trendy industrial look. As Justin from JTIndustrialDesigns demonstrates, those galvanized metal pipes deliver the sturdy support needed to hold a wooden plank or two, perfect for a single shelf or rows of beloved books. Attach some hooks to the pipes and you can increase the shelf’s usefulness.

Gamer's Choice


Fans of the addictive video game may enjoy this new way to one-up themselves: a set of Tetris-inspired shelves for the home. They’re relatively straightforward and you can build them from plywood fairly quickly, but if you don’t want to take on the project yourself you can always buy them from WoodmadeCreation on Etsy. Choose colors that match your decor for a fun and stylish result.

Related: 12 Amazing Things Made with Plywood

All Tied Up


Put your Boy Scout skills to the test with a set of shelves supported and secured by nothing more sophisticated than rope knots. We love this scheme from SensibleConcepts because it leaves room for so many options, including variations of knots and all different types of rope. Make sure your knots are secure before stocking your shelves with items.

Coastal Vibes


Driftwood is a wonderful reminder of carefree time at the beach. These simple floating shelves made from found driftwood can bring you back to memories of those long summer days. RowdyRustics shows off how these casual and different shelves can enhance a home. When making these shelves, find a floating shelf bracket that’s the right size for the driftwood and installation should be quite quick.

A Space-Saving Bookshelf


Instead of keeping your books on a traditional-style bookshelf, store them on an angle, like these shelves available from BeardCraftWoodWorks. The slim profile of this DIY shelving makes it easy to store your books virtually anywhere, and you can make it as tall or short as you need to fit a mini library. These shelves require some skill with a saw, but the design is completely customizable.

Step Up Your Ladder Game


Have you replaced your ladder but you’re not sure what to do with the old one? Grab some wood planks and turn the ladder rungs into sturdy shelves for your plants, collectibles, or books. Gina from Funond uses a folding ladder in her design, showing off how charming this DIY shelving can be. Replicate the look at home with a metal or wood ladder.

Related: Shelf Life: 10 Bookcases You Can Make Yourself

Incorporate Other Materials, Like Leather


Adding different textures for DIY shelving adds personality and makes it look like mixed media art. One way is to use leather straps to hang your shelves, as Patt from Underkini does. Other hanging materials include macrame or strips of canvas to really make it your own. Make sure whatever fabric you choose is strong enough to support the board and the weight of the objects you plan to put on it.

Sweet as Honey


This DIY shelving is absolutely buzzworthy. Honeycomb-shaped shelves are easy to assemble and make an awesome addition to a wall. With some wood planks, a miter saw, and wood glue, it only takes a few hours to construct, sand, and paint these delightful shelves. ShokuninDesignCo also makes these honeycomb shelves if you don’t want to make them yourself.

A Reminder to Wash Your Hands


Repurpose an old wash basin into a convenient shelf for the bathroom or laundry room. This rustic basin was traditionally used for washing, but can now store your soaps, cleansers, and towels. This imaginative design is well done by BarwoodShop, but easily replicated if you have a knack for DIY. Hang the basin on its own or add a couple of wood planks to maximize the shelf’s storage space.

An Affordable Mountain View


In real estate, a view of the mountains comes at a premium. Instead, build your own mini-mountain range and create an indoor vista where you can store small plants, trinkets, and small toys. Paint snow-capped peaks, like FoothillsWoodCo, or leave the range painted one solid color. With a plank of spruce, pine, or fir and a miter saw, you can create a customized mountain range for any room in the home.

Plumber Not Required


If you’ve learned anything from this list, it’s that DIY shelving styles range from traditional to fantastical. If you like industrial style, this bookshelf only requires pipes and pipe fittings mounted securely to the wall. TheWesEmporium shows how to make use of a small amount of corner space, creating a design with the pipe that climbs the height of the wall.

Who Says VHS Tapes Are Out of Style?


If you like to repurpose old items, this is the DIY shelving project for you. Movie enthusiasts with a fondness for nostalgia can transform their old VHS tapes into small shelving units that can hang on the wall or stand on a counter or table. Leave them their natural color or paint them to match any room like RepurposedByBatson’s Emma, who painted her floating shelves bronze. This is a simple DIY that only requires old movies, some strong adhesive, paint, and the patience to let it dry.