10 DIY Shelves That Will Decorate Your Home


New shelves make for an excellent DIY project for first-timers. With shelves, it takes very little effort to get from concept to completion, to achieve something useful and attractive and to try out your DIY skills. Do-it-yourself shelves ideas on this list have something to offer for every part of the house.

From the living room and bedroom to the rec room and bathroom, you’ll find out how to bring in a great deal of charm and character while creating plenty of storage space in no more than a day or two.

1. A rough-and-ready pallet shelf

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You can find pallets (the portable wooden platforms that stores use to stack heavy objects on) discarded behind any supermarket. These can easily be taken apart and knocked into charming, rustic shelves. No more than 3 feet long and a few inches deep, each pallet can hang on the wall and hold little decorative objects framed pictures, little vases and other such items. If you’re handy with a saw and hammer and a little wood stain, you can easily get classy results in no more than a couple of hours.

2. Pallet wine racks

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Reclaimed wood from pallets can make excellent shelving for wine bottles. Etsy is full of these rough wine racks that are built of crude, weathered sections of wood that look like they belong on a rustic vineyard somewhere in Europe. If you have a pallet with you, you only need to sand it down, hang it on a wall and tie a length of sisal rope to the front to keep bottles safely in place. Your wine bottles have a new home.

3. A quick-and-dirty magazine rack

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Magazine racks don’t need to be elaborately built with shelves, metal rungs or even legs to stand on. A simple frame made of unfinished wood is all you need. Get 12 feet of stud at Home Depot and have the store cut it into two sections of 6 feet each and two of 3 feet each. Once you get the wood home, sand it all and nail the pieces together to make a simple four-sided frame. String electrical wire across the frame, spacing them 9 inches apart. Your pretty new magazine rack is now ready to hold all your periodicals.

4. A wheeled shelving unit made with plated slotted angles

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If you need to take your shelving around the house, galvanized (zinc-plated) steel slotted angles are an excellent option. Any home improvement store will cut lengths of angles to your specifications and set you up with large headed screws, wooden shelving and casters that you need. Your job will simply be to go home and screw everything in.

5. A rustic towel organizer

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Towel organizers are simple to make two rectangular sections of wood, each 6 inches wide and 3 feet long, are all you need. Sand the wood smooth and stain it. Nail one section flat on the wall and fix the other one to it at a right angle. With a couple of support brackets in place, your shelf should be ready to begin holding your bathroom’s store of rolled-up towels. With a couple of hooks in the baseboard, you’ll have something to hang towels off, too.

6. A quirky photo display

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If you have practically no DIY carpentry skills and would still like to make something of beauty and lasting value, a photo display ladder made out of tree branches could be just the thing. All you need are two reasonably straight tree branches and four shorter ones.

Lay the wood out in the sun to dry for a couple of weeks. Cut the longer ones so that they are roughly 6 feet in length and then slice up the short ones to 18-inch lengths. Now, you simply need to knock together a ladder with the shorter pieces serving as your rungs. Once the ladder’s ready, you can prop it up in a corner of the room, screw S hooks into the rungs and hang your pictures off them. You’ll have a beautiful, one-of-a-kind display.

7. Turn an old basket into a towel organizer

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Yard sales and flea markets usually have plenty of old baskets for sale that they practically give away. If you manage to find a large basket made of wood or wicker, you can turn it into a unique towel-holder shelf for your bathroom. The idea is to suspend the basket by one end so that it hangs along the wall. You can look for a pretty decorative wall bracket to nail high up on the bathroom wall and use wide, decorative ribbon to hold the basket to it. You’ll have a rustic, charming towel holder in no time.

8. Cute, rope-suspended shelves

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If you have fun knickknacks to display, the shelves that you display them on need to look the part, too. All you need are sections of wooden plank 3 feet wide and no more than a few inches deep, lengths of rope and wall hooks. Once you have the hooks attached to the walls, drill two holes into each section of wood, pass the rope through them, knot up the ends and hang them from the hooks. Your shelves are now ready to display your little flowers, pen holders and pictures.

9. Try pegboard shelving

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Usually, pegboards are sheets of hardwood, hard plastic or metal with tiny holes drilled into them at regular intervals. You get to insert pegs of the right size into the holes, and hang tools and other items on them. Pegboards though, can also make fine shelving units if the peg holes are big enough.

You can make such a pegboard on your own with a sheet of plywood. You need to get dowel pins (short cylindrical sections of plastic or wood), drill holes in your pegboard the right size to hold them and then insert them. Your pegboard can now hold the shelves you want.

10. Upcycle old drawers

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If you see an old dresser that someone’s left on the kerb, you should get the drawers. You can upcycle them into a fine bookcase. Once you’ve sanded the drawers and painted them in attractive colors, stack them one on top of the other, putting a couple of nails in to hold them in place. You’ll have a quirky bookshelf or magazine holder in no time.

These ideas only offer you a start. You can use your imagination to pick up simple materials and turn out great shelves with them. With each idea, you’ll help your home gain a great deal  of character.