It is no secret that I am a bit of an organizational nerd, and I love changing up my space and the way I organize and display my belongings. I am also a little bit of a memory hoarder, from tickets to trinkets I have a whole lot of ‘special’ bits and bobs collected from my life and travels.
I have been meaning to expand my shelving game in my house for a long time, and I have decided that now is the time to do it. After having had a little look around, both in stores and online, I have concluded that by making my own shelves I can not only save some money but also make my shelves exactly how I want them.
Shelving doesn’t have to be boring; there are loads of ways you can double them up to create funky wall art, even using a new shelving unit as a real feature piece in a room.
Practical & Pretty Shelving Ideas
1. Reclaimed Wood Floating Shelves
I love it when a modernly styled room has a couple of rustic accents added to it. These Reclaimed Wood Floating Shelves are a great example of that, especially against the otherwise clean and sharp finishes shown in this instance.
If you don’t have any yourself, unused wooden planks are relatively easy to come across, and by asking friends and family, you will most likely find some easily. I like the size of the shelves in this example, they are large enough to be able to hold a fair few things but not so large that they take up a whole wall. If you don’t like the look of the exposed wood you could always finish these off with a coat of paint.
2. Kids Bookshelves
Not only are these Kids Bookshelves incredibly practical, especially in a smaller room that could do without having a separate bookcase in it, they are also an entertaining way to jazz up a wall. The covers of kids’ books are always bright and colorful, and this way your little ones will have no trouble choosing their bedtime story.
You could, of course, use this DIY in a different room for adults’ books, something which would look effective. I have a quite a few stunning coffee table books that I would love to have on better display, and I think I might just have found the perfect solution.
3. Wine Box Shelves
These Wine Box Shelves are so adaptable, which is something I am a big fan of. You could make your collection of boxes as big or as small as you wanted, filling a significant portion of a wall or just a tiny corner.
You could use them practically, for tableware or books for example, or as a purely decorative piece, filling the boxes with vases, photo frames or special keepsakes. This specific example is sat on the floor as it was intended to cover something on the wall, but you would very easily mount these wine boxes onto the wall if you wanted them to be suspended.
4. Copper Pipe Shelves
I am obsessed with how sleek these Copper Pope Shelves look. Despite the fact that they are quite small, they still seem incredibly stylish and could make a perfect feature piece, especially in a monochrome room.
Because of how small and easy to mount these are, you could use them anywhere in the house, whether it’s as a place to display a small succulent in a living room or a handy place to pop your keys just inside your front door. You could use any color piping and coasters, I think the copper is effective though and gives off that very in-fashion industrial vibe.
5. Wood and Leather Suspended Shelf
This DIY is so simple but creates a wonderful looking shelf. You could change the colors of both the wood and leather to match the room in which you were hanging this shelf, but I think the soft light colored wood along with the pale pink leather used in this example looks lovely.
Because the wood in this Wood and Leather Suspended Shelf isn’t physically attached to the leather, it would probably be best not to place too many bulky items on the shelf. I personally don’t mind this at all, I like the look of the shelf itself so much that I would rather have it as a more decorative piece, topped with a vintage camera and some flowers like in this example.
6. Rope Shelves
To me, with the grey colored wood, metal detailing and professional looking rope, these Rope Shelves are something I would hang in either our garage or utility room. With that said, however, this DIY is so easy to follow that you could easily adjust the colors and materials in order to make it a more decorative looking piece.
These shelves look sturdy, which is especially important when you are working with more than one level, avoiding the risk of an accident. There isn’t too much to it when it comes to making them, just a little bit of drilling and some good old knot work.
7. Book Shelf
No, I don’t mean just any bookshelf, I mean a shelf made of actual books. How genius an idea is that?
It is true that you couldn’t put too many things on this Book Shelf, but I don’t think that matters too much. It wouldn’t take up a lot of wall space at all, so you wouldn’t have to feel like you were wasting space if it worked more as a feature piece than a practical storage space. I think if I were making this myself I would try and find hardback, vintage versions of my favorite novels, but I do think the idea of covering any damaged covers in pretty patterned papers could also add a bit of color.
8. Pegboard Wall Organizer
I love how versatile this Pegboard Wall Organizer is. Not only can you place wooden planks across the pegs to create shelves, but you can also use the pegs to hang coats, bags, jewelry, you name it.
I think the perfect place to put this would be in the entranceway to a house. By having it here, it is not only an easy place to hang a coat as you enter the house, or a handy place to keep keys and wallets, but a great place to have a little reed diffuser or candle. This DIY delivers in appearance and practicality, which is just perfect, and although it might take a little while to make it, it is something that you will be able to keep and use daily for years to come.
9. Fruit Slice Shelf
These Fruit Slice Shelves are a lot of fun and would look sweet and refreshing in a kids’ bedroom. That said, I am seriously considering putting some of these up in my office, it is an otherwise white room so these would add the perfect pop of color.
You could get creative when making your fruit slices, either choosing fruits that match your color scheme or even creating your own weird and wonderful varieties. They look incredibly simple to make, with only two main parts to them, and would be an excellent quick fix to display something like potted plants or a few books.
10. Hanging Shelves
The way that these shelves are hung is so minimal and chic looking to me, with the thin black cord and a metal ring at the top.
You’d have to be smart with your balancing when it comes to putting things on these Hanging Shelves but adorned with a few little trinkets or pots they would look gorgeous in any room. The light colored wood used in this example makes them very unobtrusive and simple, but if you wanted to, you could get creative with colors. The wood could easily be painted, and multiple different colors of the chord are bound to be readily available at your local craft store.
11. Wine Rack
Everyone needs a pretty Wine Rack in their kitchen, so why not pop your DIY gloves on and make one yourself?
We currently have a kind of basket thing that we use for our wine bottles at home which is not convenient in the slightest. I like this shelf system far better, as it means you can have easy access to the bottles and also know exactly which one you’re grabbing straight away. This shelving unit could be easily adapted to other uses if you didn’t want to use it for wine. By removing the nails that are used to keep the bottles from rolling, you could use these shelves to display bottles of spices and herbs.
12. Honeycomb Shelves
I seem to be seeing Honeycomb Shelves everywhere at the moment, from my friends’ houses to stores, and I can’t tell whether they have always been as present or whether I am only starting to notice them because of how into them I am.
One thing I had previously found rather impractical about honeycomb style shelving was that you could not put much on it, but this specific DIY totally solves that problem by having a shelf across the middle of the hexagon. Of course, you wouldn’t have to do this if you didn’t want to, just as easily as you could add more shelves, or mix and match like they have in this example. Again, very customizable, which gets a big thumbs up from me.
13. Ladder Shelf
What originally caught my eye with this Ladder Shelf is that beautiful, bright mint blue color. I don’t know if I currently have anywhere in my house where that color would work, but now that I’ve seen it I am going to make sure I find a place.
There are so many things you could use this shelving unit for, regardless of whether you use it inside your house or outside like in the example. It would be just as perfect for clothes as it would be for books or toys. The finished shelves look incredibly professional, and I would most definitely be doing a double take if someone told me they had DIY’d them themselves.
14. Closet Organization Shelves
My closet in my old room at my parents’ house used to have shelves in it, and I didn’t quite realize just how useful they were until I moved out and didn’t have them anymore.
If you don’t have a storage space that these Closet Organization Shelves would work in, they would fit just as well in an alcove area on a wall. They don’t look difficult to construct, and the number and length of them can be adjusted based on your space and needs. This is a perfect DIY for basic shelving, a great one to have up your sleeve should you ever need it.
15. Wood Slice Shelves
I love the natural, rustic look of these Wood Slice Shelves. I have seen things like this in sweet little cottages we have stayed in on holidays in the countryside, but never considered taking it and using it to create a feature in a room with a more modern interior design.
The mix of the wood and the metal detaining is incredibly stylish, and there are very few steps involved when it comes to putting them together. These would work well in any space, especially because you can choose the size of wood you use. I like the idea of having a few of these clustered together, maybe in the kitchen displaying bright bottles and jars.
16. Drawers Turned Shelves
Any DIY that includes a bit of up-cycling is a winner for me. I love the idea of taking something old that isn’t being used anymore for its original purpose and giving it a new lease of life by transforming it into something new.
That is one of the reasons why these Drawers Turned Shelves jumped out at me, they do the whole up-cycling thing very well. The technique of painting the drawers almost roughly makes them look even more rustic and vintage, which would make them a perfect addition to any otherwise neutral or plain room. It is as simple as sourcing some old drawers and mounting them upon the wall, you couldn’t ask for easier DIY shelves.
17. Branch Shelf
I suppose this is not so much a shelf as a place to hang things, although you could have the branches spread further apart and then have space to put things in between them.
This Branch Shelf would make a lovely yet practical piece to have in the entranceway to any home. It is quite the project, with many steps and a fair few bits of equipment involved, but you could make it a two-man job, think of it as a bonding experience as well as the creation of something beautiful. You could paint the entire shelf grey like they have in this example, or to be honest I think I prefer it left natural with the different colors of the wood. I also think this shelf would make a really lovely gift for someone, whether they’re new homeowners or you just want to treat them.
18. ‘Home’ Letters Shelves
These ‘Home’ Letters Shelves are such a lovely idea, and one that I think would look great as a feature piece in a room. It is helpful that in this example they have shown a great number of things that can be put on the shelves. Because of the slightly odd shapes of some of the letter, I think I would have otherwise struggled initially in thinking of how to use them.
I have also seen this done with the letters of the word ‘love,’ so you could play about with it if you wanted to. Although it looks like something you could buy in a store it is a lot easier to make than you would imagine, all it takes is the skillful organization and drilling of some wooden planks to make out the shapes of the letters.
19. Mug Rack
We have a lot of beautiful and even sentimental mugs in my house, and I have always thought that it was a bit of a shame to have them hidden away in a cupboard like we currently do. This Mug Rack is a perfect way of solving that problem, and the cubicles the mugs sit in look deep enough to be relatively kid-friendly.
I like that this unit has different sized shelves, it makes it look a bit less rigid and more relaxed and fun, especially with all the multicolored mugs. Well also have mugs of all different shapes and sizes, so it caters well to that. Although this example shows these shelves being used for mugs you could definitely use it for something else, whether that be glass or something entirely non-kitchen related. It could even look really cool in a kids’ room displaying little soft toys.
20. Open Shelving
This Open Shelving would be incredibly handy to have in a frequently used room like a dining room, kitchen or living room. There is no limit on the number of things you could use it for, and you could decide to use it as easy access storage for things like crockery, or as a display unit for family photos.
I like the fact that there isn’t too much drilling involved in this DIY because that isn’t something that I myself am too skilled with. The color of the wood in this example is lovely, especially against the white walls. If you were making these shelves yourself it might be a good idea to have a look at different colors of wood, seeing which one goes best with your walls, flooring and other furniture before making your final decision.
21. Open Pipe Shelving
I am a huge fan of the current industrial meets modern interior styling that seems to be floating around and would love to get a little more of it incorporated into my own home. This can be relatively difficult to do considering that it often plays off of pre-installed fixtures, but with this DIY Open Pipe Shelving looks like a great way to add it from scratch.
I don’t think this would work everywhere or with any color scheme, it is probably safest to stick to neutral and monochrome backgrounds like those shown in these examples. You can tell that these are non-working pipes that have merely been screwed into the wall which I like, and the shelves themselves are just simple planks of wood slotted in place.
22. Gold and Marble Shelves
My sister is a big fan of the marble and gold trend; you can tell that from a one-second glance at her bedroom. Have to admit that I think it can look incredibly stylish too, especially when you keep it simple with little touches here and there or one larger statement piece like these Gold and Marble Shelves.
This DIY is kind of cheating because it is explaining how to transform a regular shelving unit into a gold and marble detailed one, but it is still definitely worth having a look at. It’s a perfect solution if you want to jazz up some old shelves, and if you wanted to start from scratch yourself, then you could start out by following one of these other DIYs then applying this one to stylize it.
23. Floating Window Shelves
I am such a plant lady. I am constantly buying new potted plants and succulents to display around my house, so much so that I am pretty sure the inside will soon be confused with the outside.
I just feel that plants give so much life to a room, an I absolutely love the idea of displaying them against a large window on these Floating Window Shelves. The plants will get the sunlight they need here and will be easily admirable. The use of glass for the shelves means that it will be unseen against the window, giving the illusion that the plants are floating. I like that in this example the plants are displayed along with some vintage looking bottles, and I’d definitely pop a couple of my own little trinkets on here too.
24. Frame Shelves
These Frame Shelves are perfect for a space like a desk or a bedside, somewhere you might need a shelf to put a couple of little things but that you also want to look pretty.
You can buy very deep box frames in stores, so if you want to lessen the work involved in this DIY even more then all you would have to do would be to remove the backing and mount them on the wall. Otherwise, you can follow these simple steps to make regular, flat frames stand out enough to double us as shelves. I would definitely go for some pretty, fancy frames when making these, but you could be as simple or as extravagant as you wanted to.
25. Solid Wooden Block Shelves
This is such a unique idea, and I think the way that these Solid Wooden Block Shelves fit snuggly into the corner is cool. Corner shelves are convenient but can often be challenging to get right. However, I think that this one does the job perfectly.
Because this is made up of single wooden blocks it is very easy to adapt the size, height, and shape of your shelf. After thinking about how you could further adapt and personalize this to match your own personal style, I realized you could make it quite funky by playing around with color. My main bathroom is almost entirely white, as many bathrooms probably are, and I was imagining how cool this design could look if you painted the blocks different colors before randomly assembling them. I am definitely going to have to give it a try now that the idea is in my head.
26. Plywood Bedside Shelf
I must say that I think this Plywood Bedside Shelf is pretty genius, and I doubt that even I would struggle to make it. Although the fact that it sticks straight out from the wall might seem a little strange at first, when you think about it, it is pretty practical regarding easy reachability.
You can’t turn down having a go at this DIY because it is all held together by glue, no tricky sawing or drilling and therefore no excuses. The plywood is nice and thin so it doesn’t look clumsy and bulky, and it would comfortably hold all your bedside essentials like your favorite book, alarm clock and a candle.
27. Dollhouse Bookcase
My little sister had something like this Dollhouse Bookcase as we were growing up and of course, I was always extremely jealous of it. She had hers mounted on the wall, and I think this specific DIY could be too if that’s what you would prefer.
Any kid would love one of these in their bedroom, and you could even get them involved in the painting of the different ‘rooms.’ Not only would this be perfect for storing books, toys, and even clothes if you wanted, but you could also leave a couple of the spaces free and set up little dolls house scenes within them for your kids to play with.
28. Corbel Shelves
Using corbels to support shelves is an excellent way of keeping them simple while still adding a little something special. You can get a wide variety of different corbels spanning a wide range of price points, and there is a style out there for everyone from the minimal to the flashy.
These Corbel Shelves are a great way of installing shelves in the middle of a wall without needing to add bulky supports or metal detailing. They will be far more supportive than if you were to simply screw the shelves into the wall, meaning that you don’t have to be too careful or restricted when deciding what to use them for.
29. Hanging Wood Shelves
I haven’t seen anything quite like these Hanging Wood Shelves before, especially this large and with the metal piping at the top. That is something that drew me to it, in fact, it was the whole concept of mixing so many different materials like metal, wood, and rope.
I would definitely want to use this as a feature piece in a room, and to be honest I think you would need to consider how many different things are going onto it. I like the choice to use classic colored rope and have it knotted bulkily at the tops, giving it a really cool rustic feel. Because of the strong metal piping at the top, you could pile lots of things onto the shelves, and also easily adapt the number of shelves to whatever space and purpose you needed it for.
30. Industrial Shelving
This is a very subtle way of adding some more industrial style touches into your home, which I think is an excellent place to start if you either haven’t ventured down that route before or want to take it in baby steps.
I like that these Industrial Shelves have been used to cover a large area of wall space in this example, and I think that if I were making them I would do much of the same. Not only are they wide but there are also many different levels, so you wouldn’t have to worry about being short of space. They are being used here both for practicality, holding crockery and books, and for decoration, with photo frames and potted plants. If you don’t have as big a space to fill you could easily use this DIY to create a series of tiny shelves using exactly the same method.
31. Wallpapered Bookshelves
These Wallpapered Bookshelves are a perfect example of how you can take something simple and add your own little touches to make it more personal and suited to your home.
You would have to put these shelves up somewhere near a sofa or chairs like in this example, otherwise, you wouldn’t be able to appreciate the pretty underside of them. With that said you could also cover the tops and sides of the shelves if you wanted to, I probably would. If you don’t already have some wallpaper scraps you can most likely pick them up for free at your local homeware store, alternatively, you could try it out with good quality wrapping paper.
32. Box File Shelf
It’s such a nifty little idea to use a box file as a shelf; it is already perfectly made to act as a double-layered shelf. As this DIY suggests, this would be handy to have just inside the front door of your house, especially if you don’t have a lot of space for a full shelving unit, to leave your keys and wallet.
This Box File Shelf would take all of five minutes to mount on the wall and could even work as a short-term solution before you take the plunge and buy something more permanent. You can get box files in all different colors, and if you can’t find the perfect one, then all it needs is a quick coat of paint.
33. Floating Corner Shelf
Although you could paint these Floating Corner Shelves any color you wanted to, the ones in this example look particularly good because they are the same color as the wall. This helps with the ‘floating’ illusion and makes them very unobtrusive in the room.
The length of these shelves could be adjusted, I like the idea of having long ones that stretch out far along a wall but they would also work just as well in a small room if you cut them smaller. I reckon this would be a two man job, but once these shelves were finished they could stay up for good. This DIY comes with easy to follow diagrams which I always find incredibly helpful when I am trying something out for the first time.
34. Hanging Wooden Box Shelf
You wouldn’t expect a DIY as simple as this one to create such a cute looking shelf. Having lived in a few student apartments in my time, I would have loved to have known about this quick fix Hanging Wooden Box Shelf, which doesn’t leave more marks than just one small hole in the wall.
I am pretty sure that I have a wooden box like this lying around somewhere, or something similar at least, and I have some paint I could use to jazz it up. You could only store a few things in it, but it would be perfect for a bedside, and considering how easy and inexpensive it is to make I cannot complain.
Conclusion to Unique Shelving Ideas
After going through all these new and exciting ideas for shelving, I cannot wait to do a bit of re-organization and get some DIYing on the go. There is something for every need, from kids’ bedrooms to shelves for displaying family memories to practical study shelves perfect for storage.
I want to try out the hanging Book Shelf made from old hardback books, as I think it would look good in my office space. I am also keen to build some Floating Corner Shelves to utilize every little bit of space that I have.
Have you ever tried making your own shelves? Do think you would be building one of these gorgeous shelves for decorative or storage purposes? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.