5 DIY Shelf Ideas for the Weekend

Shelves are more than spaces to store your possessions and trinkets: a statement shelf can showcase your style and personality. DIY shelves allow you to transform your collections and curations into stunning displays. What's more, when you've made it yourself, there's added shelf appeal!

Concept, positioning and stability are essential components of a stylish and sturdy shelf. There are plenty of options for your next weekend project...

Think floating shelves, wooden shelves, corner shelves, reclaimed wood shelves, hexagonal wall shelves, garage shelves, rustic shelves, coat rack shelf, crate shelves: there are options to suit every space.

Read on for insights and easy-to-follow crafts advice on how to create your own diy wall shelves to complement your home decor.

Is it cheaper to build your own shelves?

Yes. In most cases, building your own DIY shelving will be less expensive than purchasing them. Harness some No.8 wire Kiwi do-it-yourself mentality and get crafty with a new handmade shelving unit to free up some storage space and adorn that blank wall.

All you'll need is time, a toolkit, measuring tape, wood glue and some basic shelving and hanging hardware to build your own diy shelves. For ultra sturdiness, invest in a stud finder as well, to make sure you're securing your shelf to wall studs.

How do you make a homemade shelf?

There are lots of options to try for your next project, depending on your style and expertise. There are even shelves made from cardboard boxes trending on Pintrest! Here are a few of our favourite tips for diy shelves:

The upcycled diy shelf

If you've been wondering, what can I use to make a shelf? Take a look around at the resources available at your neighbourhood recycle centre or vintage store. Barn wood, pallet wood, wooden planks, leather belts or even old crates and old drawers can be used to successfully create shelves.

It's also fairly easy to purchase secondhand shelf brackets, wooden dowels or other tools and avoid the hardware stores altogether if you're feeling super sustainable-minded. Get inventive and try one of our top ten shelf designs.

Pegboard display shelves

For a kid's room or home office, pegboard wall shelves look fantastic. These provide ample space for decorative items like vases, mason jars, houseplants, mirrors, art, sculptures and picture frames.

This form of open shelving is also great for children's books and toys, as you can quickly rearrange them or switch out feature items such as a current favourite book or piece of artwork.

What's more the massive wood boards at the back will warm up the room. No longer just the realm of garage storage shelves with stencilled outlines for tools, pegboard shelving units are a perfect gateway diy wooden shelf!

Ladder shelves

At our destination store at Wilson & Dorset HQ in Wānaka, our vintage wooden ladder is a vital diy shelf for displaying statement sheepskin rugs, swatches and cushions. Just source a cool old wooden ladder from an antique store or garage sale, spray paint in your colour of choice or sand and polish to keep a rustic vibe.

This is such easy diy: no shelf brackets, wood glue or vertical supports required. And they look great in a corner space.

Macramé shelf

Among diy shelving trending right now, the macrame shelf is a stand out. And it's oh so easy to create to make a crafty statement on that empty wall space.

WHAT YOU'LL NEED

  • 8 x 4m macramé cords

  • 4 galvanised rings

  • Scissors

  • Wooden board for shelf

    INSTRUCTIONS

    Step 1 - Take 4 cords for each ring.

    Step 2 - Complete a wrapped knot first followed by square knot sequence.

    Step 3 - Repeat 1 square knot then add a bead followed by another square knot.

    Step 4 - Complete a twisted sinnet.

    Step 5 - Then do 1 square knot and add another bead, followed by another square knot.

    Step 6 - Square knots.

    Step 7 - Wrapped knot in the end. The wrapped knots can be moved making it longer or shorter.

    Step 8 - Slide your selected piece of reclaimed wood through so it nestles at the base of your wrapped knots at the end.

    Hey presto! A beautiful diy macramé wall shelf for your displays. These shelves look great in any room, but we're loving hanging ours in the bathroom and laundry room at the moment.

Floating shelves

DIY bracketless floating shelves are a fashionable and cost-effective method to adorn any wall. For a few dollars, you can have extra storage that looks totally chic, just by following these simple steps:

WHAT YOU'LL NEED

  • 2x 5 by 25cm wood boards or plywood sheets

  • Circular saw

  • Router with dado router bit

  • ½-inch paddle bit

  • Sand paper

  • A couple of cloths

  • Stain or paint

  • Paintbrush

  • Invisible shelf brackets

  • Pencil

  • Drill

  • Level

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Step 1 - Cut your boards down to your preferred shelf size. If you're wondering, how thick should wood be for shelves?, hold the boards up to your wall space to visualise how they will look in the room, and scale accordingly. Alternatively, you could use an existing form such as old crates or paint buckets to create cool floating shelves with no cutting required! Old crates look great for book or record collections, while shelves made from upcycled paint buckets can be perfect for indoor hanging plants or stashing your make up and brushes.

  • Step 2 - Use a router to notch the back of each shelf to accommodate the hardware.

  • Step 3 - Drill holes for the hardware: Using a paddle bit will make it easier to accurately start each hole.

  • Step 4 - Sand and stain (or paint): Sand away any rough edges on each of your shelves. Next, apply your preferred paint or stain.

You might choose to create white floating shelves or something more rustic like reclaimed wood floating shelves, depending on your home decor, personality and style.

  • Step 5 - Hang your floating shelves: Decide on the placement of your shelves, then mark and measure the required locations of the hardware in accordance with the packaging directions. Ensure each shelf is straight by using a level. Install your shelves into their pre-drilled holes once the shelf hardware is mounted to the wall.

To go one step further, mirror these steps across a corner space to create gorgeous floating corner shelves!

The takeaway

Wall shelves are among our favourite weekend diy projects. They're so easy that you can involve your kids, working together to create wonderful display and storage shelves that free up more storage space and look great.

So whether you want to create rustic wooden shelves, floating shelves or display shelves, diy shelving is the way forward if you want a creative, fun and sustainable project to sink your teeth into.

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