DIY Swing Out Shelves
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9 Easy DIY Storage Shelves You Can Actually Make Yourself

Too much stuff? Here are 9 simple DIY storage shelves that you can make yourself! Here’s how!

Building your own DIY storage shelves may seem like a daunting task at first, but that doesn’t have to be the case!

Making them on your own can be fun and opens up so much room for creativity and customization. Not only will the result be something that is entirely yours from start to finish, but with the multitude of options out there, finding the DIY storage shelves tutorial that is right for you isn’t that hard either!

So, if you’re on the edge, deciding which way you want to take your next DIY home project, here are some of our easiest DIY storage shelves to help make up your mind! 

Floor-to-Ceiling Bookshelves

This has got to be one of our favorite projects! With ample space for neat and easy storage, this DIY was extremely fun to plan.

DIY Built-In Bookshelves with a Window Seat

To start, you will need some good-quality birch plywood. You’ll also need a range of tools, and odds and ends that we’ve gone into detail in our floor-to-ceiling DIY bookshelves tutorial. Get started on cutting and piecing after you’ve mapped out how you want your bookshelf to look. 

It took us a couple of weeks to complete our project. Depending on how elaborate your DIY is and how much time you can spend on it, yours too can be finished by no later than a month. 

All in all, we spent around $500-$600 on our DIY project. Yours may amount to the same or less, but then again, it all comes down to the materials required. Scraps and leftovers are great for reusing while making closet shelving and other simple shelves too.

You could even try and piece together a floor-to-ceiling bookshelf by upcycling old furniture – cabinets, cupboards, or closets. 

Cubby Shelves 

You’d be amazed at the amount of storage space we opened up with our DIY cubby shelves, and how organized they made our office look. It’s one of the simplest projects that you could take on, and we highly recommend you begin your DIY journey with it.

How to Organize a Craft Room with DIY Storage and Shelves

We chose to use a routed dado design for our cubbies, but you can choose to use pocket hole screws instead. The difference is only in their finish, and we felt that routed dados bring in some added finesse. 

Pine boards are just fine for the shelves. You’ll also want construction adhesive to assemble your shelves and hold them in place. Our guide on how to build cubby shelves provides details on how we constructed ours, along with a free plan for this storage solution that you can download!

When you’re done putting all the parts together, all that remains is to paint it. Milk paint works well on raw wood. Alternatively, you can also use cabinet enamel paint, as we did. 

And that’s it; in less than two weeks, you’ll have your best ever DIY cubby shelves ready to use!

Picture Ledges

This DIY picture ledge is extremely affordable, super quick, and easy to make. We made ours with leftover plywood and paint from old projects. You too can make one of these for less than $10 with the right materials and supplies.

How to Make Picture Ledges for Under $10

You’ll need a long piece of plyboard measured out to suit the length you’re looking for. With minimal tools, wood glue, clamps, and finishing nails, we attached all the pieces together (the ledge and its support ends). And that’s essentially all it takes for the perfect aesthetic picture ledge!

This DIY project will take you no more than a few hours to complete. You can paint it any color you like, and start organizing photos on your brand-new shelf in no time

These shelves can also double as kitchen floating shelves, or even bathroom shelves. The design goes a long way!

Garage Shelves

Organizing clutter gets a whole lot easier when you have these DIY garage shelves to help. They really change the look of hidden nooks and crannies, and offer the best solution for tools, seasonal decorations, and much more! 

DIY Garage Sliding Shelves

We spent just under $200 and it only took one weekend. It did need some planning, however, and was entirely dependent on the extra space that we had. The size of your shelves will also depend on the storage space that you have to spare. 

Ours was 3ft deep and worked beautifully for our tools. The sliding shelves ensured that the unnecessary hassle of searching for things was omitted, and the shelves on the bottom were perfect for our larger power tools. 

Get a free plan for this DIY in our step-by-step garage storage shelf guide.

We highly recommend adding this DIY to your list of projects. Also, check out our guide on building pull-out shelves for added inspiration.

Recessed Shelves

This is a great example of DIY built-in shelves made from upcycled and reused furniture.

We found it frustrating to look for spices and mixes that otherwise easily get lost in tiny corners. Lucky for us, we had a hollow section on our wall and came up with a new idea for a Recessed Shelf

DIY Recessed Shelves in Pantry

Ours was a huge success and turned out to be one of the DIYs that we’re most proud of. We began by assessing the space available to us, and then measured and drew an outline on the wall. We then cut into the drywall and cleared enough room to fit in one long repurposed CD shelf, which was the ideal pantry shelving to store spices and baking products.

With just the tiniest bit of trim, and a cross piece to rest the shelf on, our shelf fit snuggly into the gap with no problem. 

With the items we used (CD shelf, pocket hole screws, and leftover trim from an earlier DIY) being more or less available to us beforehand, this project took us a few hours in total and was virtually free of cost. 

Floating Shelves (with drawers)

Another way you can maximize pantry storage is by trying our guide on built-in pantry shelves with drawers. 

We decided to redo our pantry and give it a makeover. For that, we got a hold of a couple of boards of plywood, drawer slides, and knobs, among a few other things. 

DIY Floating Pantry Shelves with Drawer

After cleaning out our pantry and removing the old shelves, we covered all the walls with wallpaper. Our guide on applying the perfect seamless wallpaper will help you out with this in case you’re not sure where to begin.

We used leftover birch plywood, but you can use any wood you like. We cut this into 5 pantry shelves, which came up to about 37 inches in width. 

Next, we built our shelves with shelf support and then stained them. 1-2 coats did the trick and gave us our desired finish.

Once the pull-out drawers were complete, all that was left to do was install and mount all of our parts. A little bit of trim hid the exposed wood on each shelf beautifully, and our DIY was soon ready to use. We finished this project on a weekend with a budget of $75-$100. 

Simple Wall Shelves

It’s still unbelievable to me how we revamped our workspace with this simple storage option. Completely affordable and customized, these easy-to-build DIY wall shelves opened up a lot of much-needed space.

You could make your design simple and buy your decorative wall brackets from Home Depot, or you can try and make them yourself. It’s up to you. 

How to Organize a Craft Room with DIY Storage and Shelves

Added to that is a wooden board, all of which are placed on a beam bolted to wall studs. We replaced cheap keyhole hangers for lag bolts, which gave us extra sturdiness and allowed for it to take on more than 10 lbs of weight. 

Finally, after assembling everything together with handy construction adhesive and deck screws, we gave it a fresh coat of enamel-based cabinet paint. 

Our step-by-step guide offers details on how to assemble and mount the shelf, along with additional organizational tips and a free DIY plan. You’d be amazed at how fast and how effectively you can change the look of a place with these shelves!

French Cleat Storage Shelves

This is another one of our quick and easy DIYs that makes the most of overlooked corners and areas. Our garage stores all kinds of things. When we began building storage for it, we couldn’t stop trying out various creative ideas.

DIY Garage French Cleat Shelves

This French Cleat Storage Shelf was a stroke of luck that added some quick space for trinkets and other items that we needed within reach. We reused some birch plywood from our floor-to-ceiling wooden bookshelves project, which saved us a trip to the hardware store and also cut costs. 

Constructing the shelves themselves was a piece of cake, with our finishing nail gun making things much faster. You can choose to use a hammer and nails as well. 

In the end, it all came together just like we had planned. The boxes fit neatly into their designated compartments when not in use and were portable if we needed to carry them elsewhere. 

If you’re looking to begin DIY-ing, this is an easy start. We finished our French Cleat storage shelves within a single day. It shouldn’t take you much longer to be done with yours as well!

Our detailed piece on Garage DIYs to Increase Storage Space also has other clever ideas for garage storage. These are a real game-changer, so check it out! 

Swing-Out Shelves

Need a storage solution that’s creative and looks amazing? These swing-out shelves are exactly what you need in your life. We love how our shelves give the illusion of being a fixed wall shelf but hold so much more.

DIY Swing Out Shelves

The idea struck us when we were mulling over how we could utilize the tiny space between one of the cubbies we had built and the edge of the wall. And we wondered, what if we built swing-out wall shelves that looked like they were a single shelf…but weren’t?

The shelves themselves were simple plywood shelves that were built with the side of the cubby as their size. 

After the frames for the shelving units were constructed, we simply made grooves for the shelves. Then, we constructed our shelving boxes for the pull-out unit. Our trusted construction adhesive, bar clamp, and finishing nail gun brought everything together. 

Next, we attached trim to each plywood box. This way, the plywood wasn’t left exposed. 

Finally, after a good coat of paint, we adhered some colorful patterned paper to the back of the shelves to enhance its look. Our shelves started looking awesome at this point! 

All that remained was to attach the hinge and mount it against our cubby! We used metal mounting plates to make the process a little easier and to reinforce the structure of the shelves. 

In total, this project came up to $35. You can do it for less if you have some material already available, as we did. 

Be sure to try these ideas and marvel at the possibilities a good DIY can open up for you!

DIY Storage Shelves FAQs

Is It cheaper to build your own storage shelves?

Absolutely! Building your own storage shelves is definitely cheaper than buying one or getting one custom-made. You’re guaranteed optimal usage, and zero making charges.

For example, a floor-to-ceiling bookshelf that would cost you anywhere between $5000-$10000 or more, could instead be done for under $1000!

Plus, if you are left with leftover material after all that, you can always use that for later DIYs!

How do you store leftover lumber?

The best way to store leftover lumber is to keep them in straight and flat horizontal sheets. You don’t want to keep it on the ground or around moisture since that can risk the growth of mold or rot.

To store lumber long term, it’s recommended to place evenly sized scrap boards between them to allow for airflow and support.

It’s important to store raw materials or tools properly if you have a lot of DIYs planned, as this helps cut down costs for all future projects. If you find yourself scrambling to find storage space, check out some of our ideas for creative storage in the garage. They are the perfect solution to store things like work gloves, paint stirrers, and garbage bags.

Which of these shelves is the cheapest to make?

The recessed shelves were definitely the cheapest simply because they involved reusing old furniture. Any DIY that utilizes old or unused furniture is sure to be the most cost-effective. 

The picture ledges were also extremely cost-effective, and we created the whole thing for just $10!

Can you make shelves out of plywood?

Yes! We used plywood in many of our DIYs such as the bookshelves, and the built-in pantry shelves

Of course, plyboard is preferred, but that’s only because plywood requires additional trim to cover up its exposed edges.

Can you make shelves out of 2x4s?

Yes, you can make shelves out of 2x4s. But keep in mind that these shelves will be of little functional value, and won’t be able to hold much more than keys and other decorative items.

Some of the shelves we talk about above use 2x4s for parts like the baseboard and trim, such as the built-in bookshelves

They’re also used as pieces for mounting or for providing additional support. 

What are the best shelves for garage organization?

Our French Cleat boxes and our sliding DIY shelves are both great for garage organization.

Also check out the garage storage ideas we mention in our piece on Creative Garage DIYs to Increase Storage Space. It offers some of the easiest and best solutions!

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