Shelves are a great place to store items that are fragile, beautiful or sentimental, or when used as a means of additional storage. When you consider the importance or uniqueness of the objects which will be placed upon them, you may be hesitant to settle for the run of the mill shelving found at your local home improvement store. Fortunately, there are a number of other options that are easier on the eyes and your budget, including custom built shelves, which require little more than some creative materials, the right tools, and a few hours of your time. Here are three tips for building your own charming DIY shelves, to enhance your living space, and showcase or store your possessions.

1. Turn trash into treasure.

Whether you have eclectic tastes, a flare for design, or budgetary constraints, DIY shelves fit the bill, doubling as both a storage solution and focal point for any room in your home. As far as materials go, you're only limited by your imagination; look in and around your home, in thrift stores, or at garage sales for sturdy items that can be repurposed, including the following:

  • Pallets
  • Crates
  • Shutters
  • Reclaimed wood
  • End tables
  • Drawers
  • Ladders

2. Prepare to be amazed.

You'll need to prepare your materials, cleaning or painting as needed, and sanding down any rough edges. Once you're left with a level surface to place objects upon, you'll need to decide how you'll affix your DIY shelves to the wall. When possible, plan to align brackets, hooks or fasteners with your wall studs, which are typically 16 inches apart. Studs can be found using an electronic stud finder, or by starting at the corner of your wall, and measuring out 16-inch increments. NOTE: If you don't find the first one at 16 inches, your studs may be spaced at 24 inches apart.

3. Ready, set, build!

Building a unique hanging ladder shelf can be done in an afternoon, providing you have all the tools and materials, including:

  • Saw
  • Screws
  • Screwdriver
  • Stud finder
  • Measuring tape
  • Heavy rope
  • A coat hook, in a finish that coordinates with your room
  • Drill
  1. Use an old ladder that you own, or purchase a used one from a resale store.
  2. Carefully trim the length of the ladder to size leaving three or more rungs depending on your available wall space, ensuring that the vertical pieces are cut equidistant from the top rung.
  3. Drill a hole through the left vertical slat, and the right vertical slat, equidistant from the top.
  4. Thread the heavy rope through each side, tying a secure knot on the outer portion of the hole to prevent the rope from becoming untied, and ensuring the knot is bulky enough to prevent it from slipping through the drilled hole.
  5. Find the wall stud, and affix the hook using the drill or screwdriver.
  6. Hang your shelf, and enjoy!

Are you lacking the necessary tools, time, or space to build a charming DIY shelf yourself? Contact your local Mr. Handyman or call (877) 256-3376 to request service or discuss your home improvement project.