Shelving Ideas and Accessories
Convenient, Low-Cost Shelving Ideas
In many homes, shelving is an essential feature. If custom shelving is your preference, be prepared for the considerable expense and don't be surprised by the limited innovation that is available in this form of shelving. But if you decide to make your own shelving you can use a number of cost-efficient, creative and fun techniques, whether you're making a single wall shelf or bookshelves with several levels.
Brick and Board Shelving: Variations on a Theme
One shelving trick that has a long history is to make a unit that uses bricks to separate boards. This makes a practical shelving unit that can still be good to look at. You also can vary this theme by using glass or concrete blocks, or other types of wood to put between the shelves. One thing to remember when making this kind of unit is not to stack the shelves too high, or they'll be unsteady. And as a safety precaution for those who have kids or pets, put one end of the shelving unit against a wall so that the whole thing won't come crashing down if a child or pet bumps into it. If you're putting your shelves in an alcove, be sure to stabilize them by cutting the boards so that they'll fit easily in the width of the alcove. You won't need any sort of glue to hold your brick and board shelves together, as the contents on the shelves will provide the necessary balancing weight. Simple Shelves With Fasteners
A variation on the brick and board theme is the basic fastened shelf. You get added structural integrity when you bolt or glue the shelves to the materials that are supporting them - whether you're using bricks or glass or other types of wood. One interesting and eye-catching type of shelving is made by using glass bottles or jars as supports, fastened to the shelf boards with a strong glue. Keep in mind that these fastened shelves often stand higher than the brick and board kinds. Single Shelves Hung on Walls
If all you need is a single shelf to decorate a particular room or area, put two boards into an L-shape, and screw and glue them together. Your shelf will resemble a box cut in half diagonally. Then paint the boards and fasten the shelf to the place on the wall that suits you. Attaching the shelf can be done in several ways. One way is to fasten cup hooks or eyes along the top of the shelf, close to where it meets the wall, then simply hang the shelf from screws. You can also drill a hole through the "L" part of the board that is up against the wall. The shelf will be screwed directly into the wall, using mollies, if necessary.
Glass Shelving and Flower Pots
If you want the same brick and board concept but very different materials, try colorful flower pots or terra cotta pots as supports for your glass shelving. If you prefer, use garden gnomes or some other type of fun lawn ornaments instead of clay pots. You can experiment with levels for your shelving, since flower pots come in a wide variety of sizes and can be arranged to form different heights for your shelves. Without a doubt, glass shelving will reveal your whimsical side. Wooden Shoe Caddy Shelving
The single-unit shoe caddy is just a group of small, slim boxes. These boxes aren't big enough to hold much, but they have the depth to contain more than shoes alone. A shoe caddy that doesn't have a backboard won't cost as much as other types. Shoe caddies also can be used as room dividers. These multi-purpose units can be used in the kitchen, too, for holding pot holders, spices, towels, and other kitchen gadgets. Fun, Convenient Corner Shelving
You have a built-in opportunity for inexpensive shelf space wherever two walls meet. To make these shelves, get a piece of round board with a 24" diameter and cut it into quarters. And with that you instantly have four round shelves for corners spaces. You can paint them with finish that looks like stones, or match the color of the walls. These shelves are attached to the wall with shelf brackets. You also can use the same kind of tracking system that is installed for adjustable shelves. Quirky Shelving
If you really want some unusual shelving, check out your local thrift stores to see what is available. If you're interested in sports, find some old skis or skateboards to paint and fasten to your wall. Or you can arrange shelves at different heights along a wall using drawers taken from old dressers. Then for even more low-cost shelving, you can put a piece of plywood in the empty drawer holes.