#shelfie: three easy shelves you can build and show off at home

Image showing box shelves on a wall.
You don’t have to be a DIY expert to put up a new shelf – you just need a few pointers.

Alongside #foodporn, one of Instagram’s biggest trending topics is the #shelfie – a hashtag more and more people are using to post their proudest interior fittings: their DIY shelves. Do you want to join the #shelfie movement? We’ll show you three ways to conjure extra storage space at home – all without needing lots of tools and materials!

Stacked boxes

Image showing multiple brightly coloured boxes stacked and used as storage shelving.
For safety reasons, shelving should always be glued or bolted to the wall.

You’ll need:

wooden or cardboard boxes, glue or screws (plus a cordless screwdriver)

You can use one, two, three or even 10 boxes depending on how much space you have. You can also choose to simply pile them on top of each other or stack them like a chest of drawers, like in the picture. The best part is that the boxes don’t all have to be the same size. If small gaps are left between the boxes, these can be used as extra storage space. To make your homemade shelving a focal point, you can either stick backing paper or wrapping paper into the boxes or paint the back panels in your favourite colours.

Two tips for building your own shelving:

· Instead of regular boxes, you can also use shoeboxes. However, you must secure them well, as they have a different centre of gravity to regular boxes.

Build a ladder shelf

· Planks and books can also be used to quickly build a shelf: simply fix old, sanded planks to two equal-height piles of books. #shelfie!

image showing shelving made of old ladders
It’s really easy to mount a ladder to the wall to create a DIY horizontal shelf.

You’ll need: ladder, screws, wall plugs, shelving brackets, drill bit

If you have an old ladder in the loft that you no longer use, go get it, clean it up, and get it on the wall! It’s up to you to decide how you fix the ladder to the wall. You can simply buy a couple of shelving brackets at your local DIY store that you can rest the ladder on as soon as they’re anchored to the wall. Then, secure the brackets to the ladder – and your #shelfie-worthy DIY shelf is finished!

Two tips for building your own shelves from ladders:

Build a pipework shelf

  • Wooden ladders are usually prettier than metal ones.
  • An easy version for lazy DIYers (e.g. for the bathroom): simply place a beautiful, old, sanded-down wooden ladder against the wall and secure the top end with a tightly screwed leather strap or rope. This makes a super-stylish towel hanger!
Image showing pipes used to create a shelf with a deconstructed and moden feel.
Simple and super unique: create a shelf by fixing pipes to the wall. © living4media / Selbermachen Media / Bordes, Christian

You’ll need: pipes, fittings, screws, wall plugs, drill bit

The best thing about this shelf is that it can be tiny or snake across an entire wall depending on how much space you have! You can either use malleable iron pipes or PVC pipes – just make sure that both ends of the pipes are threaded so that you can attach the fittings. Fittings come from assembly technology. In this case, they are called elbows and connect directly to the pipes.

Two tips for building your own DIY pipework shelf:

· If you use galvanised iron pipes, you can paint them any colour you like.

· PVC pipes offer two advantages: the DIY shelf will be lightweight and the pipes can be easily sprayed with metallic colours, helping you to save some money.

You can decide for yourself what shape you want your DIY pipework shelf to be. However, first check the size of the books (or other items) you want to store on the shelf. That way, you can leave enough room between the shelving levels.