Quick, Easy DIY Shelves That'll Solve Your Storage Woes


Shelves do more than solve your storage problems; they give you a chance to show off the copy of Infinite Jest you'll start any day now and make a room feel organized, clean, and sparkly. If you've been putting off installing some because you think you don't have the time or the skills, think again. All 10 options here are easy breezy and can be installed in 30 minutes (or less).


Triangle shelves

Materials needed: Wood, miter saw, sand paper, nails, wood glue
Skill level: Tim "The Toolman" Taylor

Once you've got your pieces of wood, you'll want to make a 30˚ cut at one end, flip the piece of wood 180˚, and make another 30˚ cut, making sure to keep the length consistent (the ones pictured are 12" long). Then, once all three pieces are cut, hit the ends with some wood glue, let dry for a few minutes, and nail them together. [See how it's done]


Industrial shelves

Materials needed: Seven steel nipples, seven steel flanges, wood, wood stain
Skill level:Mark Taylor, son of "The Toolman"

If you're going for a more industrial look, but don't want your apartment to look like a steel factory, throwing some stained wood into the mix is your best solution. For this one, make sure you're keeping the shelves level and screws anchored, or in studs. [See how it's done]


Rustic shelves

Materials needed: Metal brackets, reclaimed wood, level, copper spray paint (optional: stud finder)
Skill level: Brooklyn lumbersexual who knows how to use a drill

These shelves are pretty straightforward. The project featured here opted to drill the brackets directly into the wall's studs, but the same outcome can be accomplished by using wall anchors. Also, you can spray paint the brackets any color, but the copper really pops next to the reclaimed wood beams. [See how it's done]


Simple shelves

Materials needed: IKEA Ekby Valter brackets, wood, wood stain
Skill level: Crafty mom

If you happen to find yourself in the meatball-scented land of incertitude known as IKEA, but don't want to commit to the ubiquitous shelving set-ups that everyone has, opt for the Ekby Valter brackets instead, and then find and stain some wood yourself! [See how it's done]


Hexagon shelves

Materials needed: Wood, mitre saw, hammer & nails
Skill level: Al Borland

Like the triangle shelf, you'll want to take six pieces of equally measured-out wood and cut 30˚ angles into the ends of them. Once you have your six pieces, secure them in place with wood glue. Let that dry, and then yell out "It's hammer time!" as you nail all the pieces together. [See how it's done]


Floating bathroom shelves

Materials needed: Wood, corner brackets
Skill level: Person with eyeballs

For this incredibly easy shelf station, you'll want to make sure you have three things down right away: 1) the length of the wood, 2) making sure it's level, and 3) perfectly measuring where you'll be drilling in the wood (as you'll want to install the corner brackets first). Once that's all set, secure your corner brackets to the wall, throw the wood on top of them so that it's sitting flat, and then secure with a screw. [See how it's done]


IKEA + wood shelves

Materials needed: IKEA Ekby Bjärnum brackets, wood, wood stain
Skill level: Art student who just moved out of the dorms

This is another one for all those IKEA hackers out there. With three pieces of stained wood and some Ekby brackets, you can have a really handsome set-up that's both unique and functional (just make sure the pieces of wood you buy will fit into the brackets). [See how it's done


DIY coat shelf

Materials needed: Wood, corner brackets, robe hooks, sand paper, paint
Skill level: Part-time decorator 

Glue one piece of wood horizontally atop another piece, secure with the corner brackets, paint, and then sand to give it a more worn look (like the picture, if that's what you're into). Secure to your wall by drilling through the bottom part of the corner bracket and voila. You've got this stylish-ass shelf. [See how it's done]


Laundry room shelves

Materials needed: Wood, brackets (optional: laundry room)
Skill level: Person who can do his/her own laundry

Secure the brackets to the wood. Throw the shelf up on a wall. It's literally that simple. Make sure it's level and you're drilling into studs (or using anchors), and you've got yourself a shelf, baby! [See how it's done


DIY bedroom shelves

Materials needed: Wood, brackets, hex screws, hex bolts, cap nuts
Skill level:Brad Taylor, also a son of "The Toolman"

Take the brackets and put them on the wood without attaching them. This will allow you to pre-drill perfect holes into the wood. Once you've pre-drilled, secure the brackets to your wall (keeping them level, of course) and then attach the wood using the hex bolts and cap nuts. [See how it's done]

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Alex Robinson is an editor at Thrillist who now knows a lot about shelving. A lot. Ask him all your shelf questions on Twitter.