7 Shelves You Can Make From Upcycled Materials

Wooden Shelves Mounted On White Wall
Chatuporn Sornlampoo / EyeEm / Getty Images

Upcycled materials have dozens of uses around the house, and creating inexpensive and practical shelving is one very common use for second-hand items. Shelves made with salvaged materials not only turn ordinary walls into useful storage spaces for very little cost, they can also make an interesting design statement in the hands of a creative DIYer.

These seven upcycled material shelving ideas may help you decide how you'd like to add your own touch to your shelving. These projects range in difficulty level and may be more inexpensive than buying cookie-cutter materials at a bigger store.


Watch Now: 9 Tips for Styling Shelves

  • 01 of 07

    Hang a Shelf With an Old Belt

    Hanging shelf with books
    Nur Noch/Hom

    Want to show off a couple of small prized possessions? This belt shelf from Ronja, the dexterous blogger behind Nur-Noch, is a smart idea that's cheap and easy to create. All you need to get started is a wood board and an old suede or leather belt. In this instance, Ronja used an IVAR shelf that she picked up at IKEA for less than $5.

    If you want to get creative, you can use a skateboard deck or rectangular platter instead of a traditional wood shelf for this project.

    Continue to 2 of 7 below.
  • 02 of 07

    Turn a Cheese Box Into a Stunning Shelf

    Circle shelf with bottles
    Curb to Refurb/HomeTalk

    Carrie, the frugalista who pens Curb to Refurb, has a knack for recycling found objects into stunning home furnishings. She created this stylish round shelf using a discarded cheese box.

    Where can you find a box like this for free? Ask at your local gourmet store—they generally discard them after unpacking the cheeses.

    Continue to 3 of 7 below.
  • 03 of 07

    Turn Wood Slices Into Shelving

    Wood shelf
    Humboldt Art Dept/HomeTalk

    Becky, the resourceful homeowner who pens Humboldt Art Department, created this rustic shelf using wedge slices from a tree trunk she found in the park. The keyhole brackets used to hang it cost her only $0.99.

    This kind of wedge slice is cut out of the trunk whenever a tree trimmer is cutting down a tree. Be on the lookout for city tree crews or pro tree services working in the neighborhood; you may find such wedges free for the asking.

    Continue to 4 of 7 below.
  • 04 of 07

    Re-Purpose Dresser Drawers

    Square shelves with miscellaneous doo-dads
    Namely Original/HomeTalk

    If you have a dresser you no longer need, you can follow this blogger's crafty lead. Emily, from Namely Original, created these adorable box shelves using dresser drawers that she purchased from a resale shop.

    Locate wall studs using a stud finder, then attach the repurposed drawers by driving fasteners through the bottoms of the drawers and into the wall studs.

    Continue to 5 of 7 below.
  • 05 of 07

    Transform a Narrow Wood Box Into a Shelf

    Shelf with cactus' on them

    Miss Lotte, from Nur-Noch, transformed a narrow wooden box into a smart shelf. The project begin with sawing the box in half lengthwise, using a circular saw. Then, one end is cut off each box half. Finally, the cut ends are joined together to form a long, narrow shelf. The newly created shelf is then attached to the wall with fasteners driven through the back edge of the shelf and into wall studs.

    The wood box used to create this project was a roadside treasure. To find a few gems of your own, keep your eyes peeled for bulk trash days in your area.

    Continue to 6 of 7 below.
  • 06 of 07

    Create Display Shelves Using Craft Boxes

    Hexagon shelves
    Making Lemonade/HomeTalk

    Carrie, the self-professed dreamer and over-thinker behind Making Lemonade, created this stunning shelving display using customizable paper-mâché boxes. This project is insanely easy to make.

    You may have leftover craft boxes around the house from previous projects. They are also available from online retailers and craft stores.

    Continue to 7 of 7 below.
  • 07 of 07

    Build Floor-to-Ceiling Storage Shelves With Apple Crates

    Cloth shelves

    You don't need an extra closet when you have a dozen apple crates. Ronja from Nur-Noch created a floor-to-ceiling shelving unit using old containers that she painted and then fastened to a wall.

    A similar shelving style can be created from peach crates or any other wooden produce container.