The office/work room project continues.  I think my biggest problem this far has been storage in that room.  It just collects.  If you know what I mean.  So this time my plan was to incorporate some major shelving.  I wanted it to look custom but knew the hubs would never go for anything with a “custom” price tag.  So I went to Pinterest and found this inspirations..



So I followed the link and found an amazing tutorial of how to make these shelves using..wait for it…Ikea pantry shelves!  It’s an Ikea hack!  You can find her amazing tutorial here.  I followed the basic principles and then tweaked it to fit my space.  So these shelving units you can find in Ikea for $14.99/piece.  They are originally stainless steel.


I just sprayed mine with flat black spray paint…and don’t worry, you don’t have to cover everything, just the outsides and what will show.  So I had $45 invested into the actual shelving units themselves.


That’s what you an see in this photo here.  I was also debating doing the ever so popular industrial pipe shelving, but it would have ended up being about 4 times the cost for the pipes, and it’s a lot more work since you have to have someone cut and re-thread some of the pieces.  This I could do all on my own.

Once I had the shelving units sprayed, I stained my boards.  I used 1×6″ boards, and ended up having to cut the second one down by about 1/4″ for each shelf.  I the Pinterest tutorial, she used boards to length.  And I orginally did that.  But holy moly do you know how hard it is to manuever 9 foot boards and fit them in a tight space without busting or sweating or getting super angry?  Just saying.  So, I had a back up plan.  I ended up cutting the boards into two pieces.  I did it so they would stagger on each shelf, so that the unit would still be strong.I’ll show you that in a minute, but before that, you also need to cut little notches out of the wood where the metal cuts in…like this..


I just did mine with a chop saw, I did a few blade widths to make sure there was plenty of room.  You can tell it’s not perfect, I really didn’t care.  You won’t even barely see it once its on.  You can also use a jigsaw to do this step.


Now you can see what I’m talking about.  That that I have a nice fit, I can show you how I cut the boards into two pieces..


I cut the boards so the two splices were over a foot apart.  And always on the middle unit.  You can tell though, when you buy standards boards at menards you don’t always get the straightest boards.  I had this problem on two shelves.  We ended up glueing and clamping them together..

IMG_5399We let them sit overnight and by morning, they stuck wonderfully.

So, for about $50 in lumber, and $45 in shelves, and two cans of spray paint, I managed to create this…


The idea with this shelving unit was that I wanted it to look nice, but also be super functional.  I have my printer and sewing machine stored on it, super convenient.


I also have my files in the white file box and all my stencils in the baskets.  There are so many other things stored strategically and every inch was used.  It may be a little over crowded, but it had a job to do.  Project, keep things off the floor!


I also love that it can keep some of my decor and dishes that I’m not using at the moment in a handy spot, so I don’t have to run out to the shed to find a green plant or a dish:)


and of course I had to add the whimsy touch with the flash cards;)


and my favorite part is that it is custom to the space, using every inch…


and the boards fit so snug that it really strengthened the shelves up nicely and I didn’t even need to tack them to the wall.

Another project checked off the list.  I have a couple more things to do and then I’ll do the final work room reveal:)


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54 thoughts on “CUSTOM SHELVING FOR UNDER $100”

  1. This is exactly what I want to put in my husband’s man cave. Do you think it would be sturdy enough to hold a 65″ TV on a lower shelf and lots of random man stuff on flanking shelves?

  2. Hi, late to the party! What type of spray paint did you use. I had been looking at doing this very thing with that very shelf from IKEA because it was so CHEAP but was deterred when I read galvanized metal needed a certain type of spray paint. Do you remember what type paint you used? Think I’ll lay my boards in as I assemble so I can avoid cutting them. Great job on yours!

  3. Thank you so much for the inspiration. I love it! You did an amazing job. Just what my entry way needs just smaller. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  4. Wow! This is so nice! I have a little question, how big is the spaceshuttles between the shelves?

    It looks really amazing

  5. Hi there,

    I’m starting a different version of this project and am curious of the width of the wood pieces you bought? The width of the Hyllis shelving is just over 10 inches and I’m not sure what the width of wood pieces should be.

    Thank you for your help!

  6. I would like to do this in my homeschool room. Do you think the shelves could hold the weight of mostly books?

  7. Christine Lombardo

    This inspired me to do the same thing. It took me a cpl weeks to gather my materials and stain the wood since I’m limited on space but thr finished looks great!!! Pictures do not do it justice. My living room looks so much bigger now. Thanks for the great hack.

  8. Looks great!

    Do I understand correctly that this is not secured to the wall but is plenty sturdy as is?


  9. Did you turn the shelves upside down as they in the original tutorial? I’m a little confused by that. Love this…just about to start on ours.

    1. I have the same question – just read the original tutorial. It looks like your Ikea shelves were NOT flipped upside, or cut at all. Just painted. Is that correct?

      Thanks! These are lovely – tackling it soon!

      1. Yes, I did not touch the Ikea shelves, just painted them:) I like the height so need to cut them down and made it all the easier:) Best of luck!

  10. How did you make sure each set of shelves was completely square? I assembled my four sets of shelves and they all seem to be slightly off from each other. Did adding the lumber square them all up or did you loosen/tighten screws until it all seemed close enough? If I look down the line of my four sets of shelves against the wall I can tell they are not perfectly square and in line with each other.


  11. awesome hack i am going to venture on something like this for my kitchen wall , i was wondering if you knew the spacing between the shelves individually top to bottom i am trying to figure out if certain things will fit in ea space…height wise

    thank you so much for sharing

  12. I may have missed it, but how did you secure your top peice of wood to the shelving unit? Love this idea, and totally using it as inspiration for our new “industrial” style master bedroom!

    1. They are only wedged on:) The boards were straight enough and butt up against the side walls and have stayed in placed wonderfully:) Hope that helps! and that will look great in a bedroom!

    2. Okay, after reassessing, I realized I just used short screws and screwed right through the metal into the wood to secure the top! Sorry, it had been awhile and I had forgot!

  13. I love the shelving, but as a teacher the flashcards caught my eye. Did you make those or did you purchase then somewhere? I would love to have some.

  14. You have officially inspired me to tackle me craft room….or what is going to be my craft room very soon :)) I was wondering, what size boards did you use? I’m trying to decide what combination will require the least amount of cuts. Did you use a combination of 1×6 and 1×4 boards? I appreciate any information you can give my novice self!!

    1. Yay! So fun:) The shelves are amazing for storage. I actually got 1×6 boards and we did have to cut one down about an inch, but a 1×6 and 1×4 were too short since they aren’t actually 6″ and 4″. As far as the length, I found it was easier to cut them to make them easier to put in, you just want to make sure you cut them at different lengths so they are sturdier. Best of luck!

  15. Love your site and your creativity! I just bought 4 shelving units yesterday – I can’t wait to start the project. I may make a desk to match as well. A few questions about the paint – what type of paint did you use? Was it a metal spray paint? Did you use a primer too?



    1. Yay! Thanks so much for following along and I’m so glad your making the shelves! I think you’ll love them:) I just used a rustoleum flat black spray paint. It wasn’t specific for metal and I didn’t use primer. Worked great for me:)

  16. Not that you’d ever want to cover up those gorgeous shelves, but I was thinking, a sliding barn door behind the arched doorway could come in handy, if things just ever *happen* to get messy in the craft room. And, it would be totally adorable. ;)

  17. Nice work & very talented ! :) Thanks for always sharing your work with us &
    on your blog, Allie. Love the new end tables for Mothers Day also :) And the Man Cave ….y’all have done a beautiful job also.

    South Carolina :)

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