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16 DIY Bathroom Shelf Ideas

By Elisha Baba


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Anyone who lives in a small space knows that shelving can be a godsend. It’s genius when you think about it — if we don’t have adequate real estate on the floor, why not look to the walls? It’s the same philosophy that is applied to skyscrapers, so it must be good enough for our homes.

While it can be easy to find ways to apply stylish shelving units in other rooms, such as our bedrooms and living rooms, it can be trickier to find an aesthetic that is both fashionable and functional for our bathrooms. In this article, we will go over shelving ideas that fit your bathroom storage needs that aren’t only economical, but are also DIY, meaning that they can be easily created yourself.

1. Floating Bathroom Shelves

Floating shelves get their name from the fact that their attachments to the wall are invisible. Unlike traditional shelving units, where the bracket that holds the shelf up is visible to the naked eye, floating shelves cleverly use a system of special brackets and studs that attach the shelf and the wall from the inside, as opposed to underneath.

The end result is a tidy-looking shelf that is almost like an optical illusion. Most hardware or design stores will sell floating shelf kits, but you can also make your own with a short list of materials. Here’s a tutorial from Shanty 2 Chic.

2. Industrial Bathroom Shelves

Are you a fan of industrial design? If you’re not sure, some clues that you may be are if you find yourself drawn to earthy hues and dynamic textures. Basically, picture a warehouse that has been converted into a loft that features open copper pipes and concrete flooring.

If you would like to incorporate elements of industrial style into your home, the bathroom is a wonderful place to start. Industrial style lends itself well to shelving units. Plus, the ones that you make are likely to not be as expensive as the similar products that you would see in stores, that are often suffering from a considerable degree of mark-up. Here is an example of how to make small industrial shelves from Cherished Bliss.

3. Wicker Basket Bathroom Shelving

If you like your interior design a little more down-to-earth, why not consider something like wicker basket shelving? Although it may seem like a rather topsy turvy idea, baskets naturally make for excellent shelves because they already come with a built-in attachment for the wall, as well as a built-in shelf as well.

We love this example from Better Homes and Gardens, which attaches standard wicker baskets that you can find at your local dollar store to the wall, using them as storage for the likes of towels, makeup, and other miscellaneous toiletries.

4. Rope and Swing Bathroom Shelf

The rope and swing shelf is one of the less conventional options on our list. However, although it may seem to be more involved, it is possible for beginners to take it on as a DIY project with the proper instructions.

Here is an incredibly simple version to follow from The Very Basic, who made a stylish rope and swing shelf for $10 based off a model that is sold at Pottery Barn for $69.

5. Farmhouse Style Bathroom Shelves

You don’t need to be home, home on the range to experience a touch of farmhouse style in your everyday life. Even if you live in the city, there is a lot to appreciate about farm style: distressed/reclaimed wood, iron accents, gorgeous wood flooring, comfortable furniture, and more.

Farmhouse shelves for your bathroom can be interpreted a number of ways, but here is a beautiful example from Cleverly Simple that can be made using only planks of wood and some brackets.


6. Over the Toilet Ladder Shelf

Ladders have become popular stand-ins for shelving units over recent years, but it’s hard for those of us with small bathrooms to take advantage of this trend if we simply do not have the space. However, we can accommodate large shelving arrangements like this if we look for space in our bathrooms that we are not using to our full potential.

One example of such space is the space above our toilet. While one possible option is creating a shelf that can sit above the toilet, another option that will give you much more space and will also provide more overall storage is by repurposing a ladder and positioning it above your toilet. If that’s hard to visualize, check out this guide from the Jenna Sue Design Co.

8. Mini Shelf for Beauty Products

Not all of us are sold on the idea of keeping candles and large decorative items in our bathrooms. If you’re somebody who values function over form, then you may be looking to store more practical items that play a role in your everyday life, then you might want to consider installing practical shelves that can be specially used for your bathroom products.

Here is an example from Pinterest of what this kind of DIY shelf installation can look like. It’s definitely a way to make your bedtime and morning routine easier!

9. Glass Cabinet Bathroom Shelf

If you were alive in the 90s, you may remember a time it seemed like everyone had a kind of storage cabinet in their home. Most commonly, they were put in the bedroom and used to store jewelry and other keepsakes.

If you still have a glass cabinet around your house, you may have just uncovered another possible use for it. With just a few screws and a screwdriver, you can install the glass doored cabinet on the wall of your bathroom — preferably above the toilet, as seen in this Pinterest photo.

10. Box Shelves for the Bathroom

Unlike regular shelves, which feature one level, box shelves offer multiple rows for storage. Not only does this mean that you optimize your storage space even further, but it also means that you can add a touch of personality to your space, because box shelving is unique and looks great.

Box shelving is also easy to not only install but also create yourself. Here is a guide to follow along with from Bob Vila.

11. Rustic Shelf With Towel Rack

When we think about the items that we need easy access to in our bathrooms, the towel is near the top of that list. After all, there is nothing wrong with washing your hands in the bathroom and having nowhere around to wipe them — or, worse, getting out of the shower without having a towel in your reach!

An easy solution to this is building a shelf that will also offer you a place to hang your towels within easy access. This tutorial from Anika’s DIY Life relies on the crafter having a bit of woodworking knowledge, but if this is not you you could always purchase a pre-built fixture and install it on the wall.

12. Georgian Style Floating Shelves

Not all design tastes are the same, so we do our best to speak to those with a variety of design tastes when we talk about home DIY projects. For those who are fans of more traditional interior design touches, these Georgian-styled floating shelves might be appealing to you.

This tutorial from My Inspirational Toolbox uses distressed corbels to create a shelving unit that is as chic as it is functional!

13. Victorian Style Bathroom Shelves

Much like Georgian styled fixtures have a place in a bathroom, there are also options available out there to those who are more loyal to a Victorian style. We love the way that the delicately patterned brackets add a classy look to otherwise plain shelves — get the look from Pinterest.

14. DIY Wooden Crate Shelving

Earlier in this list we talked about using wicker baskets as shelving, but did you know that it is actually possible to use wooden crates, as well? In fact, attaching wooden crates to your wall using a screwdriver is one of the easiest ways to obtain deep shelves that can even fit towels. Learn how to get the lock from My Urban Oven.

15. Multipurpose Corner Shelving

Earlier in this list we touched upon how to make your own floating shelves, but now it’s time to take that to a whole new level. In this tutorial from Hometalk, you can learn how to make the most of your space by creating kiddy-corner shelving that can hold a variety of bathroom items.

16. Knick Knack Cabinet for the Bathroom

The last entry on our list is for all of the knick knack lovers out there. Just because you are adding storage to your bathroom, doesn’t mean that it has to be completely pragmatic! Sometimes it’s just for decoration, too. Here is a beautiful DIY display case idea from Porch.com.

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