For most of this year I’ve been living with my parents in our family home in Leicestershire, writing this blog and running my Etsy shop. All of the sewing, crafting and making that I do comes with a lot of craft supplies! I also have lots of art materials left over from studying art at A level and GCSE and I keep most of my Shop Jessthetics supplies in my room. It was getting pretty messy and it was impossible to find anything so I realised I needed a set of shelves dedicated to my craft supplies! The photo below is what my “craft corner” looked like before… yikes! I had a look for some shelves online but I couldn’t find anything that would make the most of the available space, so my lovely Dad made me some custom shelves of my own, which I painted. (Thanks so much Dad!) I thought I’d show you how to make them in case you’re in desperate need of some organisation too. I’ve been told they were pretty simple to make, and so much cheaper than buying something similar from a shop! Because my Dad made these for me I don’t have detailed step by step photos, but I’ve roughly sketched the process for you instead. I hope the drawings make sense.
You will need: Two pieces of MDF board that fit the size of the space you want to use. Make sure they aren’t too thin or they will bend a lot when you put things on your shelves! Strips of wood for the four legs and for an extra four legs which will fit under the lower shelf and to fit around the edge of both pieces of MDF. To calculate how much you need, think about how tall you want your shelves to be and whether you want to put anything on the top shelf. If you do want to use the top shelf, then make sure you leave enough room! Screws that are long enough to go through the MDF and into the strips of wood. A drill and a drill bit that matches your screws. Nails and a hammer. Sandpaper, primer, paint, and a brush.
First you want to think about the upper shelf. Cut your strips of wood down to size so that they fit around the edge of the MDF, as illustrated above. Drill a hole and screw the strips of wood together through the corner edges of the longer pieces of wood Attach the strips to the MDF by nailing them together at all four corners from the upper side of the shelf.
Cut your legs down to size (make sure they’re exactly the same so your shelves don’t wobble!) and attach them to the upper shelf by drilling and screwing them to the outer edges of the short strips of wood
Now you can tackle the lower shelf. You need to cut a hole into the MDF board at all four corners that the legs will fit into. Make sure you carefully measure where this hole should be! Then cut your strips of wood down to size and attach them to each other and the MDF the same way as before. Do not cover the holes that you just cut.
It’s time to add some extra support to the lower shelf. Cut four legs from the strips of wood that will fit underneath the lower shelf. Attach these by screwing them to the longer legs at the top and bottom, and by nailing them to the MDF from the top of the shelf. If your shelves are quite wide and you’re worried about them bending, you can add some more of these support legs to the middle.
That’s most of the hard work done, so now you need to paint your shelves! Sand down the wood and paint it with a primer. When that’s dry, add a couple of coats of white paint. I found that it took quite a couple of days before my shelves were dry enough to use. If you have somewhere inside that you can paint the shelves that isn’t your house (like a garage, the paint gives off a lot of fumes that you don’t want to breathe in) then paint in there because a lot of leaves and insects stuck to my shelves as I was painting them!
So much better, aren’t they? I bought my crates at TK max and my suitcase at a car boot sale. You can see the space at the bottom where my sewing machine lives! For the rest of the storage I’ve used shoe boxes, plastic take away boxes and old tea boxes. They’re not pretty, but it’s a huge improvement and they’re practical for now. What do you think, could you use some craft shelves like these?