Repurpose Thrifted Wire Baskets Into A Chic Storage Shelf For Your Home

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If you're a renter or living in a condo or other small space, you're forever looking for unique and functional shelving ideas that will maximize space in your home. What's more, you want something that's easy to mount and won't break the bank. This DIY couldn't be simpler, even for those without a crafty bone in their body. In short, you cut solid wood planks to fit horizontally in the wire baskets and hook them securely onto the wire siding using screw eye hooks. Customization options are pretty much endless, too, from playing around with shelf configurations and types of wire baskets to spray painting the entire shelf a uniform color to match your existing decor.

These shelves are really lightweight and have a grid-like wire; you can hang them on a wall using easy-remove adhesive systems — heavy-duty 3M Command strips and hooks, for example — without worrying that they'll fall. Be mindful, however, of putting too much weight on your shelving units. Since this DIY is constructed from somewhat flimsy materials (at least compared to, say, a solid wood bookshelf), it's better used as a display for your air plants or vintage jewelry collection rather than all your beloved coffee mugs. You can also simply sit the shelf atop a desk, counter, or table. The open wire frame provides tons of airflow, making this storage shelf perfect for humid climates (looking at you Florida residents), which helps alleviate common issues with enclosed shelving, like mold, mildew growth, and overheating.

Gather the supplies and tools for your storage shelf

Get your basket from a yard sale, thrift shop, or Facebook Marketplace — or ask family, friends, and neighbors if they have any wire baskets they no longer want. If you can't find something secondhand, you can buy a basket and still keep the project relatively affordable. For example, Walmart sells a stainless steel utility basket by Omnimed for $59.99, which is guaranteed to last.

Choose planks made from lightweight, easy-cut softwoods like pine or cedar for the shelves. Hobby Lobby has a four-plank bundle for less than $13. Head to Lowe's to get 4-inch-deep, 2-foot-long pine planks for about $3 each. The planks should be as deep as your wire basket. If the sides of your basket angle out, you'll need to cut the ends of the planks at an angle so they sit flush in the frame. Get this done in-store or do it yourself at home using a hand-operated or powered saw.

The shelves hang from the wire siding of your basket using self-tapping screw eye hooks. Get 100 brass plated fixtures in 6 sizes for under $10 on Amazon. Unless you have an orbital sander at home, grab some 120 or 150-grit and 180 or 220-grit sandpaper — use the former first and the latter second for a smoother finish. You'll also need an electric drill with a drill bit a little wider than the stem of the screw eye hooks, pliers, and, for safety, gloves and goggles.

It's time to assemble your wire basket storage shelf

Sand the cut planks to make sure they're smooth to the touch. Drill two holes in each end of a plank, going slowly so you don't split the wood. Use the pliers to open the "eye" of four screw eye hooks and screw them into the holes you just drilled. With the wire basket leaning against a wall, push the plank into it, fitting the screw eye hooks over opposite wires. Use the pliers to close the eyes tightly and jiggle the shelf to make sure it doesn't wobble too much. Repeat the process for the other planks, and voilà! You have a chic storage shelf for your bedroom, bathroom, or craft room.

When it comes to customizations, you're only limited by your imagination. You could paint, stain, or oil the wood plank shelving — everything from a simple, natural tung oil finish to glitter paint covered in an acrylic varnish for longevity. Instead of a regular old silver stainless steel basket, why not go for more attractive metals like copper or one with fire-engine red plastic-coated wires? Turn a rectangle basket on its side to create a long, horizontal storage shelf instead of the more traditional vertical design. Worried about open shelving showing off your messy tendencies more than your decorating skills? Beautiful ways to hide your cluttered shelves include fitting a cute cabinet curtain to the top wire or placing items in small wicker baskets.