Some rental apartments don’t come with much built-in storage, so renters often find themselves in need of kitchen shelves, display shelves, and book shelving. There are a few easy DIY crafts for making renter-friendly shelves and no-damage alternatives as well as storage drawers.
Using adhesive mounting strips and command strips to mount ‘floating shelves’ is often recommended as an easy solution for no-damage shelves. These shelves can’t withstand much weight and can be dangerous if they fall, so they aren’t a practical solution for kitchen shelves or book shelving. Additionally, these strips could still damage apartment walls as they may tear the wallpaper.
Here we’ll discuss some easy DIY crafts for making shelves (and alternative storage), focusing on affordable ways to build practical shelving and storage drawers.
Free-Standing Display Shelves and Storage Drawers
The easiest way to have shelving without causing damage to apartment walls is by using free-standing shelf units. Free-standing shelf units can be found easily at furniture shops such as Ikea and Nitori.
Secondhand stores, known as recycle stores in Japan, such as Off House and Second Street, can be great places to find bargains on book shelving, kitchen shelves, storage drawers, and other free-standing shelving units.
Free-standing display shelves are an easy way to decorate apartments. Japan is full of beautiful ceramics, so why not invest in unique crockery that can be used practically, but can also work as statement pieces, adding a homely touch to any apartment.
Additionally, these display shelves can be used for heavy items. Most alternative shelving that isn’t nailed into a wall can only withstand light loads, whereas standing units are much more sturdy and safe. For this reason, standing display shelves are perfect for book shelving or even for displaying houseplants – which can get surprisingly heavy when they are watered!
To make standing shelving units more secure in case of an earthquake you can attach earthquake stickers to secure them onto the ground, the stickers can be found at homeware stores and even 100-yen stores.
Similar to display shelving units, standing storage drawers are an easy way to store both heavy items and goods that you may not want out on display.
Hanging Wardrobe Shelves
If you’ve not got enough wardrobe storage, hanging shelves are an easy solution for storing clothing in an organized manner.
Hanging shelves can be purchased at homeware stores – the Ikea material hanging shelves are popular amongst many renters. These can easily be assembled since they have Velcro straps that you can wrap around a clothing rail.
Many apartments come with a clothing rail already assembled in the wardrobe. If you don’t have a clothing rail, it’s easy to find large suspension poles at homeware, DIY, and 100-yen stores. You can put the pole up between two walls and it will hold itself up and be able to hold additional weight too. Conveniently, the length of suspension poles can be adjusted to fit almost any space.
Kitchen Shelves (and Alternatives)
If you’re in need of some no-damage kitchen shelves, we have some easy DIY crafts for you!
Grid Wall Storage (Easy DIY Crafts)
With a quick trip to a 100-yen store, such as Daiso or Seria, you can find metal grid racks which come in very handy for easy DIY crafts. These wire racks make a great substitute for kitchen shelves, particularly for organizing small items such as kitchen tools (spatulas, spoons, etc.) and herbs and spices.
You can purchase hooks to hang tools directly onto the grid rails. Clips and pegs are also helpful for hanging small spice bags. Small boxes can also be attached to the grid using clips.
The grid can be placed on the kitchen worktop, leaning against the wall. If you want it more out of the way, you can use adhesive hooks to hold it up on the wall, above the worktop.
Suspension Poles and Hanging Shelves
Suspension poles can be found in all sorts of sizes so they can be put up in all kinds of places. Take a look around your kitchen to see if you can find any spots where you could put a pole up between two walls or two surfaces that could function as a wall.
For easy no-damage kitchen shelves, you can purchase a hanging shelf and attach it to the suspension pole.
Hanging Shelves (Easy DIY Crafts)
If you’re looking to get more creative, there are relatively easy DIY crafts for hanging kitchen shelves. All you need for one of the most easy DIY crafts is some strong cotton rope, small wooden planks (1 to 3 planks depending on how many shelves you want), and a drill.
Drill holes in each corner of each wooden plank, making sure they are large enough for the rope to pass through. Cut two pieces of rope more than double the length you want the shelves to be. Pass the rope through one corner of each plank, tying a knot on each side of each plank of wood to secure it in place.
Then pass the rope through the other side, creating a handle to be able to hang the shelves, and tie it above and below each plank of wood making sure to match it up with the other side so that the shelves are even. Repeat this on the other side, carefully ensuring that the shelves are balanced and straight.
These DIY hanging shelves could also be used for ornamental displays outside the kitchen. Depending on how secure the suspension pole is, hanging shelves could be used as book shelving if your book collection is quite small! If you are looking to further decorate your place with hanging decorations, check out our blog for easy DIY wall hanging ideas!
We hope that these easy DIY crafts and ideas for no-damage shelves and alternative storage help to organize your apartment and make it feel more homely. If you have the urge to do more DIY, there are other DIY storage ideas here in our Village House blog. Be sure to have fun with DIY!