So why would anyone be interested in DIY shelving when they could just as easily go to the local furniture store and buy something ready-made? Is building your own shelves really the way to go?
I have built most of the shelves in our house, and here are my top three reasons:
Reason 1: custom designs
Almost everything I have built has been a special design in one way or another. One of our girls wanted a shelf above her bed that she would fit her Barbie dolls in a particular way. The end result was her exact choice of colors, the exact size she wanted, and the exact combination of bins and open shelves. Finding that in a store would have been mission impossible.
Reason 2: Cost reductions
It is much cheaper to build your own shelves. If I’m designing something ordinary, like a regular bookcase, I work the design around the dimensions of a standard plywood board and make sure the pieces are cut in such a way that I have leftover wood for other projects. Compared to the cost of buying a similar bookcase at the store, I invariably save quite a bit of money.
And I don’t always need to buy new wood. One of my current projects is a storage unit that fits around and over the toilet in the kid’s bathroom. I’m doing it with an old closet that a neighbor was throwing away. Including the hardware (I’m spending money on new handles), the whole thing will set me back about $13. Beat that if you can. And again, this is not a standard project, it is custom made to particular dimensions and I just couldn’t go out and buy something that would take advantage of the space.
Reason 3: enjoy
In addition to saving myself money and saving a tree or two, I get a tremendous sense of satisfaction from doing my own shelving and storage projects. I have a small woodworking space in a garden shed and I find it very relaxing to spend an hour or two being creative. It’s also a fun activity to do with the kids, and everyone is learning about woodworking, home decorating, and how to plan and put projects into action. These are skills that will come in handy in the future as you learn to tailor designs based on the materials you have on hand, the budget I’ve given you, and the time you have available. It’s true quality time, and even our five-year-old son enjoys using real tools instead of his toy set. Children also learn safety and responsibility, it’s a win-win situation!
So there you are. If you’re sitting on the fence, not sure if you want to start with DIY shelving, take the opportunity. You’ll get one-of-a-kind designs at a fraction of the cost of buying at the store, and have fun along the way. What more could you want?
Eventually, a one-stop portal for a period of craft plans!