Wednesday, April 25, 2012

How to Make Wire Shelving Look & Function Beautifully

Yesterday I shared my $13 Pantry Makeover,  not bad, aye? 

I have those [fabulous] metal wire shelves... yes, I'm sure they were very cost effective for our contractor, but everytime I have to set small items on them they constantly fall over [annoying]. Or, even better, I once had syrup leak, and because there's no actual shelf it managed to get everything sticky on all four shelves and the floor below! Every mess gets to "share" itself with all items below... but not anymore :) 

All you'll need for this project is a new drop cloth, linoleum tiles and a thread with string [doesn't even have to match your fabric].


I decided to create a little "dust ruffle" for each shelf to help keep them cleaner [and I just liked the way it looks]. I used a new dropcloth for this task [because they have pre-finished edges, are very durable & inexpensive]. I just cut the edges off [I wanted that hemmed edge so that it would look finished], each strip was about 4" wide and the length of my shelves.

Now, because I wanted it to lay nicely on my shelf, I determined the length of fabric that I wanted hanging down [make sure it's long enough to cover the metal completely], and marked it on a stir-stick [very techincal!], then folded my fabric over using the fancy stir-stick mark for accuracey, and ironed it to get that crease nice and strong.

Now, see that pretty crease right on the edge of my shelves? Once everything is lined-up, stitch it right onto the shelf by looping around a wire. I stitched my fabric down on both ends and in the middle.

You can hardly even see it... but it's going to be covered-up anyway [that's why the thread color isn't important]!

Now your shelf looks like this: [better already]

Now it's time to add the linoleum tiles. I found these at a home improvement store for less than a dollar per 12"x12" square. I purchased 20 and my total was $13. I believe you can have them cut in the store as well if needed... my shelves were exactly 12" deep and 4' long so I lucked out!

Just set your tiles on the shelf and [boom] you're done! Now... I orginially thought that I'd use those sticky floor tiles for this project... but they are really thin and I wanted something with a little more thickness [and I didn't want my shelving to get sticky either]. I also considered inexpensive ceramic tiles... but they would add too much weight and cost more. In the end, I think this was a perfect and super affordable choice!

Now I don't have to worry about things tipping over or spilling... and it looks WAY better! And all for only $13 [Full disclosure moment: I am a crazy DIY lady who has perfectly new drop clothes laying around my house... so add a whopping $10 to your total if you're a normal human being!].

21 comments:

  1. Oh my....i'm so jealous! I'd punch people in the face for a pantry like this.

    Great job!! Everything is so nice and neat.

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  2. I re-did my pantry last month and used placements in a few spots to help with the wire shelf issues...love this idea! (http://craftyimaginings.blogspot.com/2012/03/my-pantry-project.html)
    I may pick-up a dropcloth and tiles this weekend to finish off my pantry! Great idea.

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  3. Genius. My metal shelving drives me nuts too and they make a heavier shelf liner that works with these but your idea is much prettier!

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  4. what a great idea! I hate those shelves for that same reason!!

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  5. Great ideas! In a pinch, I've even used heavy weight cardboard to add stability on top of the shelves. We DIYers (aka not always having enough money..haha!) have come up with terrific ideas to pass on to others. You go girl!

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  6. Great idea! Sometimes I cut cardboard to fit my wire shelves, but your tiles look soooo much nicer. I will be copying you for sure!

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  7. Good idea with the tiles!
    I hate wire shelving...a pain in the posterior.

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  8. A huge improvement! Good thinking!

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  9. Well I would go with this in a minute if I knew what a drop cloth was..English you see:o))oh I so need to live in the U.S.

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    1. A drop cloth is a large piece of canvas that painters lay on the floor to catch their drips :) You can find them in almost any store that has a hardware section.

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  10. What a wonderful solution! I love when function and form comes together in such a pretty way. Go, you!!

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  11. Great idea and tip for making something so utilitarian...looks so much prettier. But remain functional!
    love this idea!

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  12. Oh yeah, I'm totally pinning this!

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  13. This is such a good idea for making those ubiquitous wire shelves both more pretty and more functional.

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  14. Nice job! I would never have thought of that - and I can imaging most things!
    Really impressive!

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  15. LOVE! My husband put all wire shelving up in our utility/laundry/mud room. It's the room everyone enters the house through, so I hate the wire shelving. But hubby wasn't concerned about how pretty the shelves are, only with how practical they are. I think I'll be keeping this idea in the back of my mind to do when he goes away for a weekend, and surprise him when he comes home!! Terrible. I know, but if I tell him I want to do it, he'll get all practical on me again!!!

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  16. What a fantastic idea!! I love this. Megan

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  17. Brilliant! Such a simple and inexpensive solution to those darn wire shelves! Love it and doing it.

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  18. Brilliant idea! Looks beautiful too! Have a fabulous end of the week, Kellie xx

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  19. This is excellent! I found this while searching Pinterest for ideas on how to line wire shelving. Unfortunately, the people at Lowes do not cut vinyl tiling. They will cut ceramic. HOWEVER, as we were informed tonight, you can cut vinyl tiling with a box cutter or utility knife and it works wonders!

    xo,
    A

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