diy wednesdays: catch-all shelf

there’s nothing better than emptying your pockets as soon as you get home after a long day, but we find that we leave little piles of change, keys, and bills all over the house unless we have a designated place to put them. this ubiquitous wooden magazine holder from ikea turned out to be the perfect catch-all shelf for our stuff, and all we had to do was put a coat of stain on it, turn it on its side and mount it in the corner of our entryway. problem solved! CLICK HERE for the full project and instructions or just click “read more” below.

happy crafting!
derek & lauren


here’s what you’ll need:
wooden magazine holder
stain and/or paint (optional)
two screws and two washers

1. paint, stain or decoupage your magazine holder (or leave it plain)
2. pre-drill two holes for the screws and mark your wall where the screws will go, making sure they are level.
3. mount your box to the wall, using washers so the screw heads don’t sink too far into the wood.
4. if you’ve got an outlet nearby, you can even charge your cell phone or ipod by snaking the cord through the hole in the front of the box.

French 75

amazing! love it and can’t wait to make it happen in our home so thank you!


This is amazing! So simple and so genius. I wish the cleveland area had an Ikea.


This is awesome!! I’d love to see a hook or two off the bottom of it – to hang a purse and/or umbrella from.


Do you think it could withstand a bit more weight? It would be perfect for my tiny bedroom where we can’t fit a night stand between the bed and the wall. I could put a little lamp and clock on there.

Condo Blues

Annelies – you might be able to use it as a night stand if you mounted it on a stud or used drywall anchors to attach it to the wall.


this is great – i was just thinking about putting a pretty shelf in the bathroom for soaps and such and this would be perfect.


You could also put your mobile phone cord through the hole giving it a reason and then it’s also a charge stand!


WAY cool. To be honest, the asymmetry would probably bother me, only because it’s such a recognizable object (at least for me, my dad has like 20 billion of these) BUT it’s a great idea for someone who doesn’t have the hangups I do, OR to apply to another similar object.

Love it.

meredith @ studio debris

Often, the simplest solutions bring the most satisfaction! I love your “think outside of the box” adaptation of this ready-made, yet appealing object.

For our catch-all, we use a hefty, square woven basket, repurposed from a foodie gift basket we received as a wedding gift. Since we’re a bit “hoard-y”, I want to install one of these as well! Just need to find a corner…


Anyone have any ideas for mounting this with little damage to the wall? In other words.. Anyone have any ideas for mounting it in an apartment?


oh, get out! I am so excited about this. With drawers underneath my son’t bed he can’t have a night stand so this is perfect!


no way – that is one of those head-smacker ingenious ideas. I happen to have several of those and am SO going to make that shelf. thanks a hunk!


this is why i love you guys. the idea was so simple but it’s so fabulous!


What a great idea! I’ve been having trouble finding a solution to the end-of-day-pocket-miscellania issue and this also gives me an excuse to go to Ikea!!

Happen Upon

This is brilliant I am very impressed it actually makes a better looking shelf than you can normally find – thinking of using it for a telephone shelf – love it


Great idea! I’m going to do this in my laundry room. I’m drilling small holes along the bottom edge to hang my husbands dress shirts on while I’m folding :D


this is FABULOUS!! and the shelves are only $5! I think I’m going to buy several and stack them flush on top of each other or perhaps space them out a bit…

frances pelzman liscio

I LOVE THIS! i want to paint them bright colors and place them throughout the house–also, stack a few in an unused corner. this is the very best kind of art project–tremendously useful, utterly handsome, and it inspires all kinds of uses and variations. thank you so much for sharing so many great ideas and designs with us. maybe we can all send you photos of our completed versions of your great idea.

stephanie j.

This is fantastic! I actually have several of these at home, used far less creatively. For anyone who doesn’t live near an IKEA – you can go on line to find your item and you can shop by phone (800) 434-4532.



You could even attach one of those metal butchers hook type things to use as a coat hook.


GREAT IDEA! I like the idea of doing a vertical row of maybe 4 or 5, one for each day of the week (?) ….homework….etc, and maybe color coding them……..but, for the person who asked about mounting to a damaged wall in an apartment, one idea may be to mount a series of these or even one of these to a large peice or two of pegboard , because you can use the peg board to possibly hide those damage spots, distract with some other color if you want and accent with some additional hooks, etc….for keys..??? just brainsorming….


I think these would make adorable floating night tables in a tight space. They could be painted a complimentary colour, or stained!


You know, looking at that made me think of something else you could add to it.

What if you took a wine cork and pushed it into the hole? That way you could hang a tote or maybe a dog leash or something off of it as well?

Matthew Iacopelli

All I can say it this is pure genius. Perfect way to use a typical item in a different way that is just as functional as the original intent of the product.


Love. Love. LOVE! im thinking about stacking them with a little space in between for more space :)


I didn’t realize what it was at first. It looked like a built in wooden TV stand (one usually in bedrooms high in the corners, before flat screens) that was turned into a desk. Seeing this, we have an old built-in stand from another house that never worker in our new homes. May may it into as desk for one of the kids.