diy project: kate’s sprouting shelf

life has thrown me some curve balls as of late, so instead of finishing up my entryway i am giving you a project with fun summer colors. this shelf is sprouting modern wire flowers and could be a fab addition to a kid’s room, hallway, or even to an entryway for that matter! the materials are really inexpensive and this makes a fun project to do with your kids (or solo) in front a movie or your favorite tv show. have fun!! –kate

CLICK HERE for the full project instructions after the jump!



1. bailing wire (also called “rebar” wire, available at hardware stores. i recommend this because it is a thicker, stronger gauge than craft wire but is also very bendable)
2. styrofoam balls of various sizes and .5″ thick styrofoam sheets (you can get these at craft stores)
3. small oval cookie cutter (or any desired shape)
4. acrylic paints
5. paintbrushes
6. wood shelf
7. cupcake liners
8. drill with tiny drill bit
9. hot glue
10. wire cutters

1. using the wire cutters, pull long strands of wire from the roll and snip to various lengths (between 4″ and 16″). loosely straighten them and wipe them clean with paper towels and soap (the wire is a bit greasy).

2. use the cookie cutter to press out shapes in the styrofoam. rub the edges to get rid of any flyaway pieces.

3. paint your styrofoam balls and shapes in your colors. paper plates make great color pallets and drying spot for the balls.

4. while the styrofoam is drying, drill holes into your shelf in a large cluster. the holes should go about halfway down into the wood, and not go all the way through.

5. now for assembly. you can do this two ways, you can put the balls on the stems first and then glue the stems in place. or you can glue all stems in place and then put the shapes on. i recommend doing the latter because it allows you to judge composition of shapes one by one rather than adjusting them all.

6. to place the stems in, dab a little hot glue on the end of the wire stem and then stick it into a drilled hole. when all the wires are glued in, you can use a hair dryer to melt away any hot glue threads.

7. stick styrofoam balls and shapes on at varying heights. you shouldn’t need to glue them unless the shelf will get a lot of handling. if so, dab a little hot glue on the wire and then place the stryofoam over it. for the cupcake liners, just pierce the liner and slide to its desired location.

8. hang your shelf.


  1. Laura. says:

    this makes me so incredibly happy!

  2. Laura says:

    This is so incredible. I would probably use needle-felted shapes instead of styrofoam, though.

  3. laura says:

    hah! this looks like a joan miró painting! it makes me feel like laughing. beautiful!

  4. Wexfordgirl says:

    This is so AWESOME.

    And that’s my little bear drawing! Yay!

  5. Stacey says:

    Well that is so clever, I would love to look at that everyday while sitting at my computer.

  6. Fatima says:

    So creative, like Laura I think this would look gorgeous in felt.

  7. what a great way to customize a standard Ikea shelf! thanks! i might put something else on top for a little boy…..robots!

  8. Kristen Barron says:

    a bit of a dream, right there….

  9. Petra says:

    So, so very pretty.

  10. kathy says:

    I think this is clever and cute! A great combination!

  11. Heidi says:

    Little things like this is why I love this blog…

  12. Karolina says:

    What a great idea!! :) I love it!!

  13. Tamara says:

    I love it, it made me smile. I have found my project for my Friday night crafting party! Thanks!

  14. leni says:

    i love this idea; so clever and cute! I think I’ll do this but frame it as a 3d art project.

  15. Crafters100 says:

    Just wondering whether hardened sculpey pieces could be used instead of styrofoam?

  16. I especially like the positioning of the little bear and the way he seems to be watching the shelf grow – even through the rain :)

  17. Dog-Eared says:

    oh my gosh, that shelf is ADORABLE. and ridiculously creative.

    i love how spindly the flowers are :)

  18. alaya says:

    creative & interesting.
    but i need to get myself a shelf first.

  19. alison says:

    i thought these were felt balls at first, and i think they would work well too!

    we sell them here at !!!

  20. Ansie says:

    I love that the bear is looking up at all these bright colours hanging above him. Now the raindrops doesn’t seem so bad anymore…

  21. Heidi Hengel says:

    Ridiculously cute and inventive. This is super economical, too–I always see free shelving on craigslist. Might try this with my headboard . . .

  22. Deanne says:

    oooh this is gorgeous, i’m just sorting out a craft area and this is certainly on the top of my list! TFS will link back once done :) x

  23. I adore this…must make one right away!

  24. Kristin says:

    That’s way too adorable. I can just see an entire shelf done with this in different heights and a more monochromatic color scheme.. ooh the intrigue!

  25. Vie Lewis says:

    Oh this made me cry,, My Dad was not a gardener, all our neighbors had nice gardens , one day my Mom and i came home from shopping and Dad had taken a peice of wood drilled holes in it and “planted plastic flowers” he was sitting in a lawn chair watering them lol…
    They never died on him either..

  26. Shannon says:

    This is adorable. Thanks!

  27. Purlgurl says:

    Ha! I just saw this photo, went away & made some needle felted shapes, and stuck them on wire with spiral bases, free standing, so I can arrange them. They look very whimsical, especially with my single red flower amongst pastel blues. Then I read the comments from Laura & Fatima… great minds….Very stylish, us girls! Twitter is to blame for me finding this amazing place.

  28. Jodie says:

    Hi this is beautiful! Can you please tell me what thickness of wire you used? Many thanks xx


Design*Sponge reserves the right to restrict comments that do not contribute constructively to the conversation at hand, contain profanity, personal attacks, hate speech or seek to promote a personal or unrelated business. Our goal is to create a safe space where everyone (commenters, subjects of posts and moderators) feels comfortable to speak. Please treat others the way you would like to be treated and be willing to take responsibility for the impact your words may have on others. Disagreement, differences of opinion and heated discussion are welcome, but comments that do not seek to have a mature and constructive dialogue will not be published. We moderate all comments with great care and do not delete any lightly. Please note that our team (writers, moderators and guests) deserve the same right to speak and respond as you do, and your comments may be responded to or disagreed with. These guidelines help us maintain a safe space and work toward our goal of connecting with and learning from each other.