diy project: honeycomb storage shelves

These honeycomb shelves came our way at a perfect time — not only do they satisfy my need for cheerful spring colors, but they also provide a great storage solution to alleviate spring-cleaning woes. Sarah and Josh, the creative husband-and-wife photographers behind Arrow & Apple, whipped up these pretty hexagonal shelves for free using salvaged cabinet doors and brackets. They really lucked out on the color palette of the old cabinets, and I love the mix of painted and unpainted pieces. Luckily, recreating this look is easier than you think. Thanks for sharing, Sarah and Josh! — Kate

CLICK HERE for the full how-to after the jump!

Josh and I just moved from a two-bedroom house to a tiny 250-square-foot cabin and were in severe need of practical storage! We have so much wall space, so Josh decided to take advantage of it. Also, Josh has this secret dream of keeping bees, which inspired the shape of the shelves. I absolutely love the way the shelves turned out because the design gives our cabin a little more character, and it’s sturdy enough to house all of our library books! — Sarah


  • wood at least 5″ thick and 10″ long (we used reclaimed cabinet doors)
  • wood glue
  • L-brackets and screws
  • brad nailer with 2″ brads
  • table saw
  • chop saw (to cut angles)
  • paint (if you want to paint your cabinet with different colors)


1. If your wood has hardware in it, such as screws or handles, be sure to remove it before ripping the wood.

2. Cut the wood to 5″ wide strips, and then cut to 10″ long. The angles of each strip are cut to 30º, keeping the long side at 10″. Depending on how big you make your shelf, some ends might need to have matching angles rather than opposite angles. If we were math geniuses, we might be able to explain it better. (See the figures above and below — it’s a little confusing!)

3. Be sure to fit all the pieces together first before permanently attaching them. It will probably need a little sorting around to get the perfect fit.

4. Apply wood glue to both ends, then pin ends together with brads. (See Fig. 3 above.)

5. Once the shelves are assembled, screw the L-brackets into the bottom of four or five of the shelves for good support, and make sure that when you hang them, you go for the studs! [Editor’s Note: To conceal the brackets, paint them the same color as your wall after you install them.]

Note: Altogether, it took Josh about 4 to 5 hours, from cutting the wood to assembly. The wood glue needs to dry overnight before you put it up in your home, but the extra time is worth it!

  1. Judy says:

    Loooooooove them!

  2. Nicole says:

    This is wonderful! Reminds me of bees & organic chemistry & happy :)

  3. Lian says:

    I love them, will definatly have to try that. xx

  4. Elena says:

    I love it! What a great idea!

  5. Jesse says:

    I LOVE these! I just made some recently actually, but we made our cuts at 60%. These are adorable!

  6. lovely post!! Im been thinking of making a CD rack.. and have been dreaming of something creative.. Maybe I can try this.. :-) Thank s for sharing!!

  7. Djen says:

    Oh wow, these are so cute!

    Do they really mean wood that is at least 5″ thick?

    1. Max says:

      This looks like it should be 10″ long x 5″ wide x 3/4 ” thick.

  8. Rachael says:

    These are SO cool! I love them!

  9. Joshua says:

    thanks for posting this, design sponge! @Djen, I chose to make the pieces 5″ wide, but you can rip them to any size you want!

  10. Monika says:

    such a great idea, it looks easy, but the effect is awesome!

  11. sallie kate says:

    sweeter than honey!

  12. I love the honeycomb shelves!! They would look great in my children’s room.

  13. Susana says:

    Oh wow. Must convince my husband to pretty please make me once of these!

  14. Blayne says:

    sooooo basically gonna have my woodworking friend help me out. these are too good to pass up. lovee these.

  15. Stephanie says:

    Thank you so much for this…I wanted something like this off a website but they were always sold out. So time to make them myself!

  16. Diana says:

    SO cute! Love the unconventional shelves.

    – Diana

  17. Anyone want to let me borrow there “handy man?” Love these!

  18. Great idea! Reminds me of bees :)

  19. kiki says:

    I would love to store my yarn in a wall full of these!!

  20. Wow, these are fantastic. Love the colors against that gray concrete floor. To the scrap heap I go…

  21. Heather says:

    Oh, heck yeah! Shelving solution for the Bee studios found! Favorite. Tutorial. EVER! Thanks :)

  22. Anne says:

    Rotate and these would be great as outdoor planters.

  23. Sabeen says:

    Oh Yes!!!! Power tools here i come! I love the range of colours (or lack of) on the different facets of these clever shelves!

  24. Amy Morris says:

    Lots of patience needed, great job all around, from the color to the way they are ordered.

  25. Jon says:

    What angle are the cuts where the shelves meet (chop/miter saw cuts)? I figure they’re greater than 45 degrees, just wondering if you had an exact number.

  26. Pat says:

    Omg, this is such a decorative yet functional piece. What a clever way to add interesting detail to your room. I’ve just chanced upon your website and am loving lots of your posts.

  27. how lovely, a must do diy at our house!


    fine little home

  28. Katrin says:

    Am so making this my first DIY in my new house

  29. LOVE these so much!! My pops helped me make them and even though I loved the natural wood I ended up painting them white and hanging them on a green wall. I just posted a pic on my fb page:

    Thanks for such a great tutorial Sarah and Josh!!

  30. Jess says:

    I LOVE the shelves!

    Ohhh I have a great place for this!!! I am not sure what I would put in in as I am not for nik nacks… I will nap on what I could do..

  31. nicole says:

    if you don’t have the tools or want to go through the hassle of building the shelves yourself, check out ! each honeycomb is individually assembled so you can design the honeycomb cluster anyway you want!

  32. somazing says:

    tooooooo Gooood Love it…!

  33. Mark Grogan says:

    That’s a lovely storage idea, and pretty easy to do actually . Would go quite nice in a kids’ room if it’s painted up with all bright colours! And I know where to get short planks like those at a really good price too!

  34. George says:

    So for all those out there who are struggling out with the angles it is:
    6 (amount of corners) / 360 (amount of degrees in a circle)

  35. Esheila says:

    The idea and shape is fantastic, but it does look rather ‘Heath robinson’ for my tastes… have painted them if only to cover the bare edges…but, we have different tastes, it wouldn’t do to all like the same thing……great idea though…..


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