This Two-Step TikTok DIY Turns an Unexpected Kitchen Item into the Perfect Mini Bookshelf

published Mar 16, 2023
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My favorite DIYs are the ones that involve things I already own (because free), but also teach me some sort of new use or application I’ve never thought of before. Case in point? An easy shelf project that uses leftover stacks of books or magazines as the base, or even the concept of painting a wall with … potatoes (yes, it’s a thing, and yes, it looks good). Both of these ingenious ideas actually originated on TikTok, which is where I recently found yet another resourceful DIY that completely transforms a common kitchen essential. 

U.K.-based DIYer Medina Grillo, who runs the blog Grillo Designs, shared a post to her TikTok page (@grillodesigns) that starts off showing a plate rack. Grillo holds up her multi-level, light-toned wooden piece in front of the camera, saying in the voiceover, “Okay, I have no idea how original this is, but I was thinking, why not use a plate rack as a bookshelf with self-adhesive hooks?” 

@grillodesigns Plate shelf as a bookshelf!! Has anyone tried this before? Can’t believe it actually works!! It’s been up for a few weeks now! #homehacks #renterfriendly #apartmenttour #diybookshelf #diyproject #bookshelves #platerack ♬ People – Libianca

Grillo decided to rotate her plate rack vertically with the intention of storing books, rather than plates, in between the rungs — instant mini bookcase! And it’s so simple: She used a pair of large, barely visible sticky hooks to hang the kitchen organizer, with one supporting the very top shelf and another at the bottom. From there, she placed a paperback book within each slot, staying mindful of weight constraints — and that’s all there is to it. “It literally works, I’m not kidding!” Grillo exclaimed in the video, panning out to reveal the finished product positioned above a tall nightstand. 

Because plate racks typically run pretty compact, it’s the perfect size for additional built-in book storage that won’t dominate wall space — which means you can recreate this DIY just about anywhere. In fact, one commenter suggested turning the setup into cookbook storage, which Grillo noted might get too heavy, but still goes to show the versatile placement and styling options. Bibliophiles can even try stacking a few on top of each other for a larger book stack, too. No plate rack on hand? No problem. Amazon sells similar bamboo styles for less than $10, as well as a 6-pack of adhesive hooks for about the same price. Yep, taking a page from Grillo’s DIY book won’t set you back more than $20 — not bad compared to the cost of full-scale bookshelves nowadays!