This Genius, Budget-Friendly Shelf Hack Is Going Viral on TikTok, and It’ll Take You Just Seconds to Recreate

published Feb 12, 2023
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In this installment of “why didn’t I think of that?” design ideas, a TikTok video recently blew up because it shows one of the easiest, most budget-friendly shelf DIYs I’ve ever seen — and you probably already own two of the three (yes, just three!) materials. Bonus: This shelf solution sits on the floor, so there’s zero hanging required. It’s really that simple.

This three-step idea comes from Amsterdam-based TikTok user Timo Leblanc (@timo_leblanc), who filmed himself setting up a low-to-the-ground shelf alongside a blank wall at the foot of his bed. Labeling the video “easy DIY decoration,” he first assembled makeshift supports for his shelf (essentially shelf risers) using — wait for it! — what appears to be a small white shoe box and a handful of magazines stacked to the same height. Because yes, fun fact: You can recycle cardboard and extra reading material into functional home decor accessories.

Leblanc spaced these two units on the ground a few feet apart, then balanced a long, thin slab of wood directly over top to create the shelf itself. This is probably the only portion you’ll need to shop for (although if you do have a piece of wood at home that will work). If not, you can hit your local home center or lumber yard for a scrap piece. You can also buy lookalike laminated shelf boards from your local hardware store for less than $20. No need to stick to the video’s exact styling, too; play around with different finishes and sizes for your shelf and supports, depending on your color preferences and space constraints.

As for the finishing touches, the original TikToker decorated his new, low-slung bedroom platform with a large-scale framed print, small thrifted lamp plugged in nearby (did I mention this shelf solution doubles as a subtle electrical outlet camouflage?), and a plant. And that is really all there is to it! Not only does this minimalist project take seconds to tackle, but it’s also modern-looking, renter-friendly, and completely customizable. Swap out different books or decorative boxes underneath (or double down with either on both sides) as well as new posters or paintings, and you’ll have a display that can evolve with your style — and belongings you want to highlight — over time.

I love this look as a creative approach for spotlighting art, too, allowing you to (literally) put your favorite pieces on a pedestal, in lieu of nailing into your living room or bedroom wall. Or, if you’re not ready to commit to hanging something, temporarily perch it on the shelf. Plus, it’s a nice ground-level jumping off point to build a gallery wall around, if you eventually want to decorate vertically. It’s not at the most pet- or kid-friendly height, but overall this low-cost shelf DIY turns otherwise unused floor space — however tight — into a stylish, practical vignette, without dominating too much square footage.