January 22, 2019

Shelf hack: Creating extra storage with old belts

Who couldn’t use more storage space? I know I could. When your closets and cabinets are filled to the max, even one extra shelf can make a big difference with your home organization needs. And this stylish shelf hack made with old belts lets you suspend a shelf anywhere you have some vacant wall space, like above a desk or a doorway. Best of all, the shelf goes up in a matter of minutes without any fancy hardware. Besides finding a creative way to upcycle your belts, you’ll also find space you never knew you had.

What you’ll need:

  • Two leather belts (same size)
  • Screws
  • Washers
  • Wall anchors
  • Wood plank or shelf


1. Start with the belts

Buckle the belts so that the two loops are equal in circumference. When you pull the belts taut, the loops should still be equal in length. Making sure the belts are the same size will keep your shelf level.

2. Screw the belts to the wall

Insert a screw and washer through one of the holes in each belt, and drive the screws into the wall. One screw in each belt is sufficient. They should be spaced far enough apart to allow your shelf to extend approximately 2 inches past each belt. For example, if your shelf is 24 inches long, the belts should hang about 20 inches apart. Be sure the screws are level so the shelf will hang straight. And try to keep the belt buckle facing forward so you can easily adjust the height of the shelf if you desire. (If you plan to place heavy objects on the shelf, you will first need to install wall anchors to support the screws.)

3. Hang the shelf

Slide the shelf between the two belts and your extra storage is ready. You don’t need to screw the shelf to the belts, as the weight of the objects will keep it steady. I bought a plain-wood shelf at Ikea and hammered upholstery nails to the edges for an optional decorative touch. You can also find freestanding shelves of different colors and finishes at home improvement stores. Or you can get creative by using rectangular serving trays, long wooden boxes or even a skateboard.

Jonathan Fong is the author of “Walls That Wow,” “Flowers That Wow” and “Parties That Wow,” and host of “Style With a Smile” on YouTube. You can see more of his do-it-yourself projects at jonathanfongstyle.com.