DIY Bathroom Storage (Over the Toilet)

DIY Built In Bathroom Storage Shelves | missfrugalfancypants.comOkay, so let’s be clear here. Talking about toilets is kinda gross. Talking about storage is freaking awesome. Let’s focus on the latter. I used to have a store bought shelf unit over mine and hated it. I hated the style but couldn’t justify spending money on a new one until it began to rust. Ick! So we decided to tempt fate with our first DIY Bathroom Storage project.

DIY Built In Bathroom Storage Shelves (Before Pic) | missfrugalfancypants.com

Before

Many of us have little alcoves that house our porcelain thrones. If you don’t, you can still do shelves on L-brackets or floating shelves but this project is easy because of the alcove situation.

I can’t take credit for this idea as it was yet another Pinterest find. TGFP. However, my very unhandy husband and my very unskilled self managed to pull this project off with nary a hitch.

DIY Built In Bathroom Storage Shelves Provide Enough Space for Function AND Beauty | Store Wash Cloths Rolled up In a Basket for Easy Access | missfrugalfancypants.com

Here are the supplies we used:

  • You can really buy anything you want but the helpful guy at Home Depot strongly suggested we not buy the pre-cut white laminate stuff because it would warp with all of the bathroom moisture. We opted for a giant sheet of plywood that he recommended and cut to size for us.
  • Mounting brackets – we used a composite molding similar to this to avoid painting or sealing
  • Crown (or similar) molding similar to this – we opted for composite again to avoid painting or sealing
  • Screws and Anchors
  • Stud finder/level – we have an awesome combo unit similar to this one (affiliate link)
  • Drill
  • Paint and paint brushes
  • Dropcloth

After measuring 5 times (because we are morons in the home improvement department), we felt fairly confident we could go to Home Depot and come home with usable wood.

We measured the width of the alcove at different intervals to allow for builder errors (we have LOTS of those in our house) and decided each shelf truly needed to be a slightly different width to fit. Gasp, I know. We also knew we wanted fairly deep shelves so we decided on a variance depending on the products available. Our approximate measurements for each shelf were 32-33″ wide x 18″ deep.

We forgot to measure or decide on the length of the mounting brackets that the shelves would rest on but quickly did math in our heads at the store and decided on half the depth of our shelves. That might not have been the best decision but it wasn’t the worst either. I’d recommend cutting them to about 3/4 of the shelf depth, but what do I know?

We located the studs and drew lines on the wall with the help of the laser level/stud finder (affiliate link).

DIY Built In Bathroom Storage Shelves Provide Enough Space for Function AND Beauty Using the Alcove over the Toilet| missfrugalfancypants.com

We mounted the shelf rests with screws if there was a stud in the correct spot and with anchors and then screws if there was no stud.

DIY Built In Bathroom Storage Shelves Provide Enough Space for Function AND Beauty Using the Alcove over the Toilet| missfrugalfancypants.com

We primed and painted all of the shelves outside on drop cloths since these were our only real wood pieces that needed some sort of prep work. Once dry, we nailed the molding onto the front sides of the shelves and placed them on the shelf rests.

DIY Built In Bathroom Storage Shelves with Crown Molding Provide Enough Space for Function AND Beauty Using the Alcove over the Toilet| missfrugalfancypants.com

Depending on your use, you may want to screw the shelf into the mounting bracket but we opted not to do that in the event we royally screwed up and needed to take everything down to start over. Because, yes, this is how we roll in Casa de Gilbert.

DIY Built In Bathroom Storage Shelves Provide Enough Space for Function AND Beauty Using the Alcove over the Toilet| missfrugalfancypants.com

Luckily, this wasn’t necessary but we never went back to screw the shelves in and have had no problems with them moving or sliding or anything like that.

And that was it! I found baskets on super sale at Joanns that I can live with and filled them with all of my crap stuff. I put extra towels that we only use in the rare instance all others are dirty or for emergencies (like when our garbage disposal busted and sent the floodgates into our lower kitchen cabinets) on the very top shelf since it’s so high up.

I have my personal stuff in the middle shelves that don’t get used daily. Curling irons, random hair and makeup products that I use once every 5 years but can’t get rid of because of that damn event every 5 years where I might need that glitter eye crap. Or that lipstick that actually has pigment in it.

And I keep our regularly used stuff on the bottom shelf and more in the open. Because men and kids don’t look in unlabeled baskets for stuff. Or labeled baskets…Ahem…

DIY Built In Bathroom Storage Shelves Provide Enough Space for Function AND Beauty | missfrugalfancypants.com

We still plan to add a skinny shelf right above the toilet to hold a few more daily items but that’s a project we keep putting off because…well, we’re lazy like that and hate doing this stuff.

All in all, this was not a difficult project for DIY dummies like us and we’re very happy to have spent a day completing this project and for the added storage we so desperately needed.

If you have a bathroom setup where this is possible and are lacking storage space, I highly recommend you give this a try. Good luck!

 

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Author: Kara

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2 Comments

  1. What a great idea! The space above our bathroom is just big enough for an over the toilet shelf, but I like your DIY shelves a lot better.

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    • Thanks! Definitely one of the most useful projects we’ve done.

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