Easy DIY Wire Shelving Tutorial For Closets, Laundry Rooms, and Pantries

easy diy wire shelving

We put wire shelving in two closets and the laundry room this weekend.  I had finally had it with all of the clutter in our laundry room and the wire rat’s nest in my husband’s tech closet downstairs.  It had to go.  I suppose the laundry room was my own fault.  We didn’t have a whole lot of space in there to begin with, but it got worse and worse as I just threw my supplies into caddies on the ground.

diy wire shelving empty room

Our friends and family know us really well, so some of our wedding gifts were gift cards to home improvement stores.  With an entire weekend full of nothing else to do, we finally decided to do something about our clutter problem.  The total cost of three different spaces for shelves, accessories, and a pair of bolt cutters was under $200.  I’m going to give you the step-by-step tutorial for the shelves we put up in the laundry room.  The total cost for this one was around $60.

Measure Twice, Cut Once

Especially when you’re drilling holes into the drywall.  We wanted these wire shelves to match the existing ones in our pantry in terms of height.  That meant starting at 29 inches up from the floor and placing a shelf every 13 inches.  Why 13 inches?  The shelves have a small hanging piece in the front that’s an inch long.  Placing the shelves 13 inches apart means still being able to slide in those nice 12 inch cubes for organizing.

We used the Rubbermaid shelves and rather than buy an expensive “closet kit” from any number of companies doing those now, this let us cut the shelves down to be exactly the size we needed.

Measure your space and decide on the depth of the shelves.  We went with 16 inch deep shelves.  Measure the width of your area and subtract an inch.  That’s how long you want your shelves to be to make room for the side brackets.  Our back wall of the laundry room was 37 inches, so we planned on four 36 inch shelves.

You’re going to want evenly spaced back clips.  For us, having a 3-foot long shelf, these were at every foot.  Downstairs in our bigger shelved-in areas we went with more clips and less space.  For the 3-foot shelves, you’ll want three back clips per shelf, coming to a total of 12 for the project (2 bags).

Make Your Marks

To place in the back clips, measure the height you need for the shelf in several sections of the wall.  Using a level, draw a line across these markers.  This ensures not having a uneven section of the flooring causing a tilting issue with the shelves.

On each side wall, measure out 16 (or 12 if you’re doing thinner shelving) inches from the back and place a mark.  Using your level again, extend the line from the back wall to this 16 inch mark.  This marks where the top of your side bracket will sit.  Directly below this mark, measure 2 3/4 inches.  This is where the bottom hole for your bracket will be.

Measure across your back line and place a mark wherever your back clips will be (for us, one every foot).

diy wire shelving brackets close up

You will need to make a quarter inch hole where each bracket and clip will go (Note: As with all home improvement projects, be sure before you drill.  Be absolutely sure that you won’t drill into electrical wire or other important parts of the home behind the drywall.)  Use a drill with a quarter inch bit and poke a hole in the drywall (or studs) at each mark for the back clips and at both the top and bottom marks for the side brackets.  Do these for one shelf to test everything before you drill for the rest.

diy wire shelving brackets done

Stick your back clips and end brackets into the holes in the wall.  They just push in.  Now put the provided nails into the holes in the clips.  Push them in using a flat head screwdriver.  If they’re stubborn (especially if they’re going into a stud), tap the back of your screwdriver with a hammer until it fits in snugly.

Awesome Kit To Help With This Project
Get it HERE (Usually on Sale)
b and d diy kit

Time To Cut

We picked up a 14 inch pair of bolt cutters to cut down the shelves with.  In hindsight, I would have bought the 24 inch ones instead.  Measure the length of the shelving that you need with a tape measurer and mark it with a dry erase marker or sharpie.

diy wire shelving raw shelves

With your safety goggles on, cut the shelves at each mark.  We purchased two 6 foot long shelves and cut them in half.  We did this right outside of the laundry room on my husband’s portable workbench from Keter.

diy wire shelving cut shelves

Place on your end caps to make sure the sharp edges don’t scratch you or your walls.  Place your shelf on top of the clips with the curved front edge hanging down.  Slide that edge into the front brackets and gently push the back into the clips.

diy wire shelving end caps


Okay, so it’s not quite that easy but it’s pretty close.  If the first shelf fit in okay, take it out and prepare the rest.  Use the exact same process at each different height.  To recreate ours, this would be at 29 inches, 42 inches, 55 inches, and 68 inches from the floor.

diy wire shelving in clips

Before placing the rest of the shelves into the clips, take an eraser and wipe away all of the lines and pencil marks on the walls.  Take this time to also vacuum up all of the dust from the drywall and wood on the floor while it’s still an open space.

diy wire shelving in the closet

Now place each shelf into the clips.  Stand back and admire your hard work.  You did it!


Tools Used:

Total time: 1 Hour
Total Cost: ~$60

 {If you loved this tutorial, please feel free to add it to Pinterest or share it with a friend!}




I'm busy diving into motherhood stilettos-first while earning a modest living from my couch. I have an obsession with baking and a passion for handmade products. Connect with me on Google+.

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