Towards Self-Sufficiency: DIY Shelf

Updated: Jul 14, 2020

I can’t forget the first day I moved to my room in Tokyo. That day I had no space where I could put my leg, let it a place where to sleep. In my first night, I hugged a few boxes and slept on my right side to fit a crack I could find in this jungl . As my room size is 16m2 and I have so many hobbies (and gadgets as result), I thought that I had no option but use the 3 dimensions of my room. It is no secret to anyone that houses in Tokyo are expensive so to have a large space is a luxury. Staying home makes you realize that your room is a match box, where you have to spent 24/7 during lock down, so being able to organize the space practically is important. Shelves can be very handy for this purpose.


However, you probably have felt like me that the shelves you find on the market don't usually meet all requirements, particularly in terms of dimensions and racks organization. The reason is that those are made for the general public, not for you. I have always felt restrained to buy Kitchen Wares that fit the size of the shelf I bought earlier. What I want is the opposite, Is there any magic shelf that can adapt to the dimensions and the rack arrangement I want?


If you want to have your magic shelf, you can just make it. There is no quantum mechanics involved nor superpowers needed in the process. Here, I describe the procedure I followed to make my first handmade shelf

  • The easiest way to start is to make the design of the shelf by simple drawing or using cad software. Decompose the shelf into pieces and define the dimensions of each.

Shelf Design can be either handwritten or using a CAD software

  • Then you can go to the home-center (Like Shimachu in Tokyo) to buy large wooden plates and other raw materials needed for your design.

  • There are many home-centers that have a special DIY corner. You can just give the dimensions and the cutting plan of the wooden plates you selected to the person in charge in the corner and he can do the rest for you for a very negligible price.

Shopping cart after cutting in Shimachu home-center

  • Once all plates are cut, you can ask the home-center to deliver them to your home or just take them with you if you have a car.

  • At home, all that is left is to assemble wooden plates together using metallic frame joints. I realized that building shelves based entirely on wood is time consuming and not too stable. A better solution is to use a hybrid solution by adding Slotted Angle metallic frames to reinforce and facilitate the assembly. For furniture assembly, having a general purpose tools suitcase, Drill , and Jigsaw will be quite handy.

Shelf after final assembly


32 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All