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Behind the Door Shelf

how to build a shelf for behind the door.

Installing a narrow shelf behind a door is a great way to utilize that otherwise dead space to store necessities or décor, especially in a small bathroom where we have to store so many small products.

Given that storage was scarce inside the vanity in this, my kid's bathroom, the idea of building a shelf to go right there behind the door was my next step on this small bathroom makeover.

This is how the bathroom looked at the start of this makeover, a mirror in the center to fill that empty space. The other mirror on the left is the medicine cabinet, with storage behind it. So that one needs to stay.

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My last project in this bathroom was to paint this geometric stenciled design. 

For complete instructions on how to create the stencil and paint this design click HERE.
Geometric wall


The general dimensions for my shelf are: 54"x 22"x 3.5"


The shelf design included a space to store magazines, little compartments for my daughter to display the soaps she likes to use, and in general small spaces to store products and/or decorative items.

The first step is to cut your wooden material according to your storage needs.
bathroom storage for magazines and others

The material I used was 1x4 poplar.  Even though they call them 1x4, the exact measurement for these boards is 3/4" thick x 3.5" wide.  You can also use the 1x3 if your space behind the door is smaller.

The beauty of building it yourself is that you can customize it to your own needs!

For connecting the inside shelves a nail gun was used.

For the mainframe, I used the Kreg jig to open pocket holes. However, you can simply drive the 1-1/4" screws straight from the outside and into the connecting board.

This shelf is not going to hold major weight. That's still a strong connection.

After completely assembling the shelf, it was time to fill the nail holes with putty and give it a light sanding.

Then, I removed any dust particles before spray painting it with this striking color! As orange is one of the accent colors in the bath.

The final part was to place some bars to keep the magazines in place.  For that task, I used a shelving track that I bought at HD for under $3.  A 72" strip was used (they are the ones you used on shelves to hold the shelves in place).

To hang the shelf onto the wall I made sure it was screwed to at least one stud on the wall, for the other side I used anchors.  One of these plates was installed on each of the four corners:

And here are the final pics:

I like how well the metallic strips holding the magazines go with the wall design.
bathroom organization

The orange and blue combo gives a splash of energy to this, the kid's bath!
Cactuses on shelf

These cactuses were in my kid's bedrooms, I "stole" them, changed the containers for these pretty cans from the dollar store that I spray painted.  Btw, that's the only kind of plant that has survived in their rooms.

The WASH letters from Michael's $1.50 each.  My son keeps on re-arranging the letters so it reads MASH, SHAM, HAMS, and he thinks it's so funny!

My daughter's pretty and smelly soaps look so nice up there!

how to build a shelf for behind the door.

A very easy to construct shelf that gives you storage and when the door closes it becomes art ;)

Click HERE to see the complete bath makeover.


  1. i totally L-U-V it! i was thinking about doing the something similiar but wasnt sure how it would look - i'm SSSOOOO doing it now! also can you tell me the brand and color of the orange spray paint? i have lamps that i want that exact color - the other orange i have isn't it.

  2. Muy lindo, me encanta como para poner revistas....que buena idea!!!!

  3. Well, aren't you just a handy little girl? Love it-bright, cute AND functional! GREAT job! xo Diana

  4. Hi Michelle,
    The Orange Paint is: Rust-Oleum, Painter's Touch, Ultra Cover, Gloss, Real Orange.
    I bought it at HD.

  5. I love the wall and the painted are really handy:) Turned out great!

  6. Followed over from Funky Junk. I never thought of putting a shelf behind the door. I do use that space for extra vertical storage (I actually have a door behind a door in the guest bedroom -don't ask!) I'm showing this idea to my husband tomorrow - it seems like something he would like in his study. Thanks for the tutorial.

  7. You are doing such a wonderful job with this bathroom! The shelf is beautiful! The orange color just finished that space and I love the way you decorated it! Very pretty!

  8. Wow...great way to use that space! Very cute and clever :) Laurel

  9. This is fabulous - love the colors and the great way you used that space!

  10. Very fun, and great use of space. I love the color!

  11. First of all, I LOVE how you painted the wall. The orange shelf is wonderful, adding a great pop of color as well as display space. What a great job!
    Mary Alice

  12. Lovely! Very creative :)
    Greetings from Australia♥

  13. This turned out great! What a good idea! Love the bright color! Those metal strips on the bottom are a great idea too!

  14. Wow I love this! I wasn't sure if you could add storage behind a door like this, great to know because I have a super small bathroom that is hurting for some extra storage.

  15. This looks fantastic! What a great idea for unused space. The color is beautiful. Megan

  16. I love this idea, and I love the colors. Cool.

  17. Cristina,

    You are so handy! You amaze me.

  18. Good idea and great execution. Well done!

  19. Hi Cristina: I'm Connie at, your new GFC friend. I would love it if you stop by and be mine, too.
    This shelf is amazing.. My boyfriend will not let me touch his tools, and he's got them all. Thank you for sharing.

  20. I just adore this so much! And, once again, am amazed at your tool using skills my bloggy friend...

    And the colors are seriously energizing. And your thumbnail totally popped out at me at At The Picket Fence's party!



  21. Totally awesome! I love the metal you used!


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