Fun and functional are words that totally go together in the world of home storage. But with this DIY hanging shelf, you get to add fast and frugal to the list. That’s because we’re turning a basic box into statement shelving using only durable rope, a standard drill and a bright pop of color. Not so scary, right? Did we mention that the entire transformation only takes five steps?! That’s fairy godmother-pace, turn-around time.

And just when you thought it couldn’t get any easier… it does: There’s no level required to mount this modern shelving unit! Just hang the rope handle onto a single hook and call it a day. It’s a perfect storage solution for renters and dorm-dwellers worried about adding one too many holes in the wall, or even fickle homeowners who change up their decor often.

 – heavy duty rope

– wooden box

– paint

 – drill + ¾ drill bit (or bit large enough to fit your rope)

– scissors

– paint brush

– pencil


1. Measure and mark where you want to drill the holes on each side of the wooden box. We recommend placing the holes toward the center of the box so that they will distribute the weight of the shelf more evenly and hang a bit easier.

2. Drill the holes using a drill bit large enough to accommodate your rope.

3. Thread your rope ends through each hole and tie a knot on each end on the inside of the box.

4. Paint the outside edge of the box and let dry. It may require a few coats.

5. Hang up your shelf on a new or existing wall hook.

Here are a few tips for sizing up the most ideal box-to-shelf supply: Choose a wooden box or crate that won’t stick too far off the wall, but is still big enough to hold whatever you’re itching to display. Most larger craft stores have an unfinished wood section to peruse, or if you are really zealous you can build one yourself! So when you’re set, measure, mark and drill holes on either side large enough to fit your rope, then thread each end on through. Knot the rope ends to create the sturdy handle. Finish it off by painting the edge a bright color like this dreamy fuschia — you can even stain it or stencil it if those are more your style!

Hung up on how much you love this shelf? Yeah, us too :)

What are some of your favorite ways to repurpose basic materials into bomb pieces of home decor? Tell us in the comments below.