Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Wire Shelving Shelf Liner

Most closets have wire shelving in them.  They're great for hanging clothes and baskets fit really well on top of them.  However, I have a shoe storage problem in my closet. I store shoes on top on my wire closet shelves; flats sit great, but the heels fall straight through if they're not balanced exactly right.  The tiniest bump causes all of them to move.

Flats sitting perfectly
Heel disaster zone

I looked around for a shelf lining product.  I found some, but most of them look so flimsy that I didn't think it would solve my problem.  So, I came up with my own cheap and cost effective solution!

Materials:  Cardboard (enough to fit your shelf), box cutter/scissors, ruler, tape measure, pencil, tape, self-adhesive shelf liner

1.  Measure your wire shelving using a tape measure.  Most wire shelving is either 12" or 16" deep.  The width will vary.  My wire shelving is 72" x 12".  If your shelving is long, you might need someone to help you measure.

2.  Measure your cardboard to fit your wire shelving.  I used the IKEA box that the top of my dresser came in, but just use a box that will  give you the longest continuous piece of cardboard.  Having folds on your piece of cardboard won't matter in the end.  I marked off all my measurements on my piece of cardboard.  It was only 64" x 12".  So, I got another piece of cardboard and traced it to fill the remaining length (6" x 12").

3.  Cut your cardboard following the measurement lines you made in the previous step.  I used a box cutter and made short connecting cuts to keep my line going straight.  If you are not comfortable using a box cutter or you don't have one, you can use strong scissors.

4.  Tape pieces of cardboard together, if necessary.  I used packing tape because I had a lot of it around, but duct tape and other sturdy tapes will work great as well.  I lined my two pieces of cardboard up and wrapped the tape around the two pieces.  I went around twice to make sure the joint was secure.

5.  Check to make sure the piece of cardboard fits your space before moving forward.  If your piece is too small, measure and add more cardboard.  If your piece is too large, measure and cut off the extra.  Fixing the size now is easier than it will be later.

If you're going for function and not appearance, you're technically done.  However, I don't want to see a piece of cardboard in my closet every morning.  So, now it's time to make it attractive and durable.

6.  Cut your shelf liner to fit your cardboard. I purchased Con-Tact Brand Creative Covering Self-Adhesive Shelf Liner, Water Dance, 18"x 24' because the price was great ($7.99 and prime eligible), and I loved the pattern.  The dimensions of my shelf liner (18" x 24') required that I attach two separate pieces of shelf liner, one for the top and one for the bottom.  This shelf liner has a grid pattern on the back that make it super easy for cutting the pieces to the size I needed.

Top:  I wanted to top piece to be larger than necessary to allow me to wrap the edges.  I cut one piece to be 18" x 76".  On this piece, I cut a 2" x 3" rectangle out of each corner to make applying the shelf liner easier later.

Bottom:  I cut my second piece to be 12" x 72". I cut this piece to be the size of my shelf exactly.  It will cover the overlap I have from the top piece.

7.  Apply the shelf liner to your cardboard.  Be care while applying to not leave bubbles and bumps.  If you get any bumps and bubbles smooth them out with your hand or a flat surface (like a ruler).  The bumps I got came out by rubbing with my hand.  Also, be careful to keep your cardboard straight while applying the contact paper.  Mine got a little uneven but still worked out fine.

Top:  I applied my top piece first.  I centered my piece of cardboard.  The corners of the cardboard lined up with the corners of the little rectangles I cut out.  I started by attaching the 2" tab that will fold over the bottom of the cardboard.  Then, I flipped the cardboard over and slowly pulled the backing off and applied the contact paper to my cardboard as I went.  I kept slowly apply the contact paper until I made it to the other edge of my cardboard and folded the other 2" tab over to the back.  At this point, you still have your 3" tabs on the upper and lower side unattached.  Fold both of these tabs over to the back.

Pulled backing off 2" tab
Attached 2" tab
Applying contact paper
Only other 2" tab remaing
Tab attached, 3" tabs unattached
All tabs attached
Bottom:  The piece for the bottom should be the exact size of your cardboard.  Line all the edges up.  Starting on one edge, carefully attach the shelf liner until you get to the other edge.  If you end up with any extra on the edges, just carefully cut it off.

Attaching backing
Finished Product

8.  Put your cardboard shelf liner in your closet and enjoy!

In the closet
Happy heels!

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