Maker's Shelving Palette

Introduction: Maker's Shelving Palette

This project came into existence from the need to organize my workshop. I was inspired by a painters color palette and thought it was an important tool to have in a space where reuse central. With this in mind, there were several characteristics I wanted the shelving unit to have.

  1. Visual (knowing what you have available at a glance)
  2. Removable (the containers had to be easy to take out)
  3. Made from upcycled or reused material
  4. Making use of a material I had no use for, including:
    • plastic cordage/ribbon (made using this tool or this handheld version)
    • plastic containers and scrap wood
  • Visually pleasing. (This is a point for improvement and I would love to see more variations of the same concept. I think a great esthetic improvement would be to use a flat weaving system that runs along the length of the board rather than the individual eyelets.)

Step 1: Gather Material

You will need a varying number of the following depending on how many shelving levels you need.


  • Scrap wood
  • Screw eyelets
  • 6mm plastic wall plugs.
  • 6mm Wall drill bit
  • 6mm screws

  • Clear 8 liter or 6 liter water bottles. (In Spain they are a standard part of the waste cycle.)


  • Drill
  • Rubber Mallet
  • Sander/Sandpaper
  • cork (optional, used to stop the drill bit).
  • Gimlet
  • Screwdrivers

Step 2:

Prepare your wood slates.

Pre-drill two 4mm holes along the length of the the wood.

Using an 8mm bit and a cork, drill a hole that serves to counter sink the screwhead.

Sand and round off the edges of the wooden slates.

Step 3: Measure and Draw Angle.

I decided to use a 55 degree angle to store the containers, similar to a shoe rack, this way the containers can be slid in easily and fall right into place.

Step 4: Mark , Drill Holes, and Mount.

  1. Using a small drill bit or similar, place the wood on the wall and while holding it mark the wall so you know where to drill.
  2. Now drill a hole using your 6mm drill bit.
  3. Place a wall plug in the hole.
  4. Screw your wooden slate into place.
  5. Repeat on the opposite side as needed.

Step 5: Place Eylets and Weave

Using a gimlet (screw hole starter), make holes along the slate.

Screw the eyelets into the wood.

Weave your plastic ribbon/rope through the eyelets.

Tie off when you run out of length and continue.

Here I think there is room for improvement. Using another wooden slate you could create a gap between the two pieces of wood and use this system to weave your ribbon. This would make the shelf look much more homogeneous as the ribbon could be flat. With time you could collect the colored bottles of your choice and make an attractive pattern.

Step 6: Collect Upcycled Material

Fill your containers with upcycled material. Making local connections with businesses can be a good way to collect material and make connections for further collaboration. A collection bank would be ideal for schools, look out for a post on that soon.

Some possible materials could be.

  • Cork
  • Plastic tops
  • Plastic cordage
  • Beer caps
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