DIY Shelves - a room with shelves and plants
Image by Timothé Durand on

Whether you are renting a home, living in a dorm room, or simply prefer not to drill holes in your walls, installing shelves without drilling can be a practical and stylish solution. DIY shelves are a great way to add storage and display space to any room without causing damage. Here are some creative and easy ways to install DIY shelves without drilling.

Choose the Right Shelf Type

Before you begin the installation process, it’s essential to choose the right type of shelves for your space. Look for shelves that are specifically designed to be installed without drilling, such as tension rod shelves, adhesive shelves, or freestanding shelves. Consider the weight capacity of the shelves and make sure they are suitable for the items you plan to display.

Tension Rod Shelves

Tension rod shelves are a versatile and easy-to-install option for those looking to avoid drilling. To install tension rod shelves, simply adjust the rod to fit the width of the space between two walls. Place the shelves on the rods and adjust them to the desired height. Tension rod shelves are perfect for closets, bathrooms, and other small spaces where drilling may not be an option.

Adhesive Shelves

Adhesive shelves are another great alternative to traditional drilled shelves. These shelves come with strong adhesive backing that adheres to the wall without the need for drilling. To install adhesive shelves, clean the wall surface thoroughly and allow it to dry completely. Remove the backing from the adhesive strips and press the shelves firmly against the wall. Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for weight limits and installation guidelines.

Freestanding Shelves

Freestanding shelves are a versatile option for those who want the flexibility to move their shelves around without the commitment of drilling holes. These shelves come in a variety of styles and materials, such as wood, metal, or plastic. Simply assemble the shelves according to the manufacturer’s instructions and place them in your desired location. Freestanding shelves are perfect for renters or those who like to change up their decor frequently.

Utilize Command Strips

Command strips are a renter’s best friend when it comes to hanging decor without drilling. These adhesive strips are designed to hold a variety of items securely on the wall and can be easily removed without damaging the paint or surface. To install shelves using command strips, clean the wall surface with rubbing alcohol and let it dry completely. Apply the command strips to the back of the shelf and press firmly against the wall for 30 seconds. Allow the strips to set for a few hours before adding any weight to the shelves.

Consider Over-the-Door Shelves

Over-the-door shelves are a space-saving solution for adding storage in small rooms or closets. These shelves can be hung over any standard door without the need for drilling or permanent installation. To install over-the-door shelves, simply hang them over the door and adjust the height to fit your space. Over-the-door shelves are perfect for storing shoes, accessories, or small items that need to be easily accessible.

Experiment with Floating Shelves

Floating shelves are a popular choice for adding a modern and minimalist touch to any room. These shelves appear to “float” on the wall without visible brackets or supports, giving the illusion of a clean and sleek design. To install floating shelves without drilling, look for shelves with adhesive or mounting brackets that can be easily attached to the wall. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper installation and weight limits to ensure the shelves are secure.

Incorporate Hanging Rope Shelves

Hanging rope shelves are a creative and unique way to add a touch of bohemian style to your space. These shelves are typically made from wood planks suspended by ropes or cords, creating a rustic and charming look. To install hanging rope shelves, anchor the ropes to the ceiling or a sturdy hook on the wall and adjust the height of the shelves as desired. Hanging rope shelves are perfect for displaying plants, books, or decorative items in any room.


Installing DIY shelves without drilling is a simple and practical way to add storage and style to your space. By choosing the right type of shelves and utilizing creative installation methods such as tension rods, adhesive strips, or freestanding options, you can easily transform any room without causing damage to your walls. Whether you are renting or simply prefer a drill-free solution, these innovative shelf installation ideas offer a hassle-free way to enhance your home decor.