Outdoor Shelves

What Can I Use for Outdoor Shelves? (4 Easy Steps to Build Your Own Outdoor Shelves)

Outdoor shelves are the best way to display your beautiful potted plants and other decorative items in your backyard or patio. Not only are they decorative, but they also prevent your backyard from being cluttered up.

Now the question is, what can you use for outdoor shelves? You will be surprised to know that there are quite a several options to choose from. 

We will also discuss shelves from Ikea and how to properly protect your outdoor shelf to prevent it from damaging.

What Can I Use for Outdoor Shelves?

There are different options to consider when thinking about materials that can be used to make an outdoor shelf. Almost damaged furniture can be remodeled to form a simple outdoor shelf for your potted plant.

A lot of common home items can also be used, like wine boxes and bottle crates. Other examples of simple outdoor shelves are Fixed brackets attached to the wall, macrame, industrial shelves, bedroom furniture, storage boxes, metal, and wooden racks. These shelves can also be built from scratch. 

Can Ikea Cabinets Be Used Outside

Yes, like cabinets can be used outside. Maybe you are considering an outdoor kitchen or want to store your potted plants; well, IKEA cabinets can be used.

Ikea outdoor cabinets should be able to withstand hot days, rainy days, and snowy days. It should be easy to clean and maintain to prevent early damage. Stainless steel is the perfect material for an outdoor.

Why Is a Shelf Called a Shelf?

The word shelf is derived from the German word scylfe. A shelf is a horizontal plane used for display items; they can also be called counters or tables.

A shelf can be hung on a vertical wall, suspended from the dealing, or placed on the floor (free-standing shelves). 

Shelves are usually made of very strong materials like wood, bamboos, and metals. A shelf standing on the floor can be used from either side, and a shelf designed to hold books is called a bookshelf.

Can I Build My Own Shelf?

Outdoor Shelves

Of course, you can! As we have previously mentioned, shelves can be built in different ways and with different materials. 

Some shelves are very easy to build, and others are quite complicated; we will guide you on how to build a simple shelf.

The easiest type of shelf to build is the wall shelf. The steps are straightforward; for this procedure, you will need the following tools

  1. Shelving board
  2. A drill or hammer and nails
  3. Brackets
  4. A leather bags

There are different shelving boards; some are softwood boards, plywood boards, and chipboard. You should pick a board type that first your budget.

Step One: Select A Wall Suitable to Hold Your Shelf

Outdoor shelves should be kept in a spacious environment. Mounting a shelf on a cramped-up wall will not look attractive. Put a leather bag on the floor just below where you will be working so that it can easily collect drilling dust.

Step Two: Marking Drill Holes

Keep your brackets in the selected position for your shelf, and use a pencil to draw out the bracket holes on the wall.

Step Three: Drill Holes for The Screws

Using a power drill, make holes in the areas you have marked. If you don’t have a power drill, directly nail the brackets to the wall using marked spots. If you have a power drill and have made holes at the appointed places, carry on winding the screws into the holes and through the brackets, do this for both brackets.

Step Four: Put the Board and Check Accuracy

After putting the brackets in place, place your selected board on top of it (the bracket). Use a spirit level to determine if the board is sitting straight. After this final step, you can place your potted plants on the shelf you have created.

While this whole procedure is candid, there are some factors you should consider before getting or building an outdoor shelf.


Keeping a shelf in a small space can make the whole place look choked up, and having a small shelf in a large space makes it seems like something is missing.


You should choose an attachment method that suits you. You can use brackets, hooks, ropes, or anchors. 


If you are the type of person who alters the positions of your furniture, then you may want to get a shelf that is easy to move around.


Purchase a shelf within your budget and purchase materials that you can easily afford.


A great outdoor shelf should withstand extreme heat, very cold weather, and rainy days. Purchase a shelf that is weatherproof, preferably galvanized steel. 

How Do You Protect Outdoor Shelves?

Outdoor Shelves

Having a nice outdoor shelf is one thing; maintaining it to make it look good and last longer is another thing. Here are a few tips that can help you preserve your wooden outdoor shelf.

  1. Use sandpaper on the surfaces to remove any blemish or discoloration. Use a soft cloth to wipe the shelf
  2. Pour a sealer (made for wood) into a spray bottle or a garden spray and drizzle it all over your shelf.
  3. Use a small brush to blend the sealer into the surface of the wood.
  4. Use a soft cloth to wipe off any other trace of the sealer.

Be sure to remove all items from your shelf before going through this process; repeat these steps three times a year to make your shelf last longer.


It is great that you now know what outdoor shelves are made of and how to make a simple wall shelf. Remember, you can use brackets, wood, or metal as an anchor for a wall shelf. We also looked at a brief history of shelves.

Before purchasing an outdoor shelf, always consider the size and space available, the weather, portability, type of fixings, and the money you have. Also, remember these maintenance tips as they help your outdoor shelf last longer.

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We trust this article helped you know what to Use for Outdoor Shelves. You may also want to check out our article on Can My Deck Hold a Kiddie Pool?

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