Congratulations! You're having a baby, and it's time to design the nursery. Maybe you've got just about everything set up, but you need some shelves. The question is, what kind of shelving do you want? There's an incredible variety of Nursery Shelving Ideas, from the pretty versus space-saving to the freestanding versus wall-mounted, so check out some of the incredible ones we've compiled for you below!
Thematic shelves are fun ways to make a nursery feel cozy and unique while entertaining your child. You can buy or build shelves like these ones from Walmart that look like a mountain range to give your baby something fascinating to look at. Then, store decorations or odd-shaped items on them since they have sides that will keep things from rolling or falling off the sides. These are a great way to show your baby mountains if you live in a place far from the real thing.
2) Fabric Organizers
Once you put up your shelves, whether they're on the wall or freestanding, you'll need to store things on them. If they're not just for decorations, then you'll need some way of organizing the stuff you put on them. Fabric bins like these from Amazon are excellent storage containers because they're soft and small enough to comfortably contain tiny baby clothes. These are a pretty grey color that should match any nursery decor, so you don't have to worry about clashing colors.
3) DIY Changing Table Shelves
One of the places you're guaranteed to need shelves is the changing table. You'll have plenty of things to store there within arm's reach so that you can change your baby as quickly and painlessly as possible. Instead of just buying a changing table with shelves, you can get creative and build strong shelves that are attractive and match your space using this video. The ledges in the video are sturdy and match an industrial or farmhouse theme, and of course, you can customize them so that they're the right size for the area.
4) 3 In 1 Changing Table
All changing tables have shelves, but this one from Walmart is unique. Instead of creating or buying a table with simple shelving, buy an incredible one like this that you can later convert into a twin-sized bed. This converts into a couple of different versions of a bed so that you don't have to get rid of it when the baby gets older. You'll lose the shelf space, of course, but you were probably using that space to store diapers and baby changing supplies, anyway.
5) Cloth Bins
Fabric organizers are ideal for keeping shelves organized when you have many baby clothes and other tiny supplies to store, but sometimes you just need to put toys and books away somewhere. In that case, organizers might not work since they tend to have small spaces to store things. Instead, stash any toys that might slide off the shelf in a cloth bin like this one from Amazon. This way, you won't need to get a specialized shelf with a lip on it.
6) DIY Mountain Shelves
Nurseries are unique because you can design them in a fun way that might not match your other decor. After all, odd and exciting shapes are more valuable than tasteful design here. You can build odd-shaped shelves that stretch the imagination, because you want to encourage creativity and make your baby's environment enjoyable. Try building mountain-shaped shelves for your baby. You can buy them, too, but if you build them, you can pick which colors you want and make them whatever size you want.
7) Picture Ledge
If you're looking for someplace to put your baby's books, whether they're toddler books or children's books, you might not need a full-sized shelf. Instead, get a picture ledge like this one from Amazon to put your family pictures, artwork, and books on! This is better than storing books with the spines facing outwards because the baby can see the book covers, and they can't read the spines. Placing books so that your baby can see the covers will effectively be like hanging bright-colored art for them.
8) Use Your Theme
Does your nursery have a theme? Maybe your baby will live in a jungle room, or in a remote cabin in the woods, or on a mountaintop in the clouds. Whatever your theme, you can incorporate the shelves into it like the designer of the shelves in this photo did. The shelves look like tree branches, but you could make shelves that look like mountain ledges, cabin roofs, or anything else that fits your nursery theme. Make sure to think outside the box!
9) Closet Organizer With Rod
Not all of your shelves have to be freestanding or hang on walls. Try hanging some shelves in closets using a closet organizer like this. The organizer works like a shelf, but it's got small cubbies that will work better for little baby clothes and changing supplies. It's even got a rod underneath that you can use to hang extra baby clothes. You can also build or buy wall-mounted shelves and mount rods underneath them if you don't want a hanging rack like this.
10) DIY Reading Nook
Your shelves don't have to stand alone in the middle of the wall. In fact, cubby-like shelves or scribe-fitted shelves are a great way to store irregular items or things you want to stack on top of one another. Design a reading nook like this one by Mr. Built It and Mrs. Style It with cubby shelves around a central sitting area. This way, you can read and play with your baby, and everything you need to do so is stored right next to you.
11) DIY Airplane Shelf
Airplanes are incredibly fun for children and adults who aren't afraid of flying. Many young children are fascinated by planes, and models of planes are excellent choices for mobiles since they’re supposed to be suspended in the air. Planes come with a three-dimensional look and textures and moving parts that are fascinating for a baby, so building a plane shelf is just another thing you can do to create a thematic room. Use the instructions in this video from Big Belgian Red Woodworker to learn how to build an airplane shelf.
12) Wire Baskets
While baskets typically aren't a type of shelf, these ones are the exception. These wire baskets from Amazon mount to the wall like a shelf and can be used as shelves, but the raised sides keep things from sliding or rolling off. Since they're see-through, you can look to see what's inside them, and the wire texture is interesting for your baby to look at. Put colorful things on the shelves for the baby to see.
13) Divide Up Closet
Some of your shelving will be floating shelves, but a lot of it can be in closets or other secure places since you'll have a lot of odd-shaped things to store, and you might want to have cubby-like shelves so that things won't fall off. If you have a closet, divide it into sections using shelving to get a lot more storage space since baby items are small, and you can fit stacked or unusual-shaped items on shelves that stretch from one closet wall to another. Use The Greenspring Home's guide to do this for only $100.
Your baby probably won't spend a lot of time outside, but they'll need jackets and clothes when they go outside. Build or buy shelves like the ones in this picture that have pegs underneath to hang the baby's outdoor garments so that you can get them ready in their nursery. You can also use pegs like these for hanging decorations or supplies or put things on cords so you can grab them quickly on your way out the door while holding a baby.
15) DIY IKEA Hack Cube Shelf
IKEA hacks are great ways to save money and get furniture that looks fancy with a little money and some effort and DIY skills. There are hacks for every room, and the nursery is no exception. Use this video from Lynette Yoder to learn how you can make cube shelves for your nursery. Cube shelves are an ideal choice for a space like a nursery where you'll have plenty of small, irregular, and stacked items that you don't want to roll off the shelves, and you can add baskets, as they did in the video.
16) Closet Hanging Shelves
Not all your shelves have to be freestanding or wall shelves. Closet shelves are a useful way to keep closets organized since closets are typically designed for adult-sized clothing. Get a shelf pack like this that's designed for babies, with dividers for organizing clothes and small cubbies to put little baby clothes in. It even comes with small bins to put toys or loose items in so that they don't roll off like they would on a shelf.
17) Floating Bookshelves With Surrounding Lip
Floating wall shelves like these ones from Amazon are one of the most typical examples of nursery shelving. They're versatile since they have a lip surrounding them that keeps things from falling off, allowing you to store all manner of baby clothes, toys, and books on them. You can also flip them over and use them to hang things like clothes if you want to. This is an excellent way to display books so that your baby can see the pictures on the cover.
18) Change It Up
There are many ways to add a little variety to your nursery shelves, and unique shapes and patterns will give your baby something fascinating to look at. It's always a good idea to add patterns, shapes, and textures that will stimulate your baby's mind, so think about placing your shelves in an unusual way like the designer of the shelves in this photograph did. The shelves look neat, and since they're cubbies, you can put odd-shaped items in them without worrying that they'll fall off.
19) DIY Cloud Shelf
Clouds are beautiful decorations that teach about the natural world while showing a unique texture that will interest your baby. Cloud bookshelves are a fun and imaginative way to liven up your nursery while adding a new texture and image to it. The cloud cutout keeps books from falling, and you can display books so that your baby can see the bright and fun pictures on them. Use these instructions from How To Nest For Less to learn how to build your own cloud shelves or find somewhere to buy them.
Patterns are a valuable part of a nursery since they give your baby something fascinating to look at and make the room feel more exciting and energetic. Find shelves like these ones from The Home Depot that have patterns built into them. These particular shelves have a neat diamond pattern in white, so they'd work best on a dark or bright colored wall, but you can look for or make other shelves in different colors or with various patterns.
Trees are a special nursery feature when it comes time to add shelves because you can do something truly unique with them. If you have a jungle or forest theme, paint trees on your wall so that you can integrate your shelving into the theme. You can paint trees like the ones in this article by Sharon Kuplack from Whimsical Walls or paint more cartoonish trees. Then, build your shelves to look like branches of the trees, just like the ones in the article.
22) DIY Freestanding Toy Shelf
We've gone over many ways to make or buy wall and closet shelves; what about freestanding shelves? How do you incorporate them into a nursery? Use this video by Jarod Johnson to learn how to make cheap freestanding shelves for essential storage for toys, toiletries, and other items. You can later use the same unit to store your child's toys and clothes as they get older. These are simple, but they're cheap and get the job done, making them a great choice if you have limited funds.
23) Small Rope Bins
Rope bins like these ones from Amazon are another way to store items on shelves to make the shelves more versatile and let you put a greater variety of items on them. These bins are cool-looking rounded rope bins that will make your nursery seem a little fancier and nicer overall. You can put them on cubby shelves if you have a lot of rounded things to store or put them on any regular shelf to keep things from falling and rolling around.
24) DIY House-Shaped Shelf
Shaped shelves are one of the neatest things you can do in a nursery since the many shapes you can choose from wouldn't look right in any other room in the house. One shape that will have many uses over time is a house-shaped shelf. You can use these directions by Mandi Johnson from A Beautiful Mess to learn how to build a house-shaped frame, though you might want to make it a little bigger than she did. Then, you can store things, and when your baby gets older, they can play with the shelf like t's a dollhouse!
25) DIY Humpty Dumpty
Shelves can be included in your room's theme in a variety of ways, and if you want to include nursery rhymes in your baby's room, Humpty Dumpty is an ideal one for integrating with your shelving design. Install a regular, flat shelf, or one that looks like a brick or stone wall. Then, buy a decal or paint Humpty Dumpty above it so that it looks like he's sitting on the wall, about to have his great fall! Imagine the fun you'll have storytelling with this od design.
Did any of these themes seem right to you, or did they inspire you to do something amazing with your baby's shelving? We'd like to hear what you plan to do, or what you've seen in the past! Tell us all about it in the comments below