Easy Custom Nail Polish Shelves

Hi, friends! Happy weekend! I wanted to share a quick and easy project that makes my bathroom feel 1000x more like a spa… which is definitely my ultimate goal.

Nail. Polish. Shelves.

Originally, I was planning to fill this space with a few cute framed prints, but I never found just the right ones. In the meantime, I had amassed quite a collection of nail polish, as you can see. And instead of piling them into my trusty little Ikea cart (that was filling up FAST), I decided to put my bottles on display.

There’s nothing I love more than an organized rainbow.

This project is so simple and can be done in a day with just a bit of lumber (you can get it pre-cut at the hardware store if you don’t have any saws) and a drill. We used this tutorial, altering the sizes to fit this space. We also left off the front piece of the ledge because it was unnecessary here and hid the colors of the nail polishes.

Before committing to a layout, I used washi tape to measure out where the shelves would hit on the walls and made sure it would fit my growing collection. You can very easily customize the number of shelves and the length to fit your unique space.

Sigh. Here’s the finished product… isn’t it pretty???

Not only did this free up a whole shelf on my cart, but I feel like this is SO MUCH BETTER than art prints… I really love it!

Now, who wants to come over for a spa night??! xx -Elsie

Credits//Author and Photography: Elsie Larson. Project Assistant: Collin DuPree. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions.
  • Cuteeeee! I have close to as many tonics and essential oils as you do nail polish 😉 will have to give this a try ! Such a simple yet brilliant idea

  • Omg this is such a brilliant idea! My nail polishes are out of control and this would be such a great way to keep them organized AND pretty!

  • LOVE how that looks. I just finished sorting out my nail polishes. I had waaay too many and lots were quite old. So now I cut it down to half (I use a clear shoe-box type container to store them because I drag them around to different rooms when I use them) and I am using the old ones to paint an old stool that I’ve had forever. I usually use the old polishes to paint rocks, but I thought I would try a bigger project with my old “paint”.

  • These shelves are so cute! I love projects like this http://www.likehanna.com

  • Awesome quick and easy shelves that are so versatile! Absolutely brilliant way to use them, too! Such a pretty effect!

    I hope you’re having a wonderful Thursday,

  • This is so cool! I love how the finished product looks. Right now, I have about 3 acrylic tiered polish organizers, but this could be perfect to make a mini version of to feature my favorite shades.

  • Hi Elsie! Love this project. Thank You for showcasing DIYs with a focus on elevating everyday tasks that make you feel good. I love doing a mani, especially a red one-its like a party is on your hand:) And the colors I own make me so happy-tomato red, deep mediterranean blue, bordeaux…sometimes life can be so busy, it’s easy to forget the little things you can do to get creative. And feeding that creativity is so vital to being happy. Thank you for spreading the color happiness with this post:)

  • I feel like with a selection like that I’d always have rainbow fingertips – I’d never be able to choose just one, haha!

    Love how clean it looks!

  • What a cute, functional display! I also really appreciated your gracious reply up above. I knew someone was going to say that, and I get it on both sides. You’ve worked hard to afford the things you have (I wish for your sake they could sponsor the post! Haha! They should…) and it doesn’t have to be relatable all the time, so I hope you can own it when that’s the case for some. I’m also right there with you on supporting small or sustainable/safe brands, even if I can’t always make that choice. Since natural products are really important to me, I’d rather have a couple favorite bottles of 8-free or even 5-free polish than a whole wall of inexpensive polish. (Any other readers, 5-free polish is often only a few dollars more than regular brands!) I’m hoping to splurge on another color soon, moving toward 8-free, and will go on your recommendation!

  • Cute, and I like how the bottles are on full display, but that just wouldn’t fly in earthquake country. Or, rather, it would fly. All over. And I shudder to think what would happen in a house with a young, nail-polished-obsessed kiddo like mine. My suggestion: Make the shelves and then use a clear silicon adhesive to attach a clear panel of acrylic or plastic to the front of the shelves for safety. You can have the panels custom cut at a plastics specialty store like Tap Plastics.

  • Daaaang girl, you’ve got a lot of nail polish! You could open your own salon. 😉
    Love these simple shelves!


  • People really spend $18 for ONE bottle of nail polish? And you have over 70 bottles of it? That’s insane. The bottles are cute and this project looks nice; but jeez oh petes! I thought splurging on essie was hard enough.

    • Hey Sarah-

      We get a lot of flack when we support brands that are less expensive (like Forever 21) but we also get these types of comments anytime we support companies that are on the most boutique end of the spectrum (because they are usually more expensive). It’s a tough place to be in. And honestly, I wish we didn’t get judged or called out for either choice… but we do.

      I am *definitely* proud to support these nail polish companies who do the important work of creating 8-free nail polishes…. Yes, the are more expensive- but they are also MUCH better for your body and produced in smaller batches by smaller companies than what you will find at the drugstore.

      Supporting smaller brands who make the best quality products is a personal goal of mine this year. Not that I never buy cheap stuff- because I do! But I also think it is important and worthy to support brands who are risking so much to do something good for people.

      If you follow companies like this through social media or their newsletters they almost always have a lot of awesome sales, as well!

      That said, this project can be made using any nail polish, so choose a brand that’s right for you. 🙂 -Elsie

  • I love how clean they look! I think I’d have to buy all the same brand to keep it looking so neat.

    • True. I think it definitely looks better with at least one brand per row, but they don’t all have to be the same! xoxo! elsie

  • Wow I need this in my house ASAP!
    xx Tess |Sequins are the New Black

  • I did this last year and used shallow picture ledges. It was a beautiful rainbow, but… I have an overhead bathroom heater vent, and every time I turned it on the glass bottles would get extremely hot. It was ruining the polish, so, I dismantled the whole thing. fyi.

  • I’d love to read a post about nail care and what you do for at home manicures.

    • Hi Sabrina,
      I’m not sure what that is, but it’s just a regular oval shaped diamond. xx! elsie

  • Now I know what’s missing in my make-up corner! Also a great idea to use washi tape to fit the shelves! Starting tomorrow with a visit to the hardware store :))

  • This is such a great idea! I love the finished product. I would be so excited to walk into my bathroom after this project! I think I just need to work on my nail polish collection first! Thank you for sharing!


  • Guys that looks amazing! I’m not so much into nail polishes but my sister is and I think this would be a neat project that I can do to surprise her. Thanks for the inspo! 🙂


  • Those are my favourite types of nail shelves – minimal so that all the polishes are the star of the show! So cute! 🙂

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

  • Wow ! So pretty! But I did the math and that’s around $1200 worth of nail polish ? #goals

  • So pretty! Just like a nail salon!

    -Kirsten // www.porkandcookies.com

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