Make Your Own Nail Polish Shelves

Nail polish shelves (made with shadow boxes!) via I'm a sucker for open storage. I've said it a million times before on this blog, but if I can't see my things, I don't use them. No matter how many bottles of nail polish I have stored away in my cabinets, I'll always end up using the one that got left on my nightstand or makeup table. This project earns bonus points in my book because it's an organization solution that looks cute at the same time!

We made these shelves from triangle shadow boxes that flags are stored in. Here's how we did it: 

How to make a nail polish organizerSupplies: triangle (flag) shadow boxes, small wooden board (about 3 inches wide a 1/4 inch thick), balsa wood and paint. 1. Remove the back, inside lining and the front glass from the shadow box. Be careful when disposing of the glass! 2. Measure and cut shelves to fit inside the box. Use your nail polish to measure how far apart the shelves should be. Some nail polish bottles are taller than others, so use the tallest brand you collect as a guide. To cut the wood, use a jigsaw (that's what I used) or circular saw. 3. Prime the box and shelf pieces. 4. Line the box and back panel with balsa wood. Paint any accents you want and glue the shelf pieces inside. Once it's all dry you're ready to hang the shelves and display your nail polish collection.

Nail polish shelves (made with shadow boxes!) via  Nail polish shelves (made with shadow boxes!) via  I'm so happy with the end result. If you have a lot more polish bottles I can envision a display using more triangles- the possibilities are endless! This tutorial could also be even easier (and would hold more bottles) if you used a larger square shadow box. Choose the size and shapes that fit your space. xo. Elsie 

Credits // Author and Photography: Elsie Larson, Project Assistant: Emma Chapman.

  • so fun! i’m jealous you can keep nail polish out! i have to hide mine from sneaky and mischievous 3yr old fingers:)

  • love this! and being that I just moved into my new place and am looking for a new storage option for nail polish it is absolutely perfect too! gigi.

  • Totally agree, if you can´t see anything, you will not use it
    This idea is great!

  • I’m not a fan of open storage because you have to clean your stuff more often. But tenis shelf looks great, Mayte I can use it incide a personalized cabinet. Thanks for sharing!

  • I love this!

    So cute and nice
    love your blog..

  • I have the exact same problem, if I don’t see things, i forget about them, every time! This is a lovely idea I’ll think about it for my bathroom maybe…Thanks girls!

  • This is so very cute!!!!

    Have an amazing weekend:



  • I love this idea! I’m not a big nail polish person, but I could see myself using this to hold all of my travelling knick knacks I’ve collected!

    Whimsy Darling

  • Love it 🙂 I have see through acrylic stands for my polishes and always find myself having an argument in my head about which colour to use 😉
    Rosie x | Every Word Handwritten

  • you made my day. I have a shelf at home where I want to put my nailpolishes in but it doesn´t look really good. I will try this tutorial. THANK YOU!

  • Totally! If I don’t see my things, I won’t use them. This is such a good idea. So good in fact, in makes me want to stop travelling around and get a place JUST so I can do this.

    Hilary x

  • I love that you made it into a diamond shape storage instead of the typical boxes! Its so unique!

  • This is such a great idea!! So cute! Perfect for a girl’s bathroom!

  • Cute idea! <3 If I was just a little more skilled with handicraft work, I’d try this. 🙂
    So many essie nail varnishes, I’m jelly x

    – Elina

  • This is such a great DIY, can’t wait to use it for my room!

  • oh fun, so many goodies i could hide in these, especially from my chubby-handled baby.

  • These are great!!! I have the issue that I rarely even use nail polish because I keep them all in a makeup pouch and so I just never think about it! I could definitely use a cool storage idea like this!

    Jamie @

  • Cute set-up! Unfortunately, I cannot have this display since I love in Los Angeles and we are earthquake prone! 🙂

  • So cute! I love this idea – all of my nail polishes are currently thrown together in a pail!

  • REALLY love this. My apt would be a bit crowded with shelves based on the sheer amount of polishes I do have, but thinking this would be great for the seasonal/rotational stash that gets used consistently. LOVE!

  • If you’re at Hobby Lobby, and get these shelves, go to the doll house section, they have little decorative balcony shelve pieces you could use to make sure they don’t fall out. But you would also have the hobby lobby framers put a wire hanger on or something to make sure it STICKS to the wall as well!

  • There are some ready made shadow boxes for golf balls and shot glasses, I have used those in the past to store my nail polishes. Also, I recognize those flag shadow boxes. Every now and then, check to make sure that the back hangers are on tight every now and then. They’re made to sit on a table, and the back hangers are kinda flimsy. Just an fyi to be on the safe side.

  • This is a great idea. I’m the same way about my things! If I can’t see them, I never use them! I recently did something similar to this by simply hanging a drawer organizer on the wall in my bathroom – now all of my makeup is organized and at my fingertips. 🙂

  • Dear Elsie,

    That’s really nice.
    Thanks for step by step explanations.

    Have a great weekend



  • This is amazing. I was just wondering “how” to display all my nail polish as right now it is in a pretty shoebox! However when you see them, you remember the colors you have – so brill, thanks Elsie. I am all for open storage also.

  • SO cute!! I have visions of lots of colour co-ordinated nail polish shelves all over the wall now. So clever!

  • I need to try this! Love the different colors essie has and it would be great to show them off!
    I have a new post on my blog! Hope you can read it!

  • These are too cute! Love reading, I’m always up for a good DIY.

  • I really like this idea. Simple and so decorative!
    Best, Katharina
    C’est le cours des choses

  • I have a circular shelf that I use for this exact purpose! Love the diamond as well – could be cute for my crystal/gemstone collection!

  • love this! some of my friends think it’s odd that i want to display my nail polish, but i just love them so much that i think they deserve it!

  • where did you get the wood that the flags are stored in? this is a cute idea!

  • Very cute idea. Would work for me if I owned more than 2 bottles of nail polish, but I don’t. 🙂 Maybe I could use that for my essential oils, Those bottles I have more than a few.

    Have a great weekend girls!

  • So creative. I love having everyday things (nail polish, perfume bottles, jewelry) out to double as decoration. xx

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