Is it worth it? 110% yes. If you have $12 and an hour, you can do this Dollar Store kitchen hack.
The wire shelves in our pantry used to drive me NUTS. Boxes were always tipping over, things would slip and fall through the cracks, and they were a real pain in the butt to clean. On top of that, they just didn’t look good. Ideally, I would have loved to create real wood overlays for the wire shelves (keeping the wire shelves really reinforces the strength of the wood so the shelves wouldn’t buckle and warp over time) but that would’ve taken a couple hundred dollars, lots of power tools, and a weekend of mine and my husband’s time.
Let’s be real – we’re both employed, with a two year old, and I’m in my third trimester. We’ve got bigger fish to fry.
But when I’m pregnant (as opposed to any other time in my life) I set my mind to things and they must get done or I implode. So this was going to happen one way or another. Thankfully, I kept seeing people talk about this Dollar Tree pantry hack that you could do yourself in a matter of hours, no tools necessary. But I was skeptical, because DIYers on YouTube tend to make things look a little too good to be true.
And you can tell in my YouTube video, I was not buying it. I fully expected that this wasn’t going to work the way I wanted and I’d most likely be leaving it up for a couple of days and throwing everything out. But hey, the supplies cost me $12. I wasn’t going to be out all that much if I hated it. So, here’s what I did.
Supplies You’ll Need For Wire Shelf Covers
- Thick presentation board from Dollar Tree (two for $1, and I used one per shelf)
- Wood grain contact paper (my Dollar Tree didn’t have wood grain look, so I ended up ordering this one on Amazon, which seems to be much higher quality)
- An extra sharp knife, which will give you a much more clean cut than scissors
- Measuring tape
- Yard stick, if you need a straight edge to work with
How To Create Dollar Store Wire Shelf Covers
There are a few things you should keep in mind before you get this project started, and if you watch my YouTube video, you’ll be able to see firsthand some of the techniques I used to get some shelves more perfect than others.
- Be patient with your contact paper. Take the time to practice your technique and get it on smooth so it doesn’t bubble. The more smooth you can get it, the more it will look like real wood.
- The key to getting this right is creating the “hinge” that hangs down and covers the front of the wire shelf. For best results, make it longer than the lip on the shelf, and put the contact paper on while the pieces are at a 90 degree angle rather than folding it down afterward.
- My shelves were 31 centimeters wide, which was longer than the piece of presentation board. After cutting it to the right depth and cutting out the lip, I used the leftovers to add a couple inches to the end.
- Measure, measure, measure! The supplies may be cheap, but it’s a lot of effort to go through just to find out you got your dimensions wrong.
And lastly, if your shelf is above eye level, you’re going to want to cover the bottom of the board, too. Just like with any other wire shelf cover, you’re still going to be able to see the wires this way, which isn’t ideal. But, you won’t see the white presentation board or the unfinished edges of the contact paper. So, it’s certainly a better deal.
Is it worth it? My answer is 110% yes. It’s an awfully big transformation for the time and the money. And it was so easy to do myself, which I’m all about right now. If you have an hour and $12, you can get this done.