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DIY Bar Shelf Ideas: Creative and Affordable Options for Your Bar

DIY bar shelves are a great way to add some personality and functionality to your home dry bar or wet bar. Whether you’re a seasoned bartender or just looking for a way to store your favorite spirits, there are plenty of creative DIY bar shelf ideas out there to suit your needs. From rustic wooden shelves to sleek modern designs, there’s something for everyone.

DIY bar shelf ideas

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Understanding the Basics of a Bar Shelf

A bar shelf is a piece of furniture that is used to store and display bottles, glasses, and other barware. 

There are many different types of bar shelves available, ranging from simple wall-mounted shelving unit to an elaborate freestanding unit like bar carts. Some are designed for small spaces to hold only a few bottles and glasses, while others can accommodate a large space with a big collection of barware and accessories. You might even have an area where you can use a set of built-in shelves for a DIY bar shelf. 

Think about the types of items you will be storing on the shelf and your storage space, as this will determine the size, shape, and configuration of the shelf.

Some key features to look for when choosing a bar shelf include:

  • Sturdy construction: A bar shelf should be sturdy enough to hold the weight of your bottles and glasses, as well as any other accessories you may have.
  • Adjustable shelves: Many bar shelves come with adjustable shelves, which allow you to customize the configuration of the shelf to suit your needs.
  • Easy access: The shelf should be designed in such a way that it is easy to access your bottles and glasses, without having to move other items out of the way.
  • Style and design: The style and design of the shelf should complement the overall look and feel of your home, and should reflect your personal taste and style in a creative way. 

Choosing the Right Materials

When it comes to building a DIY bar shelf for your own home bar, choosing the right materials is essential for both the aesthetic and functional aspects of the project. Here are some of the most popular materials for bar shelves:

Wooden Shelves

Wooden shelves are a classic choice for bar shelves due to their natural warmth and versatility. Some of the most popular types of wood used for bar shelves include floating wood shelves to display your glasses on. Just remember, it’s important to consider the weight of the items that will be stored on them and ensure that the wood is strong enough to support them. 

Metal Shelves

Metal shelves are a durable and modern choice for bar shelves. They are available in a range of finishes, including stainless steel, brass, and copper. It’s also a popular choice to mix metal shelving with another material like wood. Metal shelves are also easy to clean and maintain, making them a great option for busy bars. Just note that metal shelves can be more expensive than other materials.

Acrylic or Glass Shelves

Acrylic or glass shelves are a sleek and elegant option for a wet bar. They can be used to display bottles and glassware, and they reflect light to create a bright and airy atmosphere. That being said, they can be more fragile than other options and may not be suitable for storing heavy items. Also they require regular cleaning to maintain their clarity.

Innovative DIY Bar Shelf Ideas

When it comes to creating a unique and functional bar space, the shelving is just as important as the drinks themselves. Here are some innovative bar shelf ideas to inspire your DIY project.

DIY wooden Crate shelf ideas to use as a bar shelf

For those who love a cozy, rustic vibe, consider using reclaimed wood or repurposed crates as shelves. These materials add warmth and character to any space. To create a cohesive look, match the wood stain or paint to the rest of the bar area. For a more unique touch, add vintage hooks or knobs to hang glasses or utensils. 

useful ways to repurpose a wooden crate first

You can purchase wooden crates totally unfinished like the one above and paint them or stain them to match your style. Restaurants are notorious for hanging wooden crates and using them to store things like wine bottles and liquor. Check out some images below.

DIY wooden crates used a DIY bar shelf storage
crate storage for bar shelving

You can see in the first picture above where the Cornish Crate Company is using lots of white washed crates to store wine and liquor. If you are looking to store more than just a few bottles, you can purchase a handful of crates and fill them with more than enough bottles! They have a handful of different crate systems in different styles for sale.

DIY wooden floating shelf ideas for bar shelving

As far as wooden floating shelves, I’ve got a handful of projects of my own. You can see where I made my own wooden floating shelves for our dining room. These would be great to hold drinks and drink ware and not fine china. I have a detailed post on how to make them if you want more details.

DIY Floating Dining Room Shelves

Also check out this tutorial for easy DIY wooden floating shelves for a bar area. I mean, who wouldn’t want a bar shelf held up by antlers? This creates an awesome rustic vibe to any bar area.

Purchasing wooden floating shelves for a DIY bar shelf ideas is a popular and trending idea today. You can see where I recently purchased 2 sets of them, one for our modern eclectic beverage bar area and one for our DIY coffee bar.

DIY bar shelf idea

I love this wooden floating shelf from Etsy so much that I purchased a similar (but smaller one) for our DIY coffee bar area too.

coffee bar in kitchen where fridge used to sit

Another set of wooden bar shelves that I really like are from Wayfair. These solid wood wall mounted shelves also have a place to slide and display stemware.

wooden wall mounted bar shelves

Mixing metal with wood for industrial DIY Bar shelf ideas

You can also purchase wooden bar shelves from Amazon with an area to hold wine glasses too! Not only are these type of shelves eye pleasing, but they are functional too!

Another great bar shelf idea is to mix rustic wood with pipe hardware. You can see with these bar shelves from Etsy that mixing wood and metal is a great way to add a rustic farmhouse touch to your bar area.

Floating Shelf, Rustic Wood & Pipe Shelf

You can easily DIY these industrial shelves too. A few years ago I made my own Industrial pipe shelves for our bathroom.

Industrial pipe open shelves

Speaking of mixing metal and wood, check out how I made these large oversized wooden shelves in our kitchen that would work great for bar shelves too. You can see I used heavy duty metal brackets to hold up large wooden shelves in our kitchen. This would be a great idea to hold bottles of liquor or wine and even heavy glassware. See more about these shelves in my post on our kitchen cubby makeover.

kitchen cubby makeover with open shelves

Acrylic bar shelf ideas

For a sleek and modern bar area, consider using acrylic bar shelves. This material creates a clean and sophisticated look. To add some interest, mix and match different shapes and sizes of shelves. Use floating shelves to create a minimalist look, or add LED lighting to illuminate the shelves and create a dramatic effect.

Check out these fun acrylic modern shelves with LED lights from Amazon. They would be a great addition to a bar area and a great way to showcase and store bar supplies like bottles and drink ware.

LED lit up acrylic bar shelves

I also like the look of these simple and minimalistic acrylic bar shelves. If you are looking for a more modern design and don’t want a lot of “fluff,” these shelves are perfect.

acrylic bar shelves

Bar Cart ideas

A bar cart is a mobile piece of furniture designed to store and display beverages, glassware, and other bar accessories. It typically features multiple shelves, racks, and compartments for holding bottles, glasses, cocktail shakers, and other tools. Bar carts come in a variety of materials, including wood, metal, and glass, and can be styled in many different ways to fit a variety of home decor styles. They are often used in living rooms, dining rooms, and other entertaining spaces to create a stylish and functional area for serving drinks and hosting guests.

Bar carts are fairly affordable to purchase. You can find a handful of options on Amazon from a simple three tier rolling bar cart to a more elaborate Liquor cabinet with lights.

Home Depot also has a handful of bar carts for sale like this Industrial Bar Cart.

Shanty 2 Chic has a simple DIY bar cart post with plans on how to build you own!

No matter what style you choose, the key to a successful bar shelf is functionality. Make sure to choose shelves (or a cart) that can hold the weight of your bottles and glasses, and arrange them in a way that makes sense for your workflow. With these innovative bar shelf ideas, you can create a bar area that is both stylish and practical.

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