Recessed Bathroom Shelf on a Budget

Bathroom Shelf

Recently, Angie posted about her ‘In the Wall Shelf‘ and stated that I would be posting about my new shelf soon.  So here I am doing just that!  My shelf was done on a minimal budget and used a lot of scrap pieces from Angie’s previous projects.  (This post may contain affiliate links.  This means that if you purchase a product through a link we have here in the post, we may be compensated at no cost to you.) 

Preparing the Wall

First things first, I needed to decide where I wanted the recessed shelf and the length.  The width is predetermined as it is between the existing studs.  This particular wall backed up against my pantry and didn’t have any electrical outlets on it.  We did determine that there were no wires behind this wall.  This is an interior wall – DO NOT do this on an outside wall!

  • The drywall was cut for the length needed.

Cut in wall

  • A thin piece of board was purchased and it was cut to fit and glued against the back wall.

Wall back

  • Pegboard was purchased and cut to length and width of the sides, making sure the peg holes were level with each other.  This was nailed to the studs.

Peg board

  • The top and the bottom of the shelf was closed up with wood.  This is a picture of the bottom piece – which is actually a leftover piece of primed trim!

Bottom part

  • The shelf unit as a whole was trimmed out in 1″ x 1″ board that Angie also had leftover from a previous project.  Thank goodness she kept all those scrap pieces!

Finishing Touches

  • Next, I purchased a gallon of paint that I plan to use to paint the whole bathroom.  However, right now I just painted the shelf unit.

Painted Shelf

  • Purchased shelf accessories to hold the shelves.  It took me a few times to get the shelves set to exactly where I wanted and needed them.


  • The shelves were leftover from Angie’s older in the wall shelf.  We just had to cut them to fit mine!  They were also painted the same color as the shelf.  In addition, Angie had a large roll of white vinyl contact paper.  I covered each shelf with this to help protect the painted wood.


  • All the shelves were put in place!  Isn’t this nice?

Completed Shelf

  • This is perfectly placed behind the bathroom door.  You cannot see this shelf unless the door is closed.  I am able to keep all my daily use items here since it is right by the sink.  My larger stock up items are in the bathroom cabinet out of sight!

Bathroom Shelf

So there it is!  What do you think?  Around $20 was spent on materials and the rest were leftover from previous projects.  The only other expense was what I paid the neighbor to build the shelf up to the painting part.

I have wanted this for a long time and it hasn’t disappointed!  Let me know if you have ever built something like this!

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