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Covering Up Those Ugly Wire Shelves – Wire Shelving Hacks!

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Are you ready to take the next steps to cover up those ugly wire shelves? You’re in luck! This is a simple and easy DIY project that takes minimal time and effort. You’re going to love these wire shelving hacks that make DIY your closet so simple and easy! 

Is it just me or does everyone think all of that wire shelving which is common in all closets is ugly? And sometimes not functional? Covering Up Those Ugly Wire Shelves is easy and cheap. (and a super simple way to solve your own wire shelving problems!)  The total cost was about $12 for supplies.  I have included a few links to make your shopping easier.  I do get paid a few cents from each sale – thank you.

Covering Up Those Ugly Wire Shelves - Simple Wire Shelving Hacks!

Covering Up Those Ugly Wire Shelves – Simple Wiring Shelving Hacks

Wire shelving can be great but there are times when it needs to just be covered up. Why not make a DIY shelf cover to make it look better? 

Many times if you are storing small items and bottles on wire shelves, they will not set in a sturdy manner. This is another reason to line them.

How do you hide wire shelves?

The first step is cleaning it out and organizing it. I used photo and storage boxes for most of my items. More on this later.

Whether you live in an apartment or a house, seems like finding a better way to store and organize is always trying to be figured out.

closet shelves updated with wire shelving hacks

I have seen several ways of covering up the wire shelves or just lining them. I chose to cover the complete shelf area and front. **NOTE here – Mine was a bit modified due to the closet opening.  

There are a lot of ideas out there for covering the shelves or even just lining them.  This is what worked for me.

Wire Shelving Hacks to Cover With Ease

Take everything out of your closet before beginning.

Measure the wire shelf area in both directions and also the drop-down portion. Cut your foam core board to this.  These sheets are only $1 per sheet at Dollar Tree.

wire shelving in closet - easy wire shelving hacks

Mark your foam core board to these sizes.

measuring core board to cut

.Then cut.  This thinner can be cut with heavy scissors or I like a rotary blade.

cutting board to size

Using white duck tape, which I purchased from Dollar Tree, attach these two pieces together to make an ” L” shape.  Any type of packing tape would work as well.

taping pieces

To add a bit of sturdiness, I also applied a thin line of hot glue using my Ryobi Hot Glue Gun.

gluing for sturdiness It’s amazing how much this glue gun comes in handy.

You could stop there for a plain white shelf cover, but remember I wanted a pretty closet so this marble Duck Brand Easy Liner was the thing that would work for me. There are so many choices of colors and designs in Duck Brand Easy Liner, you can find one to match your decor.

shelf liner

duck brand shelf liner It took less than a roll of this paper so you have some left to do other closets.

I covered just the top and front of my shelf cover since the bottom side didn’t show.

Cut your paper about 1 1/2″ larger than your shelf. Just wrap around as you would a package.

living the ledge

No more ugly wire shelves.  Using the photo boxes on the top shelf also maximized the wasted space.  

closet shelf with covered shelving - tips for wire shelving hacks

But, I decided I didn’t like the beige background of the closet. Now, what to do?

Simple Closet DIY 

Since we are in an apartment, I wanted a more temporary look. And, if a year or so I may want another look.

Using a roll of wrapping paper I had on hand, which had been picked up at Michaels, I had my wallcovering.


To make the job easier, I chose not to remove the wire shelves, but just cut each piece to fit between each of them.

I placed a Command Strips for Posters in each corner and applied the paper.

posters for hanging wallpaper

Now doesn’t that look better?

More Fun Ways to Style a Small Closet 

Rolling towels instead of folding gives a more pleasing look.

rolled washcloths in closet - simple wire shelving hacks!

Using an assortment of photo and storage boxes, it was easy to organize miscellaneous items. Remember to label them.

Think about items you want handy, but not really used every day.

Can you paint wire shelves?

You can! If you need to change how they look entirely, why not paint them? It’s a simple way to add a bit of color to a small space as well.

What Items Do You Store on Closet Shelves?

Think about items you want handy, but not really used every day. These are a few items to store in your closet.

  • My husband’s ties – these aren’t worn that often but needed.
  • First Aid items
  • Travel items
  • Makeup bags
  • Extra makeup
  • Hosiery
  • Cruise items
  • Manicure and nail polish

Since this was in the bathroom, no photos or papers were stored since they would absorb the humidity.

Watch for these boxes on sale at Craft Stores. Maybe one of these days I’ll get all my photos organized as well.

**Note here as I said I had to modify mine. I would suggest you try making one shelf before all of them. Due to the opening of my closet, I couldn’t place a completed shelf inside it. My solution was to cut down the depth of the foam core board. All of the surfaces were going to be used to store boxes and towels, so this still had the visual effect I was going for.

If you have any Ryobi tools, the same battery works so no need to purchase a new battery.

Now the pantry is next.  This time a wire shelf is coming down!

Duck Brand Peel & Stick Adh...Shop on Amazon Ryobi Glue Gun P305 with Ch...Shop on Amazon Command 17024ES Poster Hang...Shop on Amazon

Do you have any other tips for covering up wire shelving? I’m all about learning even more wire shelving hacks! 

More DIY home projects 

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I’ve included affiliate links to Amazon for you to find some products easier.  I may receive a small commission, but the price is the same for you.  It just helps my blog out.

Happy Travels, 


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  1. What an absolutely brilliant idea Rosemary. I hate those darn wire shelves but they do come in so handy and I love the way you’ve added the polka dot paper in the back. Stunning

  2. I’m curious if you have an idea for using this method on an around the toilet wire stand? I abhor cleaning mine and I think this might cut back on dirt buildup between the wire shelves.

    1. I would think it would work. If you wanted all 3 sides covered, it should be easy to either add a piece to the sides before or after you add the contact paper. I would make a sample of one shelf and see how you like it or how it fits. If it doesn’t have the lip on it like the wire shelves, I would just cover a piece of foam core with contact paper on both sides if it shows. Hope that helps.

  3. ??Love this!!!! Curious, did you ever get this done in your pantry? That’s where I’m wanting to do this diy! Wanted to see if you had to make any modifications & how well this held up! I have 4 littles who can be very destructive at times, lol!

    1. I didn’t in my pantry yet. Been adding shelves and moving them around to get to where I like them and they work. You could try it with the foam core and if it doesn’t hold up, get some of the hardboard from Home Depot. It’s not expensive and wouldn’t be as flexible as foam core.

  4. Brilliant idea Rosemary! I used to have these types of shelves in my first home (a condo) and always hated them. Now I wouldn’t hesitate to use them again :).

  5. What is the thickness you used for the foam board? I’m having a hard time finding the right size I need (at least 20×16″) in one or two inch thickness.. maybe I am way off base , but it seemed like what you used was thicker than what I have found in the store.

    1. This foam core came from Dollar Tree and is about 1/4″ thick, which is pretty standard. Are you looking at the part covering the front of the shelf? That is a separate piece which is cut and glued to make it cover the wire part hanging down. Does that make sense? There’s a picture showing the finished part upside down. Please let me know if I can help out further. I would be happy to help you, even with a call.

  6. The step-by-step instructions and the use of affordable materials like foam core board and Duck Brand Easy Liner make this DIY project seem so doable. I can’t wait to try these wire shelving hacks and finally transform my closet into a beautiful and organized space!

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