TikTok Amps Up Small Bathroom Storage With An Incredible DIY

An over-the-toilet shelf is always an easy solution for small bathroom storage, but what if you took things up a notch? Skip the trip to the furniture store and instead, build your own set of shelves that perfectly fit around — and above — your toilet. With your own built-in shelving, these small bathroom shelf ideas can maximize your storage and add a chic flair that will make your guests green with envy. Or at least that's how we feel after watching @caranewhart's small bathroom DIY on TikTok!

This DIY project started with Newhart's desire to take advantage of the empty space around her toilet, and to ditch the small shelf hanging on the wall for good. After clearing out the space and tossing the shelf, this clever TikTok DIYer got to work measuring her shelves and creating a space that feels far more serene and organized than her previous bathroom setup. Here's exactly how she did it, as well as some tips for maximizing the storage space in your bathroom just like she did!

How to replicate this DIY in your own small bathroom

Once you've cleared the space around your toilet and painted the wall your preferred color (this serves as the back of your built-in shelves) measure the sides adjacent to your toilet so you can build your own shelving. In this particular project, Newhart recommends using PVC boards because they are water resistant, which is key for the bathroom where moisture easily builds up.

For the space above the toilet, feel free to add some detail! Trim a set of ribbed wood panels to fit on the wall between your new built-in shelves and stain them to give a sleek finish, either with a canned stain or a natural wood stain made with coffee. Then measure out the shelves to fit above the toilet — lining them up with the outer shelves on both sides for some symmetry — and cut pieces of stair tread. Sand and stain the wood, then when it's dry, attach vintage brackets at the bottoms, like @caranewhart did, to elevate the design. Once those shelves are hung up, attach stained trim that has been cut to size, then seal the wood with polyurethane to give the wood a glossy, smooth finish.

Organize and decorate your new built-in bathroom shelves with these expert tips

Now that you have built-in shelves perfectly measured out for your bathroom space, it's time to get organized and decorate. Use larger spaces to pile extra folded towels and rolls of toilet paper for easy grabbing. Save precious floor space in the small bathroom by sticking your bathroom garbage pail in one of the bottom slots. Replace those plastic bottles of soap and use reusable dispensers with metal accents that fit the aesthetic of your bathroom decor. Don't be shy with your decor, either; add small planters and sculptures instead of filling your shelves with baskets and soaps that make your space look cluttered. And why not add a gorgeous plant that will thrive in your humid bathroom?

Another trick from Newhart's project is hanging a small towel bar below the last shelf and hanging woven baskets for those easy-to-grab items. DIY experts say one of the most common bathroom storage mistakes is not having your most used items handy; there's nothing like sitting on the toilet and not being able to grab things you need, like disposable wipes or feminine products. Hanging baskets look like a decor piece yet function as a necessary storage space when you (and your guests!) need those hygiene products handy.