The Origin of Nail Shelves

This post chronicles the story of how I’ve been storing my nail polishes all my life. Picture-heavy, but the ones at the end are worth it, I promise.

Before I started college, I got rid of most of my nail polishes. I started collecting at maybe 11 or 12, but because I didn’t make a whole lot of money as a middle or high school student, I had a lot of crappy cheap polishes. I still had peel-off polishes from a Klutz nail art kit I got when I was 9. So when I traipsed off to college, I purged everything other than the really good ones. Every nail polish I owned fit in the box my phone came in.


From there my collection grew. Next they filled a shoe box, then another. By the time I started this blog they were in one of those sets of plastic drawers you get at Walmart, with a drawer of cool tones, warm tones and a drawer of neutrals.


Eventually my collection outgrew these drawers and I spent time looking for plastic containers that would allow me to store my polished upright, for efficacy. I found these at Walmart. I still kept them sorted the same way.

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But by the time I moved to my new apartment, I had outgrown even those. And they were never a perfect solution, as only the level with the lid was tall enough for the taller polishes. I considered Helmers and Melmers (the classics in nail polish storage), but I hated the idea of hiding my beauties away. I then looked into buying nail shelves for my walls, and those run at about $50 each, at least the ones I liked. However, I realized with such a simple design, I could build them myself. They don’t even bear that much weight, so it’d be pretty hard to mess them up.


I am so proud of these. They’re up in my living room. If you think about it, it’s a collection that’s worth over $1000, damn straight I should display them! I certainly can’t afford art that expensive. This is art that is both gorgeous and practical as they are much easier to see and access now. Best $60 I ever spent (each shelf cost about $20 to build). This is every polish I own. Barring the crackles, because I needed more space and I don’t use those anyway.


I’ll chronicle my tales of building them in another post (with vague instructions). For now, just enjoy the view.

UPDATE: I’ve now written the how-to of making these shelves