Short on space and money, but need extra storage in your bathroom? This easy DIY over-the-toilet shelf is a perfect fit!

Did you know that 4.4 million Canadians rent their home?

In the U.S., roughly 36% of the population live in rental units.

That’s a LOT!

I have nothing against rental units other than that you can’t go to town DIYing everything – particularly permanent fixtures – without approval beforehand, or loss of your security deposit afterwards.

Kind of a bummer for someone that likes to makeover rooms and try new things that may or may not work out in the long run.

BUT! I did manage to find a non-permanent solution to a space problem my friend had…

namely bathroom storage.

The brilliant Ana White (who has a DIY solution for every problem there ever was) has free building plans for a leaning bathroom shelf that fits over most toilets and provides extra storage in tight spaces.

This over the toilet shelf gives extra storage space, can be taken with you if/when you move and is very inexpensive to build – particularly if you have a stash of scrap wood like I do.

(The perk of screwing up on so many projects – if you can call it a perk – is re-using the expensive wood you bought and wrecked in “scrap wood” projects. 😂)

scrap wood pieces

For this over the toilet shelf all you need is:


I won’t go over Ana White’s plans in this post – you can click Leaning Bathroom Shelf for her full instructions, but I will say that one small section of the plans were a bit confusing to me, so I thought I’d get a photo of what Ana means when she refers to cutting the edge that leans against the wall:

Both ends of your over the toilet shelf legs are cut at a 10° angle top and bottom but, for the shelf to lean against your wall solidly and without puncturing your drywall, you’ll need to ‘flatten’ one side so it rests flush.  To do this, I marked my side/leg boards at 6″ down from the top, then lined up a speed square across the top so that the right angle of it met at that 6″ marking.

Hopefully the photo makes more sense than my words:

I then cut on the line to remove the excess triangle and give the shelf a flat section that will rest against the wall.

making the wall angle on the over the toilet shelf

I assembled my scrap wood over-the-toilet-shelf in the garage using my garage door to line up the back of each shelf.

assembling the over the toilet shelf

Yes, there’s a bit of blood… but it wouldn’t be a “Shelly build” if there wasn’t some kind of DNA evidence of a screw up.

I wanted to trim out the front edges of the shelves to hide the plywood, so I ripped down some small boards and pin-nailed them into place.

With a bit of sanding, some Special Walnut stain and a sealer, you might not guess that none of this wood matches.

stained over the toilet shelf

And here is the finished shelf in its new home:

over the toilet shelf

What can I tell you…  my friend loves his daughter and she loves cats? 😆

Oh yes, the over the toilet shelf;  fits perfectly even in the snug space between the sink and shower and offers lots of extra storage without damaging a thing!

over the toilet shelf

The slim profile means your back won’t bang against it when you’re visiting your throne,

over the toilet shelf

and the fact that it’s a DIY project means you can add more shelves, or less, and stagger the spacing to fit whatever you need to store.

Add hooks on the side to hold a hand towel, keep a radio by the shower and/or keep extra TP within quick reach.  (Or, in the current Covid crisis, show off the toilet paper you do have in a glorious display of wealth and happ-anus.  I kill me!  🤣)
over the toilet shelf

over the toilet shelf

Thank you yet again Ana!  An inexpensive and easy-to-build DIY solution for renters and homeowners alike.

Have a great one!