Major Shelf Over Desk Using Cans

Gold Post Medal for All Time! 969 Posts
August 12, 2020

A desk shelf made from recycled cans.Recently, I rearragned my bedroom/office/craft room. The scanner was a bone of contention as it was right next to the keyboard. I needed a shelf to keep things from being cluttered on the desk top.


I needed the shelf on top for paper, in and out box, scanner, etc.
So, I had the shelving board from the work table, that I now had to make shorter. Hmmmm...

The transisition was easy. I hope you like it.

Total Time: 2 hours

Yield: 1 shelf unit

Source: Just being thrifty and fun!


  • 16 Empty veggies cans
  • 20 yd Scrap fabric strips for each column
  • 1 Hot glue gun and 2 sticks
  • 16 in Strapping tape per seam
  • 12 oz Rocks and sand per can
  • 1 Old bi-fold door
16 recycled aluminum cans.
Ribbon for wrapping around the tall can structure.


  1. I cleaned the cans as they have been out in an Ikea shoe box on the back porch.
  2. Then I filled with a rock or two and some sand from the Dollar Tree. I forgot to take a photo of this step till the cans were taped and didn't want to take them apart. It was important that I picked the kind that fit into the next one down. This gave it a bit of "stability" since there was no way to have one "slip off" the one below it.
  3. Recycled cans with tape and scissors.
    Four stacks of cans for constructing the shelf.

  4. With each column ready to wrap, I gently laid them down on a hard surface and began wrapping the fabric around. I found that it was easier to wrap them while verticle and glued, then just spun it around as I was wrapping. I found that I didn't need glue any more than once every 8 or so times around.
  5. Glueing ribbon to the bottom of the cans.
    Wrapping ribbon around the tall can structure.
  6. Once each column was done, I determined where I needed them on the desk, then simply put the board on top. They were only a bit wobbly till I put things on them. The scanner went over one set and the heavier paper storage basekts went over the other. The rest was simply to clip on the light and fill in the rest with inbox/outbox baskets and a lined paper supply box. Viola!!
  7. A desk shelf made from recycled cans.
    A desk full of materials.

Comment Pin it! Was this helpful? 5


Silver Post Medal for All Time! 267 Posts
August 12, 20200 found this helpful

Very creative, Sandi! It looks stable and definitely gives you a lot more room.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes

Gold Post Medal for All Time! 969 Posts
August 12, 20200 found this helpful

Thanks! I love it. Now the scanner is accessable but out of the way. My Connor can sleep full stretched out along the side, and I can breathe!!

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
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