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11 Leaning Ladder Shelf Ideas (Including 5 Handmade Versions)

leaning ladder shelf by DapperDavesWoodshop

About 2 weeks ago I was browsing to check out some creative home furniture and stumbled upon a gallery of leaning book shelves for sale.

I found several that were creative, original and definitely worth featuring on this site – to bring this shelving concept to our readers.

I contacted several artists and they generously agreed to let us feature their unique and custom leaning shelves on our site.

Below are 5 ladder shelving ideas from creative Etsy artists and woodworkers. These are one-of-a-kind creations.

Related: Types of Ladders | Parts of a Ladder

2 Main Types of Ladder Shelves

1. Leaning:  The leaning design requires a wall to which it’s attached.

2. Stand-Alone:  Is created from a step-ladder and can stand alone.

Our gallery features both types.

As with most shelving, these types of shelves can store pretty much anything – books, CDs, plants, pots, decorative items… pretty much anything. Just be sure you know the weight limit for any unit you purchase.

If you’re in the market for unique shelving, you’re in the right place. Check out these unique shelving options.

Oh yeah, at the end of our gallery, we included by far the best DIY leaning ladder shelf video – it’s 36 minutes and totally steps you through how to build a leaning ladder bookshelf.

A. Custom, Handmade Ladder Shelves

1. Leaning Ladder Shelf by Dapper Dave’s Woodshop

leaning ladder shelf by DapperDavesWoodshop

This is a leaning ladder shelf by Dapper Daves Woodshop. It’s built for indoor or outdoor use. It’s handmade, hand-painted with a distressed paint job. The wood is a pressure-treated Scandinavian Pine.

2. Ladder Shelf by Revive Design

Leaning Ladder Shelf by ReviveDesign

This custom ladder bookcase shelf is by Revive Design and Decor. The ladder purchased is used, painted and then shelves are added. Revive Design and Decor attach the shelves in a clever way using velcro so that you can adjust the shelving placement.

3. Ladder Shelf by Victorian Rehab Designs

IMG_2126This white ladder shelf is by Victorian Rehab Designs. This is an upcycled ladder shelf that is sanded, painted in white chalk paint and distressed.

4. Leaning Ladder Shelf by Pobi Shop

Leaning Ladder Shelf by PobiShop

This leaning ladder shelf is by PobiShop. Pobi Shop offers color selection and dimensions.

5. Dolly Shelf by Industriana

Dolly Shelf by Industriana

This dolly shelf is by Industriana. This is definitely a unique shelving concept… one advantage is it’s on wheels. It looks great as a static shelf or for more utilitarian uses such as carting things around.

B. Commercial Ladder Shelves & Bookcases

The following ladder shelves can be purchased at Wayfair.

1. White Leaning Ladder Shelf (by Convenience Concepts)

White Leaning Ladder ShelfThis is a basic white leaning ladder shelf.

At 72 inches in height it fits most spaces, yet offers plenty of storage with 5 shelves.

The legs are made with solid poplar and the shelves are stained birch veneers and particle board.

It’s a recessed design in that the shelves narrow in depth toward the top of the shelving unit.

Note that the shelves are designed to hold up to 10 pounds each. You better find another spot for your shot put collection.

2. Hybrid leaning bookcase with drawers (by Wildon Home)

Ladder shelf with drawersThis is a clever storage concept marrying the leaning shelf concept with drawers.

This unit includes four shelves and four drawers.

At 69 inches in height it accommodates most rooms and spaces.

This simple and stylish shelving unit works well in living rooms, family rooms, bedrooms and possibly kitchens.

3. Bathroom Ladder Shelf (by Jenlea)

Chocolate Brown Ladder Bathroom ShelfThis unit is made to look like a ladder, but really it’s an A-frame receding “ladder shelf” perfect for bathrooms.

It doesn’t require a wall – it leans on its own.

Customers really like this particular unit with an average rating score of 4.3/5.0.

It includes four open shelves and stands 53.5 inches tall.

The open shelving makes accessing your stored items easy.

It’s ideal for bathrooms, but could certainly be used in other rooms.

4. Leaning Bookcase Ladder Shelf (by Hokku Designs).

Leaning Ladder Shelf with Unique DesignI’m a big fan of Hokku Designs.

Hokku Designs comes up with aesthetically pleasing and unique designs for much of their furniture.

This unit is no exception.

This design combines the ladder shelf concept with traditional bookshelves.

This particular designs results in more shelving surface area, which is ideal for book storage.

5. Side-by-Side Modular Leaning Ladder Shelf (by Jesper Office)

Modular leaning ladder shelving unitIf you have more space on your wall, this is a great choice for a leaning ladder shelf.

It’s a side-by-side design, but it’s attached to create one continuous wide shelving unit.

It’s perfect for storing decorations, books, plants, pots, boxes, etc.

It’s a sturdy shelving unit with a steel frame.

With five shelves (82 inches wide), it stands 71 inches tall.

Bonus: This unit is modular so you can configure it to suit your space.

6. Tic Tac Toe Leaning Shelf (by Berg Furniture)

Short Tic-Tac-Toe Leaning ShelfHere’s a classic tic tac toe leaning shelving unit.

The center shelves include a back; the outside shelving sections are open.

This decorative design makes it easy to store books (in the center) with decorative objects on the outer shelving sections.

It’s shorter than the other shelves featured on this page – it stands only 48 inches tall. It’s 36 inches wide.

Check out Wayfair for more ladder bookcases and shelving units.

C. DIY – How to Build a Leaning Ladder Bookshelf

For those of you who prefer to do-it-yourself, here’s the best video (36 minutes long) that steps you through how to build a leaning ladder shelf.

(c) 2015