Sometimes a minimalist designer object (such as a single-piece shoe shelf) can lead to an even simpler do-it-yourself idea. In this case, a brushed steel shoe rack inspired an ingenious alternative: a space-saving, wall-mounted, shoe-storage solution using just a pair of basic wooden boards and a few brackets to hold them in place.

Why was the original j-me such a good idea? in the words of this crafty DIYer at NotMarsha: “I love that it floats off the floor, I love that it doesn’t take up much space when no shoes are present, I love that it was the perfect shoe solution to my very cramped back entryway. So, I nearly cried when I found out it was about 5 inches too long to fit into said very cramped back entryway.”

First stop? The hardware store – but nothing in the realm of plastic pipes, metal plumbing or other prefabricated elements seemed to fit the bill. Second choice? Wood, plain and simple: a pair of boards sliced so the top one in narrower and the bottom one is wider. Add some metal L-brackets, drywall screws and a few coats of dark finish and a simple shoe shelving system is born.

Lessons to be learned: even the most easy of DIY projects takes some brainstorming, planning and time to purchase, finish and install materials – but if you have more time than money, it might just be a great way to go. Why not just by a free-standing rack? It takes up more space, can be knocked over and, well, it just isn’t as neat as hanging pairs of shoes from the wall.