These DIY display shelves were custom made to show off a whimsical mug collection. The simple shelves fit snugly inside of an existing alcove.

DIY Mug Storage Shelves 2
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I’ve been collecting coffee mugs for a long time, but I’ve never really had enough room to display my collection. They were overflowing from our kitchen cabinets and spilling off of the shelves of the tiny mug shelf that I had installed in our kitchen. We needed a larger and more permanent space for our mug collection, so we decided to turn our shallow decorative alcove into functional storage and display shelves.

fun and whimsical mug collection on shelves

What We Used for Seven 35″ Shelves:

shelves full of colorful mugs

My husband used our table saw to rip the 1×6 boards into 1×4 and 1×1.5 pieces (note: a 1×6 board actually measures 1×5.5). The 1×4 pieces became the shelves and we used the 1×1.5 pieces for the ledgers. Because the alcove is arched, our shelves actually measure anywhere from 34-35″ so each shelf was individually cut, assembled with the brad nailer and 1.5″ brads, and painted before we installed them in the alcove.

Mug Collection Display Shelves

Installation was as simple as nailing the shelves to the wall using the finish nailer and 2″ finish nails. They’re very sturdy, and they easily support the weight of the mugs. Don’t you just love that funny “Martha is My Spirit Animal” mug? It was a holiday gift from my friends at, and it’s one of my most recent favorites.

porch mugs yellow and orange heart mug
His and Her Mugs

This definitely looks like a his & hers section if you ask me (you can never go wrong with a sprinkled donut mug!)! My son got my husband this Raiders mug for Christmas, and we never even realized that the logo is totally crooked until about a week after he opened his gift! Ha!

DIY Mug Shelf in Arched Alcove

I’m totally thrilled with how the shelves turned out, and I love having my favorite mugs on display – in rainbow order, naturally!

DIY Mug Collection Storage and Display Shelves
Image of text that says Heidi

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  1. I have an extensive collection of mugs. This is a perfect way for me to display them. Thank you so much for the great idea.
    I will be using it.

  2. Love this idea! And you have a Raiders fan too? My manfriend has been one since 1973 . . . with all the ups and downs. We have a mug just like that!