Wednesday, June 16, 2010


One project down, many to go!

I made this bookshelf a while back and never got around to posting it. I told myself I needed to complete this smaller project before I tackled larger furniture pieces. It was some good practice and made me realize, with enough precision and patience I could probably make a lot of things!!

I found a bookshelf I really liked online - pottery barn kids - and using the dimensions they provided I made my own plans. I think I spent more time altering my own plans than I spent actually building!

The key to this project's success was very carefully hand selected pieces of wood. I used 3 1x4x6, 6 dowels and a thin sheet of luan plywood for the back. I made sure the boards were really straight without any knots and paid a little more for a nicer wood.

Here's how you make it:
I cut 4 pieces 35 3/4" (top and bottom and both sides) and two 34 1/4" (middle shelves) out of premium select pine from the Depot.

After cutting all the pieces, I drilled the holes for my dowels on both of the side pieces using a wood boring bit. (You can get them for pretty cheap at the depot.)

I then primed my whole project and painted the two middle shelves as well as all the inside boards.

I left the outside primed so I could fill my nail holes and sand it down. You can build it and then paint if you'd like, it was just easier for me to paint it not put together and then just touch up the little areas that needed it.

Originally I was going to use large screws to keep it together, but I changed my mind and used large nails in my nail gun. They made for smaller holes to fill! Photobucket

It went together fairly easy. I used a nail gun and used 4 nails on each shelf as well as the top and bottom boards. (You could also use screws, I just found the nailer easier to use) I used a smaller pin nailer for the dowels, but you could also just use wood glue. I filled my nail holes with a wood putty and sanded it down and put a coat of paint over it. You can attach it to the wall a number of ways. I used a little kit from the depot for a french cleat. Very easy to attach and hang on the wall.

And there you have it.
I love it. I love that the books are no longer thrown across the floor. And I love that it holds a lot of books without looking messy. I think I might make a couple more. I love it that much!


  1. I am seriously impressed! I wish you lived closer so you could teach me how to make all of these cool projects you do!!

  2. It looks so professional! I love it!

  3. I love it! This is such a good idea. I've seen them around, but haven't ever wanted to pay the price. I am all for making one though. Thanks for sharing.

  4. I found your blog through 71 Toes and I love your bed and book shelf! I want to build stuff too, have for MANY years but I don't have enough tools yet. My husband isn't super inspired about starting projects, but my son is gung-ho at age almost 14 and I think he and I are going to have to ask for some power tools for Christmas so we can get crackin' on some building projects on Ana Whites's web site- which is one of my favorite places to go dream!

  5. I also found your blog through 71 toes! I made this bookshelf for my kids! It has made such a difference in how much they initiate reading! They will often bring books to me to read just because they can see all the pretty covers. So THANK YOU for posting this idea. I I have also enjoyed the - i think I got that website from your blog. I built her laundry organizer and it has been super helpful... here's the link from my blog in case you need a new project :)

    Hope you're having a great week! Mindy

  6. oh and here's the post I did about your blog :)

  7. Thank you for the tutorial! Love!


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