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Awesome DIY bookshelf ideas to organise your favourite books

Learn how to build a bookshelf and find stylish solutions for book storage.


Awesome DIY bookshelf ideas to organise your favourite books

Having effective and attractive book storage doesn’t just make it easier for you to find your favourite title, it also makes the room look fabulous. With creative bookshelf ideas, you can turn your disorganised clutter into stylish storage. Get inspired with our easy ideas.

Measure, draw up plans, then measure again! This will help you avoid costly mistakes when making DIY shelves and bookcases.

How to build a bookcase: 2 DIY bookshelf ideas

If you’ve got the space, time, and skills, then putting together your own bookcase can be incredibly rewarding. Take your time planning it out and thinking through the construction before diving in to avoid ruining or wasting materials.

Follow the step-by-step guide below and try our two bookshelf ideas to get started.

Basic bookshelf

  1. Measure for your bookshelf precisely. Don’t just focus on the different sections of your bookcase but consider the space where you intend to place it too.

  2. Sketch it out. Draw your plan to scale, including your measurements. Be as detailed as possible and consider how it will look. Does it work for your home?

  3. Make a model. To be extra cautious, make a scaled down model of your bookcase. This will help you identify any challenges you might face with the real thing.

  4. Get building. Work slowly and carefully. Secure the frame properly as the last thing you want is for it to be unsteady under the weight of your books.

  5. Decorate! When you’re finished, consider how you’d like your bookshelf to look. Use varnish, paint, decorative paper or other embellishments to decorate if you like.

Creative bookshelf

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  1. Plan where to put it. Take advantage of unused spaces in your home such as nooks, corners, or hallways.

  2. Measure precisely. Double check all your measurements and consider whether your creative bookshelf will affect anything such as access to a door, window, etc.

  3. Build your custom bookshelf. Try DIY floating shelves on one wall or above doorways to create an interesting feature without any visible brackets.

  4. Make use of existing features. Old fireplaces, cubby holes and alcoves all make great bookcases.

  5. Customise old bookcases instead of making new. Clean the surfaces thoroughly with Handy Andy before getting to work, then sand, paint and varnish!

How to make shelves: wooden DIY shelf ideas

Books don’t only look good on bookcases; DIY shelves also work well when you’ve run out of floor space. Try our wooden DIY shelves and learn how to build a bookshelf:

  1. Check the wood. Make sure it is flat, not bowed, and in relatively good condition. Sand and prepare it before using it for building a bookshelf.

  2. Measure the space carefully. Work out how big you need your shelves to be and how far apart you want them spaced. Allow enough room for bigger books!

  3. Pencil-mark your drilling holes. Check your measurements and use a spirit level to make sure everything is flat and even.

  4. Drill your holes. Use power tools carefully and check that you’re drilling in a suitable part of the wall (not into pipes or wiring).

  5. Fix your brackets to your shelves and the wall. Make sure everything is secure. Check your shelf has enough brackets to support the weight of the books.

Once you’ve taken the time to look around your home and find space for storing your books, you can move onto implementing our shelving and bookshelf ideas. DIY can be good fun as long as you’ve got a plan and take the necessary safety precautions. Happy reading!

Safety Warning

Follow all necessary safety precautions when using tools or completing any form of DIY. Don’t take on projects beyond your capabilities and seek professional advice.

  • Measure your space multiple times and make a plan.

  • Look for creative spaces and solutions for book storage.

  • Follow safety precautions and seek expert help where needed.

  • Make sure your shelves or bookcases are secure before using them for storage.

Originally published