I have a confession to make: I’m a book hoarder. I spend nearly every weekend scouring thrift stores stocking up on hundreds of books that will take me years to read, but I just can never have enough of them! But I quickly learned that bookcases can be very expensive, so I decided to try to go the DIY route.
Another confession: DIY is not my forte. Scissors, hot glue guns, paintbrushes, these are tools I can handle. Hammers and saws? Not so much. So when I decided I wanted to make a bookcase, most of the DIYs I found online were too complicated. This shelf, though, is as simple as it gets.
What you’ll need:
–lumber, any size and length you want
–stain, any color you want
–a ton of books
In my apartment, I have a little breakfast bar that’s pretty much useless. It’s only about six inches deep, and it was just wasted space. But I realized that most of my books were about six inches wide, and fit perfectly in that little nook.
So I got two 8 foot, 2×6 inch boards, but you can use whatever size you want to fit your space. I got them at Home Depot, where they were less than $5 each. I then stained them with Minwax Dark Walnut color stain.
From there it was just a matter of stacking books. If you don’t have enough books or don’t want to stack them like this, bricks or cement blocks would also be an inexpensive option.
- Obviously, most of the books used in the columns will be inaccessible unless you want to disassemble the entire bookcase. I used books that I’d either already read or wasn’t planning on reading for awhile, and eventually I’ll take the whole thing down and rearrange them all.
- Make sure each stack of books between each board is of equal height. I made this mistake at first, and just eyeballed it to see if they seemed close enough. But they were about an inch off and it made the whole bookcase wobbly.
- Hardback books are probably more stable than paperbacks, but I don’t have that many hardbacks so I didn’t have much of a choice. Also, make sure the books you use in the columns are as similar in size as possible, since that will make it sturdier.
- I noticed that without a lot of books on the shelves themselves, it was a little wobbly. But after filling the bookcase up it’s now extremely sturdy and not going anywhere.
So that’s it! The whole thing cost about $15 (two boards, stain, and paintbrushes) and I didn’t use any tools at all to build it.