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  • Ashley

DIY Bookshelf


Our rectangular living room is a challenge to arrange.  No matter how I move the furniture (which has been frequently as of late), there is a always a huge spot near the main walkway that is empty.  It needed something substantial and tall. A bookshelf would be the perfect fit.

I started researching and shopping online.  The prices made me gag with shock! Real wood bookshelves at the size I wanted are ridiculous – with “cheap” ones starting at $300! “Seriously?! NO!” It was time to formulate Plan B: Do It Yourself.

Pinterest is a marvelous thing, ya’ll.  I began searching for a bookshelf that appeared “doable” for a beginner.  Yes, I managed to remodeled our fireplace and mantle, but it had thrilled me to make the basic cuts by myself! Told you… I’m a newbie.  But everyone has to start somewhere and the only way to learn is to dive in and try.

I found this picture of a bookshelf and blog on Pinterest. It would fit the feel of our home, looked simple to construct, and it came with plans on how to build.


The boys and I gathered materials from Home Depot and the construction began. Because I didn’t need the bookshelf to be as long as the one in the plans, I made some modifications in length. (I also opted against wrapping the selves with 2×2’s and simply added another 2×4 to each shelf.)


Once everything was gathered, it was time to cut.  The two sides needed built first and I can’t tell you how thrilled I was that my 45 degree angles fit!


These plans call for many (and I mean, a lot of pocket hole screws).  I didn’t know how to do it or of any way around them.  Eric showed me how to make them manually. It was doable but daunting even to him when considering the sea of pocket holes that awaited.  Eric was incredibly sweet to pick up this tool to make my job much easier. If you’re going to make this bookshelf, cough up the $30 and get this tool!  It is worth it!


Once the sides were built, I needed to make the “X.”  Since I modified the length of the shelves, the dimensions of the “X” were altered.  My brain does not think in numbers and Eric was working.  I won’t bore you with the unprofessional details of how I made my “X,” but the bottom line is that it miraculously happened.

The shelves, though a hassle because of the thousands of pocket holes, were easy enough and it was exciting to see the piece starting to come together!


I stained it with stain that we already had on hand from our floating shelves in the kitchen and the fireplace mantle.

This piece is heavy so we only secured two of the shelves before moving it inside (for stability because, let me assure you, the “X” wasn’t going to do the job). It fits our space perfectly!

If you’re an experienced woodworker, then you’re sure to find the mistakes I made a long the way. But it was thrilling to try, finish, and learn new things!



My whole point in this post (which almost didn’t happen in fear of appearing boastful) is for my friends who have asked for the plans and for those of you who might want them too.  If I can do it, then you can too!  I’d love to hear if you make one!  Have fun, fellow woodworkers!

In case you missed the links:

  1. Pinterest picture and blog link that inspired me

  2. Plans for the bookshelf

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