DIY Bookshelf

I never have enough shelf space for all my books. I have to do a bi-monthly thinning of the books to keep them off of the floor.

They’re still on the floor.

So, that got me thinking about an ideal gift. And it hit me: a bookshelf.

Disclaimer: The shelves I talk about putting together were actually a team effort. My girlfriend helped me sand them, stain them, and mount them on the wall. You will want an extra set of hands to do this.

Super Simple DIY Bookshelf

Our supply list:

  • We already had four shelf brackets that I hand-forged, but you can buy some simple, steel ones online here: Black HD Shelf Bracket
  • Screwdriver from the toolbox.
  • Measuring tape and a pencil to mark where the holes will go.
  • Two, 6′ long 1×6 boards at Home Depot. Had them cut one in half.
  • A box of short wood screws. They should be shorter than the thickness of the 1×6.
  • A box of 2 1/2″ long wood screws to mount the brackets to the wall.
  • A can of stain that matched our other furniture. We went for a dark mahogany (not that we own anything mahogany).
  • Brushes to apply the stain. Don’t buy fancy ones. Cleaning them takes a long time and some rough chemicals. If you feel guilty about throwing them away, do two good deeds to balance it out.
  • Sand paper. Getting rid of rough corners and churching it up a bit.

We got everything home and since the weather was nice, we stained the boards on the porch. We put newspaper down to catch the drippings and reused some old styrofoam we had from unpacking our TV.

The boards had to set over night, but by the next afternoon, we were ready for the hardware.

Note: If you don’t want to or don’t have a hidden area to set the boards, you can buy ones already finished at a Habitat ReStore or use a clear glossy spray paint to seal it and make the woodgrain shine.

So, I measured out where I wanted the brackets on the boards and with the screws, mounted them in place. Once they were secured, I had my girlfriend hold the shelf while I drove the longer screws into the wall with a screwdriver. An extra set of hands is great to have here.

DIY Bookshelf

And that’s it. I would suggest putting it up while he’s out and filling it with his books and knick-knacks before he gets back. He’ll like the surprise.

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