Sunday, November 25, 2012

DIY Children's Bookshelf - Book Covers Showing!

The day has come!  I've had the supplies for months , but I finally finished this bookshelf that displays the book covers!  My kids initiate reading tons more now, so I think it's worth every penny and all the effort!!  Here's how it's done...

Materials Needed:
Back Square Piece (34.5" x 36")
1 x 4 x 6' Wood boards (4 boards 34.5" for the perimeter, 2 boards 33" for shelves) 
6 Dowels (this time I tried the square ends rather than the circular ends)
Wood Filler or Wall Spackle
White Primer
Paint color

Tools Needed:
Power drill
Hand saw (to cut dowels to correct size)
Sand paper
Screws (1 5/8 in.)
Countersink tool (to embed your screws so you can cover with filler for smooth finish)

1. Decide what size bookshelf you want.  If you can get a back piece for cheap (like at Home Depot's "Cull Lumber" - which are their discounted scraps usually from 50 cents - $4) that may decide what size you can do.  For my previous bookshelf, I used Lowe's bead board so I had to do 2' x 3'.

I choose to have 4 pieces - 34.5" long.

2. Begin to screw all sides together.  I used my countersink tool to pre-drill holes for the screws.  After the screws were all in, I used wood filler to cover up the holes.  After it dries, you sand those spots.  
3. Screw the backing on.  I had trouble getting my square back to perfectly fit just fyi.  So mine doesn't match up just right.  I ended up having to do a lot of sanding and it wasn't at all perfect - but oh well!  I did about 4 screws along each side.

4. Put in your 2 middle shelves and screw them in along the sides and back.

 6. Sand the whole project.  First coarse and then fine.  Maybe it's because I bought the cheapest electric sander, but I think I prefer just using my hand.  My project could have used a ton more sanding but I just didn't have the time!  At one point I had Penny in my carrier and the kids swarming around me on their bikes in our community laundry room while I tried to bust out the electric sander!  It must have been a funny sight to see.

7. Prime and Paint.  You want to prime the new wood so your wood doesn't completely soak up all your final paint.  I used a roller brush and regular paint brush just for the edges.

8. Cut the dowels (which keep the books in) to just the right size.It's better to cut a little big at first since it's easy to quickly saw to make it a perfect fit.

9. Pre-drill pilot holes through the sides and dowels to prevent breaking the wood.  After screwing each dowel into place on both sides, cover holes with filler/spackle.  I also spackled each corner for a smoother finish.  When dry, sand those spots and touch up paint.

10. And  you have your awesome bookshelf!  I used these corner brackets (directly under the middle shelves, screwed into the wall studs) to make it extra sturdy.

1 comment:

  1. I love this idea!!! After seeing it, I went and looked on Amazon and they were $130-$250!!! Yikes!! I'm so glad you showed me how to make it! Maybe I can recruit my husband to get on board with the project too and get it done by Christmas! Thanks a ton! :)