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This simple DIY bookshelf will organize your kid’s books without taking up space on the playroom floor. Learn how to do it yourself in one afternoon for under $20!

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Organizing your kiddos things can be a little bit overwhelming. They have so much stuff — especially books! This simple DIY bookshelf is the perfect solution to organize books, and also can be used to create a special little reading nook for kids! All you need is some floor seating like a bean bag chair and you’re good to go!

I also love how versatile it is. This bookshelf could be used in the piano room to hold music books, as a magazine rack for older teens or in the kitchen to hold your cookbooks. But quite possibly the best part about this DIY bookshelf is how quick and easy it is to put together. In just one afternoon with only $20 you could make one, too. Here’s how.

How to Build this Simple DIY Bookshelf

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You Will Need:

  • Wood
  • Table saw
  • Square
  • Tape measure
  • Hand sander
  • Sand paper
  • Nail gun
  • Nails
  • Wood filler
  • Stain or paint
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Step 1: Cut your wood.

We used left over cabinet plywood from our laundry room makeover. You could also use 1 x 6 boards and cut them down to size.

Here are the cuts you’ll need:

  • (5) 18 inches long x 2 ½ inches wide
  • (2) 39 inches long x 4 inches wide
  • (3) 18 inches long x 3 ¼ inches wide

*Remember: when using power tools, follow all safety precautions and use eye protection.

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Step 2: Assemble the bottom shelf.

To assemble this bookshelf, we used a nail gun which made it a super quick project. You could use wood glue between the joints, just to give it a little more sturdiness if you would like. We started with the bottom shelf.

Lay your two 39-inch pieces on a level surface. Then, using the nail gun and a square, attach one of the 18-inch long x 3 ¼-inch wide pieces flush with the two longer pieces.

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Step 3: Nail on the middle and top shelves.

Next, we added two more of the 18 inches long x 3 ¼ inches wide pieces. We spaced them each 13 inches apart.

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Step 4: Add an 18-inch piece along the top.

Then we attached one of the 18 inches long x 2 ½ inches wide pieces at the very top to finish it off. Notice it is laying flat, not up and down like the previous pieces. Also note, the shelf is actually upside down in this picture!

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Step 5: Add your support piece along the middle.

Next, we installed a support brace underneath the middle shelf using one of the 18 inches long x 2 ½ inch wide pieces. You will also use this board to screw your bookshelf into the wall when it’s time to hang it up.

Step 6: Nail the lip onto each shelf.

Attach three of the 18 inches long x 2 ½ inch wide pieces to the front edge of each shelf. This little lip will help hold your books in place. You can see in this picture how we used the nail gun to attach the wood pieces together.

We also popped some nails in along the front of our shelves as well. This will give a little bit more support and sturdiness.

READ ALSO:  Easy DIY Projects: Repurposed and Upcycled Furniture

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Step 7: Fill your nail holes.

When you use a nail gun, you will have tiny holes where each nail went in. Fill in each space with some wood filler. Wipe off the excess with your finger and then let it dry.

TIP: Make sure you use stainable wood filler if you plan on staining your bookshelf.

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Step 8: Sand.

After your wood filler has dried, sand your bookshelf with a hand sander and medium grit sandpaper. Dust off with a damp rag.

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Step 9: Stain your bookshelf.

Choose your favorite stain and then stain your bookshelf. I let you know my favorite way to stain when I shared my modern farmhouse table. So you’ll have to pop over there and see. 🙂

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Step 10: Hang your shelf.

There are several ways to hang this shelf. The sturdiest way is to use a stud finder to find your stud. Then screw the shelf into the wall using the two flat brace boards (the one at the very top and the one under the middle shelf). Now you can add books and enjoy your new DIY bookshelf!

How do you organize your kiddos’ books? If you tackle this simple DIY, let me know in the comments below. I’d love to hear how it goes. Happy building!

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About the Author

Ginger Bowie

Ginger Bowie is the blogger behind Ginger Snap Crafts. Ginger loves sharing her crafty ideas, latest DIY projects, yummy recipes, organization tips, kids crafts and more with her readers. Ginger is the wife to one amazing guy & mom to 5 wild & crazy kiddos that range in age from 6 to 19. Her family loves calling Northwest Arkansas home. She has a crazy & busy life, and she wouldn’t change a thing. Ginger Snap Crafts is a place that she hopes inspires others to create along with her! If she can do it, she knows you can, too!

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