DIY Bookshelf: The 22 Best Projects To Try

If you’re already a DIYer, then you know the satisfaction that comes from creating something with your own hands. It’s especially gratifying when the project isn’t terribly complicated, and let’s be honest, there’s an added bonus if we can save a little money.

Bookshelves are an excellent DIY project because there is an endless number of projects that don’t always require an advanced skill level. If you’re into recycling discarded items and materials, or upcycling and repurposing things, there are clever bookshelves just waiting to be made.

Before you jump into beginning your own DIY bookshelf project, be clear about a few things first. Make sure that you are realistic about what you really can and can’t do if you’re approaching carpentry work. Also, take into account the amount of space you’re working with, and assess any tools you’ve already got and what you may need to buy or borrow.

For some unique and fresh ways to DIY bookshelves for your favorite titles, take a look at 22 of the best projects.

1. Black Pipe Bookshelf

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One of my favorite projects to date ❤️#pipebookcase #anthropologie #diptyque #pipeshelving

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The combination of wood and metal is a popular look right now, giving spaces an industrial look. Crafting a bookshelf of pipe and, in this case, oak gives you a warm yet modern look while providing a sturdy place for your favorite reads.

2. Small Cherry Bookcase


Oftentimes, small bookcases that can be kept near the bed are ideal. Especially for avid readers who have quite the to-be-read pile. This DIY bookcase uses cherry wood. If you don’t have your own planer, don’t worry, you can buy these boards pre-cut.

3. Painted Bookshelf


Never underestimate the power of painted plywood. This project takes a bit more carpentry skill, but the cost of materials isn’t terribly high.

4. Reclaimed Wood With Sliding Doors Bookshelf

This DIY bookshelf project is quite on-trend right now. Utilizing sliding-door hardware and reclaimed wood, it’s bound to be a finished product you can be proud of.

5. Bookshelf Made From Stair Treads


To make a quality bookshelf using as few tools as possible, consider buying stair treads. The material is durable and already has a finished edge. This means that the face of your bookshelf is complete, not requiring you to use a router for this project.

6. DIY Tree Bookshelf


If you like the idea of furniture doubling as art, this may be a project for you. This tree bookshelf isn’t just a place for your beloved classics, it’s also the focal point of the entire room.

7. Large DIY Shelving Unit


This DIY bookshelf is quite large at 9’x11’. It’s crafted only of plywood, pine, and reclaimed wood, but you can expect it to take a bit of time to complete.

8. Wooden Crate Bookshelf

For a simple DIY bookshelf project requiring little in the way of tools, check out this wood crate bookshelf. These shelves are made of wooden crates you can find at craft stores, and can be stained and put together in a weekend. This is also quite a popular project on Instagram.

9. Secret Door Bookcase

If you thought only super-rich people with mysterious mansions could have secret door bookcases, you’re mistaken. We can all have one! With a bit of patience and a whole lot of carpentry skills, you can escape in your very own home.

10. Wood And Iron Bookcase

This simple DIY project comes together fairly quickly and only requires a drill and a circular saw. The finished look is both modern and industrial, adding functionality and character to most spaces.

11. Rain Gutter Bookshelves


Ideal for a child’s room or play area, these rain gutter bookshelves are cost-effective and simple to make.

12. DIY Drawer Bookshelf


Using old drawers in DIY projects is an excellent way to repurpose the wood. In this case, bookshelves. With some spray paint, contact paper, a drill and some sandpaper, this bookshelf comes together in a few hours.

13. Pallet Bookshelf

Pallets are a favorite of do-it-yourselfers and upcyclers alike. This pallet bookshelf comes together quickly and adds a rustic charm to your reading room.

14. Recycled Ladder Bookshelf

Whether or not you choose to paint them, recycling old ladders and repurposing them as bookshelves adds an unexpected element of charm to a room.

15. Dresser to Bookshelf Conversion


We’re seeing a lot of dresser conversions these days, whether to change the style or its functionality altogether. If you’re able to get your hands on an old dresser cheaply (or in this case, free!), you can have a new bookshelf in no time.

16. DIY Hanging Bookshelves


Some DIY bookshelves are even simpler than we may think. If you need some quick storage space and don’t have a lot of time to build an entire piece of furniture, head on over to a home improvement store for some pre-cut wood and brackets, and you can have these shelves up in minutes.

17. Skateboard Bookshelf

This bookshelf is a clever idea for kids’ rooms or skateboard enthusiasts. Not only is it a unique way to recycle old skateboards, but it makes for a creative focal point.

18. Invisible Bookshelves

Make your guests wonder how you have books floating against your walls. These “shelves” only require brackets, screws, and paint, and add an entirely new dimension to a room.

19. Crutch Bookshelf


If you’re the type of person who loves to flip a tough experience into a positive perspective, these upcycled crutch bookshelves do just that.

20. Pegboard Shelf


You don’t have to be incredibly handy with wood or tools to put this pegboard bookshelf together. Because of its versatility, it could find a place in virtually any room in your home.

21. DIY Honeycomb Bookshelf


Other than plywood and some simple materials, the only tools you’ll need for this project are a jigsaw, a carpenter’s square, and a mallet.

22. Upcycled Piano Bookshelf

Though it may be difficult to get your hands on a retired piano, should you be so lucky, it may serve as an elegant piece of art doubling as a bookshelf.

Written by Jessica Barrett Halcom

Jessica is an outdoor enthusiast who can be found dreaming up any excuse to make her way to the woods, the mountains, or the beach. Growing up in the country in a small town in Wisconsin, she had aspirations of one day moving to a big city to make her living as a writer. Her love of the country won out over the city, and though she makes her living writing, she has chosen the hills of Tennessee as her home where she lives with her family.

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