Here’s How to Make Personalized DIY Built-In Bookshelves

People can save money by creating storage space with this simple DIY built-in bookshelves guide. Making and installing it is the ultimate way to add character to a home, and bookshelves crafted in different styles can complement or enhance any style.

Here Is How to Make Personalized DIY Built-In Bookshelves
DIY Bookshelves

Stylish DIY Built-In Bookshelves

DIY built-in bookshelves can be filled with favorite decor items, a personal book collection, or a combination of the two. Either way, bookshelves are a great way to personalize a home and increase its functional storage at the same time. Hiring carpenters to create custom bookshelves could cost a lot, but a DIY built-in bookshelf project costs more in terms of time and effort.

The Guidelines Are Simple

The Guidelines Are Simple

When selecting a specific location for your DIY built-in bookshelves, aim to seamlessly integrate them with the existing space. Opt for corners or nooks instead of the center of a wall, as this tends to yield more visually appealing results. Embrace your home’s architecture to achieve an effortless and cohesive look.

If you desire to highlight the natural beauty of the wood by staining and sealing the shelves, consider using attractive wood species that readily accept stains, such as oak or maple. These can be found at your local hardware store and are suitable for creating the desired aesthetic.

On the other hand, if you plan to paint the built-in bookshelves, you can opt for more budget-friendly options like inexpensive softwoods or engineered woods. The following steps will guide you on building DIY built-in bookshelves using nominal lumber from the hardware store, but you can easily adapt them to suit alternative wood choices.

Whichever wood species you ultimately decide on, ensure that it is at least 3/4-inch thick, as this is the actual thickness of 1″ nominal lumber. For example, a 1×4 piece of lumber has actual dimensions of 3/4-inch by 3-1/2 inches. By adhering to this standard, you can confidently proceed with your project and achieve the desired outcome.

Basic Instructions to Follow

Basic Instructions to Follow

Measure the Room Determine the width of the area where you want to install the built-in bookshelves.

Cut Top and Bottom Pieces Using a 2×12 board, cut two pieces to the width measurement minus 1-1/2 inches.

Cut Shelves Cut the desired number of shelves from the same 2×12 board, using the width from step two.

Cut Side Pieces Cut two 1×12 boards to match the height between the floor and ceiling minus 1/2 inch.

Assemble the Frame Securely attach the two 2x12s between the 1x12s to create a rectangular frame. The bottom 2×12 should be positioned just above the baseboard, and the top 2×12 should be flush with the top of the 1x12s (or below the crown molding).

Mount the Shelves Install the shelves within the frame, evenly spaced between the top and bottom boards.

Cut and Mount Back Piece Cut a plywood piece to match the dimensions of the frame and attach it to the back of the frame with wood screws.

Mark the Studs Use a stud finder or an alternative method to locate and mark the positions of the studs on the wall.

Cut and Remove Trim Use an oscillating multitool to cut the trim, then carefully pry it off after scoring the paint and caulk with a utility knife.

Mount the Built-In Bookshelves Securely mount the built-in shelf frame to the wall, attaching it to the studs at the top, bottom, and middle.

Replace the Trim Reinstall the removed trim and add any supplemental pieces around the built-ins as needed.

Trim the Sides of the Built-Ins Cover the sides of the plywood back piece with cove molding.

Trim the Front of the Built-Ins Attach 1×2 boards to the front edges of the sides to create a thicker appearance and conceal the shelf joints.

Prime the Wood Apply a bare wood primer to all surfaces following the manufacturer’s instructions.

Fill Holes and Gaps Fill any screw holes and joints with caulk, including the lines of the trim.

Paint the Built-Ins and Trim Once the caulk is dry, paint the built-ins and trim with your desired paint color, completing the installation of your DIY built-in bookshelves.