Beautiful Bookshelves

I love books. And I love having them in places I can see them and access them easily. If you aren’t blessed with a library with built-in bookshelves (that was a gift from God when we bought our 1880’s house!), you may find yourself in need of more storage space. Here are some ideas for do-it-yourself bookshelves. Crate Bookshelf

I’ve seen several variations of this one around the web. This particular tutorial is very easy to understand. For another “crate” idea, check out this picture (the blog is not in English, but it’s a nice visual).

Another variation is using binder clips to hold crates (or other wood boxes) together, as shown here.

I’m planning to do a variation of this in our guest room, but rather than paint the crates, I hope to use some graphics from The Graphics Fairy, then stain and distress them to look old.

Really Simple Bookshelf

This one would be great if you’re in a rental property and don’t want holes in the walls. And it takes no tools… just boards and concrete blocks! I like the “industrial chic” look. A friend of ours had a similar one built with boards and glass blocks. I’ve even seen a variation using logs or tree stumps!

Fabric Bookshelf

Perfect for children’s books, but I could see it above a bed, too. If you can hang a curtain rod, you should be able to construct this one. I couldn’t track down the actual tutorial, but it’s just a double curtain rod with fabric slung between the two rods. (I’ll bet you could use a pre-made window valence for the fabric and just thread the second rod through the hem. ) I definitely need one of these for my 14-month-old!

Bookshelf Makeovers

If you already have the shelves but think they are boring or ugly, check out some of these fun ideas.  It’s amazing what paint, replacing the back with beadboard, or adding furniture feet can do to a plain bookcase! If you’re really ambitious, you can add moulding, too.

Other ideas include wallpapering the back (there is even beadboard wallpaper, if that’s your look), or using fabric or scrapbook paper to achieve a similar look. (Psst, girls… if you still live at home and your parents aren’t wild about you permanently altering their furniture, check out this idea!)

And if you have craft materials or other clutter to hide, why not add some baskets to the shelves, or hang a simple curtain with a tension rod?

Hopefully these ideas will be helpful! Do comment with your own ideas. I’m always on the lookout for more ways to store books!

(Photos used with permission.)


  1. What an inspiring article, such a beautiful man and family. Thank you and thank you for be so kind to share so many lovely ideas on the book shevles. I appreciate it more than I can say, it never dawned on me to use crates in this way, may God continue to bless you all. Thank you so very much.

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