Easy Steps to Build Bookshelves {Office}

One of the best ways to clear a desk or table surface — Build Bookshelves.  I love the DIY: Wall Mount Bookshelf (here) we built for my boys room.  That system has helped with their overflow of books.  I appreciate a storage solution that doesn’t require time and perfection.  Here’s how to build floating shelves…

Build Bookshelves or Floating Shelves @Its_Overflowing

Remember the awesome book storage solutions (here) I showed you the other day!?!  I loved one so much that my hubby offered to build it for me!  The Book Tower, similar to a wall bookcase found at CB2 and West Elm.

Step One:  Cut Boards.

Cut a 1×3 board, 5.5 feet tall to use as the back support AND six 11.5 x 11.5 shelves.  Along this tall support board, use a rabbet bit to route an opening for the shelves, every 10.5 inches, with exception to the top shelf — 7.5 inches from the top and bottom shelf — 4.5 inches from the bottom.

Bookshelves. How to Build Wall Shelves 2 - ItsOverflowing

Step Two: Double Check Before Assembling.

Then he inserted 11.5 x 11.5 boards into the routed portion of the tower to make sure each fit in the space.   (Important step: Stud brought the routed tower in for the bosses inspection).  Perfect!

Bookshelves. How to Build Wall Shelves 4 - ItsOverflowing

Step Three:  Attach shelves to back.

He then used countersunk screws to secure the back of each shelf.

Bookshelves. How to Build Wall Shelves 3 - ItsOverflowing

Step Four: Support.

Add a little extra support to the underside of the lower shelves  for storing heavier books.

Bookshelves. How to Build Wall Shelves 5 - ItsOverflowing

Step Five:  Mount Shelving Unit to the Wall.

After securing all six shelves, he brought the bookcase spine into the house and mounted it into a stud in the wall, again using countersunk screws.

Bookshelves. How to Build Wall Shelves 6 - ItsOverflowing

Step Six:  Enjoy the finished product!

Remember the wall before!?!?  Next I added a fun houndstooth stencil to the wall (here).  And then I finished it out with stylish storage…

Easy Steps to Build Bookshelves - ItsOverflowing

I love the convenience of having these shelves right next to my desk.  It’s awesome to have a workstation that is not stacked a million miles high with inspiration books and magazines.  Clearing the surface helps with work efficiency!  If you’d like to build yours to the ground, just add a shelf.  Computers tend to stir a lot of dust, so I like mine to be raised to height that makes cleaning under it a breeze.

Bookshelves. How to Build Wall Shelves 8 - ItsOverflowing

How can you get organized?!  — Build Bookshelves!

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  1. Cynthia says:

    Great design, I absolutely love this ook and your instructions are nice and straight forward…Thanks for sharing:)

  2. Christina says:


    I’m Christina, a writer for Buzzfeed, and I’d love to use a photo from this article for a post on ways to create space for your room. I’ll also link it out to your tutorial. We’d also be interested in using photos/tutorials for future posts. Let me know if this is possible, and if so, how you’d like to be credited.


    • Hi Christina,
      You can use the last picture and link the post to ItsOverflowing.com. XO, Aimee

  3. Shane says:

    What size rabbeting bit did you use?

  4. Aimee,

    I love the design! With it’s current supports how much weight can each shelf hold. For example, can the shelves be loaded up with hardcover books? Magazines only?

    What advice can you give to make the shelves more weight bearing?

  5. Mallorie says:

    I absolutely love this! I was trying to figure out how to get my cookbooks out of a bulky cabinet piece I have in my dining room…this is the ticket! Thanks so much!!

  6. Urooj says:

    Ohh thanks alot for this easy tutorial!! I was looking everywhere for the tutorial this bookshelf and I finally found it. Now I can make one for my room! Yay me! 😀

  7. I love this idea, and your office space is beautiful. The houndstooth stencil is to die for.

  8. Wonderful tutorial! I loved the outcome!
    Great post!! I included it in my post Βόλτα στη Γειτονιά #24 🙂
    Have a great week!!

  9. Loved this project Aimee! Thanks for linking up to Monday Funday! I featured you today!! xoxo – Cheryl


  10. Mel says:

    Love the hounds tooth on the wall.

    You mentioned in the comments that you would like to make one for your bathroom to hold towels. I did just that a couple of years ago. It was a great solution for storage since my bathroom is so small. The way I built mine was a little easier then using that router do Hickey thingy 🙂 I modified the plans that Ana White has on her site to make mine a little bigger. Just in case any of your readers would like another way to build these.

  11. Jessie says:

    I *Love* these and they will be the perfect addition to my little home office. I can’t wait to build them! …but how do you use that pencil sharpener?? haha

    • Hahaha! You sound like my kids….I obviously need to figure out a different location for that pencil sharpener Jessie! XO, Aimee

  12. Sherry says:

    What neat shelves! Love it! Thank you for joining Home Sweet Home!

  13. Looks great! Awesome job.

  14. These are neat. For some reason I imagine them working well in the bathroom. I don’t like like stuff to be too fussy in there, feels like you can’t get it clean.

    • That’s such a great idea Andrea…make the shelves a little wider and stack towels on the bottom. Now you’ve got me thinking! XO, Aimee

  15. Sarah says:

    These shelves look so clean and simple. As a book loving family I could really use a couple of these.

    If you get a chance I would love for you to come link up at my Tuesday Pin Party.


  16. Maria says:

    LOVE those shelves! What an awesome idea, and so much prettier than a bookcase/regular shelves! Your office space looks great!

  17. I love your shelves! What a great fresh looking office space. I had to do a double take when I saw your pencil sharpener, hmm what is that on the side of the desk??? I must get one!

  18. What a great idea! Looks awesome 😉

  19. Ela says:

    Love your office. I love the shelves. Great tutorial.

  20. That’s a nice use of space! They look great and are handy too, always a plus!
    I hope you’ll drop by to see My Daughter’s Master Bath Redo – #83 at Met Monday.


  21. I love this project! The shelves look amazing and are a great addition to your office.

  22. Beautiful job, Aimee! They shelving looks fantastic!

  23. Thanks so much for your sweet words! Here’s the link http://www.itsoverflowing.com/2012/11/painting-designs-on-walls/ for my houndstooth wall for those that have emailed asking! 🙂 Glad you like it…makes me smile!

    XO, Aimee

  24. These look awesome! I’m so impressed that you made them! 🙂

    Visiting from The Frugal Girls.



  25. Love, love, LOVE this idea — will have to keep it in mind for my office re-do.

  26. .pallavi says:

    Hi ..these shelves look amazing…i wud love to try it …but cud u pls tell me how did u put the whole thing upnon the wall cos the secrews are not visible…so there must be a trick to it..pls help

    • Oh my goodness, that’s such a great question! We did just as you thought…screwed them into the wall using the back support piece. They screws are hidden. We like to countersink the holes so that the screws aren’t seen when filled with wood filler and painted. XO, Aimee

  27. Mel says:

    They’re fantastic, okay I need a router…or convince my Dad he needs one so I can borrow it 😉

    The office is looking amazing.

  28. Caroline says:

    Now this i can do! HOw much weight does each shelf support? I love reading and have a ton of books that need a good home.

    Thanks for sharing

    • The lower two have my heavy books because they’re supported. Most of the others have 10-15 magazines and don’t seem to be affected at all! XO, Aimee

  29. LOVE this!!!!!
    Oh that space is calling my name!
    The houndstooth background behind your desk is A-Mazing!!!

  30. I LOVE THIS PROJECT! This is my first time on your blog… dropping by from The Shabby Creek Cottage link Party!

    Pinning this right away and putting it on our to do list for our basement when we take it on in April!

    Cannot wait to look at your other posts!


  31. nikkisnacs says:

    This is such a great bookshelf and a very doable project. At least for my husband. I am seriously trying to figure out a place for this in my home…

  32. Julie @ Being Home says:

    Aimee, love these! You did a fantastic job! Love your office space! 🙂

  33. Just found your blog through pinterest – love, love, love this bookshelf and I’m loving that houndstooth!! Pinning this! Can’t wait to check out more on your blog :).

  34. Andrea says:

    Love this idea!! Your office is such an inspiration!! Love the design and color choice.

  35. Love your floating shelves – and love the houndstooth pattern on the walls.

  36. The shelves look fantastic!! I love the open feel and the simplicity of the clean lines. I’m going to pin this so my husband can make some for me someday! 🙂

    Found you from the Liz Marie link party.

  37. Jordan says:

    Wow, that is so cool! Seriously, they go perfect next to the desk.

  38. Girl, you are superwoman!!!!! What can’t you do?! I absolutely love this project! Pinning! xo ~ Virginia @ LiveLoveDIY

  39. Cheryl says:

    Love your space and the floating bookcase is amazing. Could you please tell me how you did the houndstooth? My daughter loves houndstooth and do far we have not been able to find a good way to put it on her wall. Thanks

  40. Wow!! I love this! Your office is so beautiful and classy!! Awesome shelf creation!

  41. LOVE this bookshelf! It’s amazing. I will highlight it at somedaycrafts.blogspot.com.

  42. Kris says:

    Love this new office space. Gorgeous.

  43. Little Bit says:

    It’s looking good! Love the houndstooth check wall too. Little Bit

  44. That looks great! I’m all about fun new ways to store/display books 🙂

  45. Jacque says:

    I love this space, just beautiful, makes me want to work!

  46. I’m totally sharing this. This is absolutely amazing, Aimee! This entire space is like my dream!!!! You knocked it outta the park on this one!!!!! (Well, you always do…but REALLY far outta the park this time!!) 🙂

  47. Yes yes yes such a awesome idea…………..I love bookshelves myself

  48. Ginger says:

    Love them! I really like the simple design and how compact it is. Like Christy said above, great way to add shelving in a smaller space.

    I love the whole office.


  49. How clever, I love this idea! It’s a great way to sqeeze a bookcase into a small area!


  50. Moni ~ Zu Haus at Home says:

    Great job on the floating shelves and wonderful addition to your office.

  51. Cool – I like the look of floating shelves! Wonder if my fabric stacks would stay on one of those?!

    • Kathryn@Blessed Life A Top A Cake Stand says:

      I love it for the books as well. Your little office looks great there!

      Fabric storage. That’s a great and pretty way to store fabric. Great idea! I’ll have to remember that.

  52. Ooh– I would look for work to do just so I could hang out in this cute space. I LOVE the bookshelf. I’m always throwing away magazines because they seem to be in the way, but this is a beautiful and functional way to display them. Thanks for sharing!

    ~Abby =)

  53. Oh, your office is looking gorgeous – love that bookshelf too!