Easy Steps to Build Bookshelves {Office}

February 20, 2013 by 59 Comments

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!


59 Responses to “Easy Steps to Build Bookshelves {Office}”
  1. Sherry says:

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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

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


  5. Taelia88 says:

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

  6. Lisa H. says:

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

  7. 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! :D

  8. 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!!

  9. Stephanie says:


    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?

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