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How to Make Your Own Bookshelves

By Kathy Woodard
Special to Relocation.com

Whether you are moving into a new home or trying to make your existing one better, most of us have a multitude of books that need to be stored. You know, the piles and piles of book that seem to take on a life of their own. Shelving is the best way to hold your books - not to mention add some organization to your home. One of the easiest and cheapest ways to shelve your books is to make your own bookshelves. Even without any building or carpentry experience, you can create a imaginative and sturdier shelve by following these easy guidelines and home improvement tips.

1. Hang shelves. Simple shelves are not hard for the beginner DIYer to hang directly onto the wall. You simply have to make sure they are properly mounted so that the weight of the books does not pull them out of the wall. You can buy shelving board, but any board or lumber of the right width will do. Home improvement stores carry simple brackets that you mount underneath the shelving to hold them in place. Decide where you want the shelf to hang, and then use a level to draw a straight line between each bracket. Here’s the important part; make sure your brackets are screwed into wall anchors, or directly into studs. Wall anchors are sold at any hardware store and are made to support various weights. Some can be installed with a hammer; others need a drill to install. And if your shelf is longer than 48 inches, add support brackets under the center of the shelf.

2. Be a little more creative, and make bookshelves out of… books! Place large, heavy books at the end of each shelf to the same height, then place another shelving board on top of these books. The books become the supports, similar to the old cinder block system of the past. Do not build this shelving system too tall, or it will become unstable.

3. Think of other items you can use to place between shelving boards as supports. Try terra cotta pots or large mouthed vases. Square storage cubes are great, creating more storage and book shelves at the same time!

4. Use non traditional areas that are usually wasted space to store your literary treasures. Make a library atop your kitchen cabinets, or use an empty linen closet or pantry.

5. Attach wooden crates together in back with simple brackets to create a custom size and shape of book shelf. These crates can be anything from antique soda crates to wine boxes. This is a great way to represent your personality and hobbies in your home in a creative way.

Learning how to make your own bookshelves doesn’t only solve your book storage problems. Doing it yourself saves money, showcases your personality and allows you to make your space your own. Don’t be afraid to come up with your own ideas and build those bookshelves!

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