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DIY Bookcase

Creating this DIY bookcase is as simple as knowing how to build a basic box. Follow these simple steps to create a bookcase as high and as wide as you need to fit your space.

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What you'll need

  • Collection of salvaged storage pieces
  • Medium-density fiberboard (MDF)
  • Table saw
  • Jigsaw
  • Drill
  • Wood glue
  • Clamps
  • Screws
  • Wood filler
  • Sandpaper
  • Primer and paint, paintbrush
continue reading below

Step 1

Search thrift stores and flea markets for baskets, bins, bowls, drawers, boxes, and even suitcases. You'll use your finds to determine the size of boxes to build. Choose pairs or trios that are the same or similar in height so all boxes across one level line up.

Step 2

Measure each storage piece to determine a box size that allows the storage piece to fit easily inside. Considering your storage pieces and the space for the finished bookcase, plan the number of boxes you'll need to create your storage unit. Include some boxes without storage inserts in the plan. A variety of box shapes will create an interesting bookcase, and a little space between some boxes can give the finished bookcase appeal. (Check out the photo for ideas.) Plan to make each box the same depth so the bookcase sits flush against the wall and the front edges align.

Step 3

To build one box, use a table saw to cut MDF to the dimensions of your desired box sides. Opposite sides should have the same measurements.

Step 4

Using a jigsaw, cut a groove or dado joint into each vertical side for a better fit (see illustration).

Step 5

Fit the sides together, cover the joints with wood glue, and clamp together. When the glue is dry, remove the clamps and insert screws along the length of the joints. Cover screw heads with wood filler. Sand to remove excess; prime and paint.

Step 6

Repeat the process to make the desired number of boxes in sizes to match the collection of salvaged storage pieces, plus the extra boxes to complete your bookcase plan. When the boxes are finished, stack them together to form your bookcase. Add the salvaged storage pieces and the items you want to store or display. The cohesiveness of the painted boxes will blend the mishmash of storage items into a stylish unit.

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