Tuesday, June 4

Forward Facing Bookshelves

I've been wanting to do bookshelves like these for a couple of years now... mostly for the storage space/organization... but also because it encourages kids to read more when they can see the fronts of the books. 

I saw some different ideas on Pinterest, and at first, I wasn't sure which kind I should attempt. I almost did the rain gutter version. (Click HERE to check out that project.) The gutter ones are very pretty, but since they wouldn't cut them in store for us we were gonna have to borrow a truck to carry it home.... and we were impatient :D 

We went to IKEA to buy the Spice Racks... but lo, and behold- they were on back order until August. Yeah... apparently there are lots of people like me using THIS idea for them.

So... we decided to just build them with 1x4's and L-brackets.

Finished product:

We ended up deciding the raw wood look was better for Benjamin's room anyhow, because they match his toy shelves.

These shelves are 2' wide. 
We bought 2- 8' boards and cut them in 4 equal pieces. 
We used 4 L-brackets for each shelf- 
2 for connecting the boards, 2 for attaching them to the wall. 
(If you want more support you could add 2 more in the center. 
We were fine just attaching each side since our shelves are fairly small.)

First we had to find our studs, and (working around the light switch,) 
figure out where we wanted the shelves. 
We found that spacing them 14" is plenty 
for even our tallest books. 
(We measured from the bottom of one shelf to the bottom of the next.)

We drew dots at the measured increments and then drew lines across the wall using a level so we could match our boards up. (We drew larger dots where the line intersected with the stud so we'd know where to screw in our brackets.)

I considered using the top shelf for puzzles (so they couldn't reach them all at once :) But, we had so many books we needed all the shelves for them. I plan to rotate them each week so the kids can reach different ones. All of our tiny little board books/baby books are in shallow baskets under Ben's bed. 

Total project cost was about $22. 
The wood was less than $5. The bulk of the cost is L-brackets.
I estimated the rain gutter version would have cost us about $36. (Still not bad...) and the IKEA spice racks would have been around $26 if we had used 6. (Those are 1 1/2 feet wide.)

I need to add that I looked and looked for some type of shelf to buy to make these with. As far I tell, Walmart, Target and quite a few other places around me have absolutely NOTHING like this. So I finally broke down and tackled a DIY... but it was very worth it and didn't take long at all. :)

Thanks for looking!