DIY Bookshelf {Step by Step Guide}

Materials for a DIY BookShelf

Building a DIY bookshelf was not something I set out to do. I would have been very happy to assemble a bookshelf from a local store.  The main issue was that I wanted a sizable bookshelf and I could not find any that were budget-friendly and fit the size I needed.

First, we were looking for a bookcase to go from the floor to the ceiling.  Finding a bookshelf 9ft. tall was very expensive.

Second, our goal was to complete this project in one weekend.  I knew that paint would take too long to dry so we applying stain seemed to be the best option. For Paint Ideas, CLICK HERE

Third, in order to make sure that the shelves would be dry enough, we used lacquer over the stain.

All in all, we were happy with the results.

In addition to stain and lacquer, we purchased:

  1. 12- 2x8x10
  2. brackets
  3. screws

This project was a basic and simple design. The wall was in need of an upgrade and the bookshelf adds function and design to our homeschool room. CLICK BELOW FOR:


diy bookshelf

Using Stain on a bookshelf

While seeing the wood grain is not my home decor style, it would be acceptable for this project.

Using stain instead of paint was a new experience for me.  My go to for any home improvement is to use paint.  You can check out our paint projects HERE.  We have applied paint to:

As you can see, there isn’t much that I will not paint.  That is why staining the bookshelf was unique for me.

All in all, after we got the hang of applying stain with a rag, the process was fast and enjoyable.  I would consider using stain again.

diy bookshelf

shelf size and spacing

At this time, we were looking for maximum use of the wall. Having more shelves than we need for our current book collection was also an objective.  I want to have room to grow as my kids get older and require additional books for school. 

On the other hand, I also envisioned an area that could showcase art projects or future art so we did our design from floor to ceiling. If you are looking for additional projects for a homeschool room or office, CLICK HERE. The shelves are 10″ which in hindsight, I may have increased for additional space on the shelf. However, the 10″ shelf has grown on me because it is sleek and doesn’t clutter up the room.

We measured other bookcases that we had in the house and since ours would not be adjustable, we made the final decision that the height would be 14″ between shelves.

For additional ideas of bookshelf designs, CLICK HERE

diy bookshelf

Rooms that benefit from a DIY Bookcase

In my opinion, every home should have a bookshelf. Books are a beautiful way to display the interests of those who live in the home. You can also showcase other projects such as a children’s desk, a painted piano, or a hutch with a DIY bookshelf in the background.

Each year, the school room is the epicenter of our home during the school year. Clearly the decor must evolve as the students grow and mature. The updates to this room are refreshing.

Without a doubt, this bookshelf was an addition that was overdue in our schoolroom.  While I would have be open to buying a bookshelf, this custom design frames the room perfectly. The effort was worth it in the end. 

I would encourage you to take a look at the rooms in your home and see if there are any improvements that you can do in a weekend. Start a list and check them off rather than trying to do them all at once.  Our ULTIMATE HOME IMPROVEMENT GUIDE is a free download that can help you track what are of the house you want to start to update.  We link to several projects that include tips and tricks that we have learned along the way. 

Comment below if you have a house that could use a bookshelf to update or improve a room.  We love to hear about your home improvements.


diy bookshelf
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