It seems that whenever I share a project with you , I will share more than one project based on the same theme. A while ago I was into wall hooks, then came vintage signs, who can forget my angels (at least I hope you haven’t forgotten, the last one was shared on Monday) and now it’s knickknack shelves…remember the mortise shelves from last week?
I think it’s because when I’m coming up with ideas for my next project, I’m thinking of multiple variations before I settle on the final idea. The problem is, I never completely discard the other options, they’re still whirring around saying do me, do me.
That was definitely the case with the mortise shelves. The entire time I’m making them, I’m thinking wouldn’t these shelves be really cool made out of old books.
So now I’m bringing you the really cool shelves made out of old books.
First thing, as always, is to gather your supplies. A fence board from an abandoned farm, a few books, could use more or less depending on how many shelves you want, the same number of brackets as you have books and washers. The brackets were from Home Depot in their deck hardware section.
Note: For a more modern and totally different look, use more current books and a sleeker piece of wood. The books do not have to match.
Lay out your books on your piece of wood as far or as close to each other as you wish. Mine were about a foot apart. Leave a couple inches of wood at the bottom and another 6 to 8 inches of wood at the top. With chalk, mark where the books will be located and based on the number of books you use, the length of your board. Cut the board where you marked.
Where you marked the book locations, drill a hole at one end wide enough to insert a jigsaw blade.
With a T square or Carpenter square (anything to give you a level line), mark your wood, from the hole you just drilled, the width of the bracket.
Cut the line you just marked. You will have to go over it a couple of times to get it wide enough. The drilled hole will be covered up by the book.
This is the shelf from the back. The bracket has been inserted through the hole I just cut and is ready to be screwed into place. This is where you need a washer, at least on this bracket, the hole was way too big for a screw.
Back to the front…open up the back cover of the book and place over top of the bracket.
Screw through the bracket into the book. Make sure you use screws that are not as thick as the book.
Note: If the hole you cut wasn’t quite centered, before you insert the screws, make sure your book is centered on the wood.
The back cover can now be glued into place. I had builders adhesive but you could probably just use a bit of hot glue.
Since my screws through the bracket didn’t hit all the pages, the top portion of the book was still loose. A couple of finish nails in the corners of the book secured the top, no more flopping.
The shelf can be installed by screwing directly through the board backing. Try to hit a stud in your wall if at all possible especially if you’re going to hold a lot of books.
Could use the shelf to hold only books…
…or a combination of books and knickknacks.
The antlers, turtle shell and animal skull are courtesy of my sons. I have to admire their scavenging instincts. 🙂
Not everyone has mortise locks sitting around but everyone has books.
and I was Featured at