How to Repurpose Old Books Into A Wall Shelf
Good morning fabulous Remodelaholics! It’s Ananda from A Piece of Rainbow . I’m here today with a fun DIY for all lovers of vintage books: we are transforming some old books into a useful and unique piece of furniture!
It wasn’t long before I realized how hard it is to find 3 cute vintage books that are about the same widths and same thickness! After some head scratching, I decided to print my favorite vintage book covers, and include them here for you to download as well!
Woohoo, problem solved!
How to Make a Repurposed Book Wall Shelf
(with free vintage printable book covers)
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Here are the materials and tools needed for our “book” shelf:
- 3 books of the same widths and same thickness, the easiest way is to get the same books, and your favorite vintage book covers, or download these I used here
- a box cutter or an Xacto craft knife to cut the books
- a piece of 1″x4″ about 24″ long for the insert, and a piece of 2″x8″ for the corbels, or ready made corbels / brackets
- template for these corbels, and a jig saw to cut the corbels
- paper or card stock to print the book covers, and glue or modpodge
- a drill, a few wood screws, and keyhole hangers to hang the shelf
First step: use a caliper or a ruler to measure the thickness of the 1″x4″, it will most likely be 0.75″, and measure out the same thickness in a section of the book. Any section will work as long as it lines up in all 3 books.
Step 2: mark the 3 books using the piece of 1″x4″, cut the pages with a box cutter or Xacto knife so the wood fits inside the cavity.
Step 3: brush the wood with glue or modpodge, on both sides. Close the books carefully, but leave the front covers open. You will see why in the final step!
Clamp the books, then brush more glue on the edges of the book pages. Let the glue soak in and dry.
Step 4: After the glue dries, we can pretty up our books with some printable vintage covers: Wizard of OZ, Alice in Wonderland, and Grimms Fairy Tales, my 3 favorites!
Isn’t it great we don’t have to cut up real vintage books from our treasure finds?
Print and cut the spines and covers to size, a little larger than the actual books so there’s room to fold over along the edges. Glue the spine covers first, then the back and front covers.
Step 5: print out or create your own corbel template, trace 2 piece onto the 2″x8″ wood.
It’s crucial to have the top and back side of each corbel be as square as possible so our shelf will sit at 90 degrees. Use a square or something you have that is square to double check.
Cut the corbels and sand them smooth.
Final step: pre-drill 2 holes on each corbel. Measure and mark corresponding spots on the books and drill through.
Use a long screw for each hole, attach the books to the corbels.
Here’s why we leave the front covers open – no signs of screws when we close the covers!
And don’t forget to attach key-hole hangers on the back of each corbel!
Here’s it is, a “book” shelf! Guaranteed a conversation piece. It’s also quite strong, sturdy and useful!
Below are some fun projects on my blog if you want to swing by and visit!
- free printables to make your own designer outlet covers | 2. super space-saving shoe rack perfect for closets | 3. make a rope shelf with just a drill | 4. stenciled pallet floor mat
Thank you everyone, and happy creating!
More awesome wall shelf tutorials:
DIY hanging rope wall shelves
Easy modern rustic wall shelves