DIY bookshelves for under $20

We all love books, but creating a nice affordable storage space for them can be a challenge, especially with children in mind.  If you have young children you have probably discovered that they love to pull them off the shelf and look at the covers until they find the one they want, without putting them back!  Or maybe you would like to show off that First Editions Oz Book Collection of yours?  We all know a good looking quality bookshelf will cost you A LOT of money.  So I was curious to see what others have done in the DIY bookshelves world to solve this problem.

An Ironing Board Bookshelf

The $20 DIY Book Display – 4 Shelves:

“Fawn” over at has created an inexpensive and elegant book storage solution for her toddlers.  This face-out book shelf makes it easy for people to see the covers, and easier for children to put them back.  A quick trip to Home Depot, some gluing, nailing, and painting and voila! You have wall mounted book display shelves that look great for far less than buying them ready made.

Hanging Book Display – Under $30

Another great idea is the Hanging Book Display by Megan featured on  She has done a great job of listing all the time, materials, and money you will need for this DIY book display.  She estimates about 1-4 hours, depending on how handy you are with a sewing machine.

Floating Book Shelves – Under $20

These popular shelves cost less to make than you might think.  Not only do they look great, (they’re “floating” on the wall!) they are also simple to make.  This tutorial at The Family Handyman provides one of the more inexpensive bookshelves out there.  If you don’t have old hollow doors lying around, maybe your town has a re-use/renew building supply center, like The ReBuilding Center here in Portland? Otherwise, I’m sure you weren’t in need of that closet door anyway.

Another great variation is the Invisible Book Shelf – it’s literally a “floating” book, that’s a shelf, that holds other books.  How cool is that?  It provides a great optical illusion that will be sure to get attention and looks of unbridled confusion from your visitors.

All of these great how-to’s lay out all the steps and materials along with helpful pictures along the way.  Have fun with these DIY bookshelves and remember to wear your safety glasses!

And, if you decide to spend a bit more money, these foldable bookshelves are fantastic too:

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