I absolutely LOVE bookshelves. I recently created a few bookshelves in my house, and I think it’s time to share with you some of the projects I researched.

My inspiration for the DIY book shelves was from a friend who has a bookcase in his office that he spent months customizing to look like a library. I wanted to do something similar but not as difficult – and still have the ability to hold a lot of books.

I don’t feel like there’s a one-size-fits-all solution to making your own bookcases, but if you want to learn how to build a bookcase like mine without having to spend hundreds of dollars, this is how you can do it yourself:

Whether you’re looking to spruce up your room or you moved into a new place, it’s never a bad time to make your own furniture. Luckily, bookshelves are among the easiest pieces of furniture to construct. This is one of the more fun and functional woodworking projects we’ve compiled.

23 DIY Bookcase Plans

1. Illuminated Bookcases

The Bookshelf

For this first option, all you’re going to need are 1m^2 Foreks, which are a PVC-based material, a drill, LED and adapter, soldering iron and solder, a can of spray paint in a color of your choice, and some connection materials.

The first thing you need to do is make some sketches and mockups to set the form. Decide upon the font you want to use so that the shelves can be stronger with few spaces in between the letters. Cut these parts with the CNC and follow the rest of the instructions!


2. Easy DIY


With this next design, you have the ability to get creative and change the dimensions depending on the size of your space. The creator called this the “cheapest bookshelf ever” and claims that it is able to store a lot of books, so if you’re someone who has so many that you don’t know what to do with them, then this is the right Instructable for you!

The design has one single symmetrical element that is used for the vertical and horizontal segments, and it is solely based on the size of the materials. Careful with the wood studs- you don’t want this one falling over on you!


3. Homemade Option


If you don’t want to spend too much money updating your home, there’s nothing preventing you from taking on a project of your own. Whether you’re doing this for yourself or your children, why not do your best to come up with something fun and exciting? For this, you will need bramac wooden slats, glue, dowels, and a dowel maker.

You will also need to use a table saw to make grooves in the plywood and sanding paper. It’s nothing too fancy, but you can always decorate it as you wish to make it something more personalized.


4. Unique and Inverted

Inverted Bookshelf

Here is an idea if you are looking for something that is out of the ordinary. This shelf will hang all of the books from the bottom to make it look as though they are upside down. It’s a nice optical trick that will make anyone who comes to your home wonder how you did it.

You are going to need elastic webbing and a staple gun aside from the basic materials that you would need for making a shelf such as wood and brackets. It’s also a good idea to measure anything you want to put on the shelf so that you can have an easier time figuring out the length of the elastic you’ll need. Just make sure you drill each hole at the right eye level to insert the wall studs.


5. Lounge Area

Bookshelf Chair

Have you ever seen pictures on Pinterest or other social media of a bookshelf chair and wished you had one in your own home? You don’t have to wish anymore! It’s rather simple to construct and certainly nowhere near as expensive as buying the same thing from the store. For this, you will need plywood boards, pine strips, pine, Kreg pocket screws, Gorilla wood glue, a miter saw, cordless drills, jigsaw, Kreg Jig Mini, compressor and nail gun, various length clamps, and tools such as a hammer, measuring tape, and a measuring triangle. This built-in bookcase is one of the more unique ideas we’ve seen!


6. Nautilus Theme

Nautilus Bookshelf

When you check out this next option, your initial impression might be that it would be way too hard to create on your own. Luckily, the instructions are rather simple and self-explanatory. It’s a cool design that is especially perfect for your children. For this, you will need 15 sheets of maple plywood that is jet machined, laminated together, stained, and finished. The creator also used AutoCAD LT to draw the blueprint- definitely not a basic design. The center really has a mesmerizing spiral- give it a wood finish for an even more awesome look.


7. Nomadic Design

Nomadic Bookshelf

The purpose of this next idea is to provide something for the young millennial who finds themselves moving around a lot with no idea what to do with all their furniture. And if you’re someone who has dealt with a lot of cheaper furniture, you know that you often have to replace it due to the fact that the materials are simply of poor quality. This option is easy to assemble no matter how many times you move, and it doesn’t have fasteners to make the process even easier.


8. Budget-Friendly and Typical


For anyone seeking convenience, this next idea is perfect due to the fact that it is collapsible and expandable. Some of the tools you’ll need include a nail gun, nails, wood glue, drywall screws, piano hinges, cabinet hinges, screw gun, table saw, sander, planer, and a drill press. These can all be easily found at your local hardware store. It’s also important to have boards of different sizes.


9. Modular Adjustable

Adjustable Bookshelf

Here’s a great idea for a fun weekend DIY project. It is easy to do and requires an aluminum speed rail frame, which allows the construction to be moved around and adjusted according to the size of your room and the number of books you want to store on it. It’s adaptable and looks great in any room. The best part is that if you’re planning on moving into a new home any time soon, the shelves can be taken apart into lightweight pieces and reassembled without any difficulty, so you have a highly convenient option out of the deal, too.


10. Tree Layout

Tree Bookshelf

If you don’t want to go for the standard rectangular bookshelf layout, then this is the right choice for you. In this particular Instructable, the builder decided to create this for his son, which means that this could also be a great present for any children in your life. For this, you’ll need hardwood plywood, screws, finishing nails, a jigsaw with a scroll blade, a miter saw, and a drill. All you’ll need to do is draw the design and follow the instructions as listed. You might want to make adjustable shelves so that you can add more or less books based on your space.


11. Levitating with Light

Levitating Bookshelf With Light (Magic Bookshelf)

Based on the premise of invisible bookshelves, these also mysteriously levitate on the wall. But the best part of this next idea is that there is a reading light inside the pages. This utilizes a string of battery LED lights from inside the bottom book, which will make any space you choose to build this in a reading nook. All you have to do is get a book cover, prepare the pages, make the pages, glue the bracket and page base, glue the pages, prepare the lights, string them, secure the cover, and mount it.


12. The Little Nursery

The Little Nursery Bookshelf

Having a new baby means unprecedented changes in your life. Aside from the lifestyle changes, you’re also going to need to acquire a bunch of new things for the baby’s room and daily life. With that said, the author of this next Instructable created a small table-shelf for their newborn’s nursery, providing a small space where books and other necessary items can be stored. You can decorate it as you wish with any designs or colors you want to, and you can store any fun toys or nick-nacks along with the baby books. This is an adorable little piece of furniture! Almost like a piece of art. 


13. Modular Blueprint

Modular Bookshelf

The next option is for someone who wants something more modern and unique in their home or living space. This is not only good-looking, but also practical, and perfect for rooms in which the ceiling slopes at an angle. It is modular, which means that the shelves are able to adapt to different circumstances depending on your living space and if you want to move somewhere. You’ll need some power tools for this one.

You can rearrange it as you wish without having to worry about getting tired of it. In addition, you could make it bigger by rearranging or building more modules. You also don’t have to simply resort to storing books, but you can get your creative juices flowing by storing other nick-nacks along the way. It is light and easy to move around, and it won’t take up too much space. Give it a fun paint job for a pop of color and a finished appearance.


14. Self-Checker Smart Tech

ShelfChecker - a Smart Bookshelf

Arguably, this will be the most technologically-advanced option on our list, and it’s definitely something that any IT lover would want to have in their room or office. The shelf has the ability to let you know where the books belong, as well as a fully-integrated library system that includes users who are able to log in and out and keep track of the books that can be borrowed. You can use this option to create a mini library at home, or you can incorporate it in your own professional library elsewhere.

You’ll need to have some technical knowledge in order to do this, making it the hardest option to create on this list, so if you enjoy working with technology and advanced equipment or if you have a friend who does, this will be the perfect way to hone your skills. You’ll need to know the basics of Raspberry Pi and MySQL specifically.


15. Rustic Desktop

Rustic Desktop Bookshelf

Here is a great choice for those who are more hands-on who are looking for a thoughtful present to give to someone important. With this, you will be able to achieve a rustic and country look, if that’s what you’re going for. In order to achieve the final result, you will need a pencil, ruler, table saw, carving knife, large chisel, mallet, clamps, bevel gauge, bench plane, gouge, screws, dowelling plate, drill and bits, wood glue, mineral spirits, danish oil, small log, board, straight tree branch, crooked tree branch, and hardwood for dowels. It looks like it came from Pottery Barn and doesn’t cost thousands of dollars.


16. Ladder Display

Ladder Bookshelf

Want to turn a ladder into something that will provide you with even more storage space? After finding an old ladder in the trash, the author of this next instructions guide decided to repurpose it and turn it into a great bookshelf for their collection. Don’t limit yourself to the most basic materials; if you use your imagination, there is so much that you can create for your home! It’s an eye-catching display space. 


17. Modern Vibes

Modern Bookshelf

The next choice will provide modern vibes to any space of your choosing, and the best part is that it will be half-price compared to just about anything that you can find online otherwise. And, here you will be able to use materials that you know are going to last a long time and not fail on you within a few months.

You won’t have to compromise on quality, and you’ll be able to get your creative juices flowing with a fun DIY project out of the deal. You’ll need to get boards of different sizes, wood screws, finishing nails, sandpaper, wood filler or plugs, wood conditioner, stain, polyurethane, paint, tape measure, speed square, saw, power drill, drill bit, electric sander, and brushes or rags. The best part is that the author said all of this only cost them less than $200.


18. Skateboard Theme

Skateboard Bookshelf

Have old skateboards laying around that you have no idea what to do with? Now’s the time to repurpose them and put them to good use. You can have a neat bookshelf here that is of an adjustable height and that can fit as much stuff as you want. This is great for those who live in dorm rooms or who have friends who are avid skaters and want to give them something unique as a present.


19. Tetris Pattern

Tetris Bookshelf

Love Tetris? Now’s the time to take that love and turn it into something imaginative. If you also like to use technology and want to use modern software to create anything that’s on your mind, you’re going to need that for this next project. You will need to use Autodesk AutoCAD and Autodesk 123D Make. You can rearrange it as you like and as your space permits, and you will also need a laser cutter to cut the shapes out. Once you get an idea for how to use the technology, the remainder of the process is easy and doesn’t require much labor.


20. Another Modular Option

Modular Bookshelf

Next is yet another modular option that will spruce up any space and will surely be the focal point in your room. For this, you will need to use cherry hardwood. The overall unit is comprised of three units that you will be able to rearrange and reconfigure as needed. You will need 50 board feet of cherry hardwood, sandpaper, steel wool, glue, and the other necessary materials for such a project.


21. The OMG Simple Bookcase Construction


Want to combine several of the ideas on this list into one? Here, you will be able to combine the levitating and inverted shelves into one overall construction that is considered the OMG hybrid. It looks amazing and will be the focal point of any wall in your home. It’s also easy if you follow the instructional steps to make and can be completed over the course of a weekend.


22. Rocket Shape

Rocket Bookshelf

Seeking to deviate from the typical design shapes? If you’re familiar with the tools 123D Make and TechShop!, you will be able to construct a rocket shape for this project. Follow the tutorial to find out how to create the file. Finally, if you’re able to access a Shopbot, the task will be among the easiest to do. It’s truly a beautiful bookcase- just follow the pdf steps to get it built. 


23. Impossible Style

The Impossible Bookshelf

Anyone who looks at the final plan on the list will wonder how it’s even possible to do. And that’s the entire point! Anyone who visits your home will ask so many questions about how you created it, and the surprising part is that it’s relatively easy to make! Not only is it an optical illusion, but a highly-functional barrister bookcase that will look good in any space!