By the time The Bear turned one, we were overflowing with books—and toys. I absolutly loath the almost magical way toys seem to sprout anew in the night, but it was a blessing. The toys ended up muscling the books out of the cubbies where we stored everything, and I really wanted a forward facing bookshelf so our illiterate toddler could make informed reading choices for story time.
But I’m cheap. And I absolutely hate spending money on something that’s not too difficult for Rocksteady to make. Haha. Dear hubby loves that about me. We ended up with a super simple design that only cost us $7. The shelves held up so well we even took them with us a year later when we bought a new house.
To make them, we bought one 8’ long 2×4 and one 8’ foot long 1×3. We already had paint, wood glue, and screws.
Step 1: Cut each board in half so you end up with four 4’ long boards. Lowes or Home Depot will do this for you so you don’t even have to bust out the saw.
Step 2: Sand down the cut ends. Smooth out any rough edges and corners. Paint or stain.
Step 3: Attach the 2x4s to the 1x3s. To do this, lay the 2×4 flat on the ground and apply wood glue along the length of one of the 2” sides, preferably the ugly side if there is one. Then lay the 1×3 on its 1” side and press against the 2×4. (There should be a 1” overhang that will make the lip of the shelf.) You can temporarily duct tape the two boards together or push both boards up against a wall (with the 1×3 in the middle). After the glue dries, drive a few screws into the 2x4s, angling into the 1x3s. That way the screws will be hidden on the bottom once you hang the shelves.
Step 4: Attach the bookshelves to the wall. Find the studs on the wall where you want to hang the bookshelf. You should be able to attach each shelf into two studs. From below, screw up at an angle through the bottom of the 2×4 and into the stud.
Happy story time!