1 – Sheet of 3/4″ MDF (painted, cheapest option) OR 1 Sheet of 3/4″ Hardwood Plywood (wood look) OR 4 - 1×12 pine boards (rustic look) (1×12 is 11 1/2″ wide, and can be interchanged with the plywood strips)
10 – 1×2 pine boards (should be less than $1 each)
Cut List for 2 Bookshelves (YOU CAN HALF THE RECIPE FOR 1 BOOKCASE)
A) 4 – 3/4″ MDF @ 11 1/2 x 44″ (Shelves)
B) 4 – 3/4″ MDF @ 11 1/2″ x 25 3/4″ (Sides)
C) 4 – 1×2 @ 44″ (Top Supports)
D) 8 – 1×2 @ 29 3/4” (Legs)
E) 12 – 1×2 @ 42 1/2″ (Shelf Trim)
F) 4 – 1×2 @ 11 1/2″ (Bottom Trim)
G) 2 – 3/4″ MDF @ 11 1/2″ x 49″ (Top)
H) 4 – 1×2 @ 49″ (Top Trim)
Have your plywood or MDF cut into 11 1/2" wide strips to create 1x12 boards. Otherwise, you can use dimensional pine 1x12 boards, or even MDF shelving of any width. Carefully follow the cutting layout here to conserve boards and get exactly two bookshelves out of 1 sheet of plywood.
Attach the sides to the shelves with either 2" nails and glue or 2" screws and glue. This shelf is fully framed, so nails will suffice, but screws - though harder to hide - are stronger. I've had Grace's bookshelves for a couple of years, and they are still going strong!
Don't forget that you are building two :)
If you need storage bad in your home, but have the tinest of budgets, this plan is for you. Smartly designed, you can get exactly two bookshelves from one sheet of 3/4" plywood or MDF. With some simple 1x2 trim and standard baskets or bins, a simple bookshelf can become a stylish storage center.
Top Supports. Add the top supports (C, Green) as shown above.
Attach the top to the bookcase as shown above. You can fasten through the supports to hide screw/nail holes.
Use 1 1/4" nails or screws and glue to attach the base supports to the bottom. You may need to cut to fit.
Now it's time for the legs. Flush to the top and outsides. Use 2" finish nails and glue or screws and glue.
Shelf trim. Attach the shelf trim just like you did the legs. You should also fasten 2" finish nails through the sides of the legs into the shelf trim.
Finally, attach the top trim as shown above. I would use finish nails here to hide holes. Don't forget your glue.
Fill nail holes with putty and sand and finish as desired.