The Favorite Bookshelf

Submitted by Ana White on Tue, 11/03/2009 - 22:29
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This is what I give you. A rough plan, one of my very first, of one of my very favorite pieces. Something about being tall and slim, but functional, with shelving at eye height, makes this particular sized bookshef an instant favorite. I've made more than a few of this design . . . but NONE of them looked like this . . . And this is what you build!

72" tall x 24" wide x 13" deep


Shopping List

3 - 1x12 Boards 8' Long
1 - 1x4 Scrap, 24" Long
5 - 1x2 Boards, 8' Long
4 - 1x3 Boards, 8' Long

Common Materials
120 grit sandpaper
Cut List

2 - 1x12 @ 68" (sides)
5 - 1x12 @ 22 1/2" (bottom and shelves)
1 - 1x12 @ 24" (top)
1 - 1x4 @ 24" (top header)
2 - 1x2 @ 68 1/2" (front legs)
4 - 1x3 @ 72" (side legs)
2 - 1x2 @ 72" (back legs)
4 - 1x3 @ 8 1/4" (side trim for top and bottom)
1 - 1x2 @ 21" (front bottom trim)
back, optional 1/4" plywood or mdf or other sheet goods, 72" x 24", measure and cut to fit back.
Crown pieces
4 - 1x2 @ 13" (side crown pieces, top and bottom)
1 - 1x2 @ 27" (bottom crown piece, front)
1 - 1x2 @ 28 1/2" (top crown piece, front)

Tape Measure
Speed Square
Safety Glasses
Hearing Protection
Circular Saw
Brad Nailer
Power Sander


Step 1

Box. We begin by "building the box" - as I call it. Notice how the bottom is inset and the top piece sits on top of the side pieces.

Step 2

2. Shelves. You can choose to build the shelves in, as shown above, or skip this step and put the shelves in later with shelf brackets (this makes your shelves adjustable).

Step 3

Header. Add the header piece as shown, keeping the top and side edges flush.

Step 4

Side Legs. Now add the legs as shown above. Notice how the 1x2s go on the front and back, and the 1x3s go on the sides. Keep all edges flush. Nail each piece to the main box, and also nail the 1x2s and 1x3 together.

Step 5

Step 6

Crown. Add the crown as shown above. First attatch the side pieces, then the front pieces. I like to cut my crown as I go to ensure the most accurate fit.

Finishing Instructions
Finish Used
Finishing. Fill any nail holes with wood filler and sand and finish as desired. Level the bottom legs if necessary. If you choose adjustable shelves, purchase the shelf brackets and install as desired.


Ana White (not verified)

Wed, 11/04/2009 - 22:16

Thank you so much for viewing this plan - I am so inspired by everyone's visits, and it's really nice to have a reason to organize and write down all my plans (Before they were just somewhere inside my head). I hope you enjoy this blog as much as I do.

As it seems with every plan I create, I am now inspired to go out to the shop and build it!


Thu, 03/21/2013 - 06:14

Hi Ana- I am going to try this, and haven't built anything before. Could you tell me how you would go about putting 3 of these together? I plan on making them almost to the ceiling to look built in.
Would it work to leave off the bottom, so that kids could kick their shoes underneath? So the "box" would end at the last shelf, but the sides would continue down? Thanks!

Beth in NY (not verified)

Tue, 02/23/2010 - 18:00

Ok, I've built the box, and cut the shelves-more tomorrow! My question is that you seem to have a back on your shelves. Do I use Luan for this?

Ana White (not verified)

Tue, 02/23/2010 - 18:04

I use beadboard, it should be either in the paneling section or the plywood section, about $20 a sheet.

Will be reworking these plans soon!

lanisanford (not verified)

Wed, 03/03/2010 - 14:17

I JUST finished building this! Not painted yet but its FREAKING GORGEOUS! And so easy, I did the whole thing alone, even bought the wood. Usually my hubs helps out when I get stuck on a project, but I finished this in just a couple hours no problem. Now I want to build 40 more! :D

Emily (not verified)

Fri, 03/11/2011 - 10:37

Thank you for posting this comment...I've been dreaming about building this for a few weeks and I just read your comment and thought "ok, if she can do it, so can I!" Off to buy the wood... :)

Molly (not verified)

Wed, 03/10/2010 - 11:11

thanks for these plans. i am making 2 for our recently converted bedroom to our homeschool room. these are exactly what I pictured in my mind.

Hollingsworth Family (not verified)

Wed, 03/10/2010 - 19:30

Thank you so much for the plans. We just finished the bookshelf including painting it. We modiefied a tad so that it sits directly on the floor (didn't want to sweep under it! =)
Blogged about the process at….
It cost us a little under $100. I was wondering if you could use MDF for the shelves, sides, top instead of the pine? I do plan on making a least one more.
I love your plans and all the work you have put into your blog. You are an amazingly talented person! Thanks for sharing that talent!

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