Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Pinterest Challenge: DIY Bookshelves

I have a reeeeeally hard time saying no to certain challenges.  They’re kind of hard not to accept, especially when:

A.  They deal with DIY projects.
B.  They’re given by some of the top bloggers in America!

John and Sherry Petersik from Young House Love blog teamed with Katie from Bower Power Blog, Michelle from D├ęcor & the Dog, and Megan from The Remodeled Life to host 

Actually, Sherry and Katie’s adorable made-for-each-other tots announced the challenge on a video, that’s just too cute for words!  If you have a minute, click the picture above to watch it.  Who can resist saying no to such sweet faces?!  Not this mama!

Since we’re re-doing Ian’s big boy room, I have several projects in process that have been inspired by things I've pinned from other blogs.  I finished one recently, that I actually blogged about the afternoon after the challenge was posted.   So I’m blogging about it again, for the sake of the challenge.

It’s no surprise that we love a good DIY project.  A total DIY project, i.e. building it from scratch, is an even bigger thrill for us.  Especially one that we can do in a matter of hours, at a very small cost!  I’ve already shown you our DIY Distressed pieces for Ian’s room; and while they’re perfect for storing small books and toys, we needed another solution for his bigger books.

I’ve seen some cool things around the web, such as turning spice racks into bookshelves.  Jen at IHeart Organizing used these in another "big boy room" remodel for her friend, and I just loved the idea of these to hang on the wall!  I actually loved everything about this bedroom, since we're going with the whole tractor theme for Ian's bedroom.  I had pinned this image several months ago here, but just recently had the time to do the project.

See the little green racks by the window?  I wanted to use something similar, and I began discussing it with Heath one afternoon, showing him the above picture.  I had planned on finding some small racks and just repainting them, but he said we still had some smaller pieces of wood left over from construction--probably enough to build 2 racks.  This is why communication is so important, people!

I wanted to have 2 shelves and for them to be shallow, like a spice rack; and that they needed to be 18” wide to accommodate even the widest or oddest shaped book.  We headed down to the basement and decided on which boards to use.

Board Sizes:
1”x6” board for the bottom and sides
1”x2” board for the front and back pieces

He cut the boards down to the size needed, using our miter saw, and connected them all using wood glue and 5/8” Brad nails.

Bottom piece is 18” wide
Side pieces are each 6” tall
Front and back pieces are each 18” wide

Once all the pieces were connected, he used an electric sander to smooth out any rough spots and edges.

We used some leftover paint primer {also from our build} to apply a thin coat to each shelf.  The reason for this was to help give us a good base for the final paint colors.

I wanted to paint one green and one blue, which are 2 of the basic colors in the scheme for his room.  I went to Lowe's to get paint for the shelves.  Thankfully, a few of their brands offer trial sizes at a great price ($2.94 each) that contain plenty of paint for small projects!  I chose Olympic paint, purchasing one in the color Globe Artichoke and one in the color Indigo Blue.

Since the new paint was so dark against the light primer, we wanted to make sure there was full coverage.  Using a disposable foam brush, we applied 3 coats of the green and blue to each shelf, making sure they dried well between coats.

He used one of our favorite tools, the Skil laser level, to shoot straight lines on the wall.  It's neat because you can clamp it to just about anything, for vertical and horizontal lines.  We paid $50 for it this past summer, and it’s been worth every penny around the Manor!  

Then drilled screws through the back pieces and into the wall, centering them between the adjacent wall and the window frame. 

These new DIY shelves are another great addition to Ian’s “big boy” room, and they offer plenty of space to add many more books to his collection.

Although I enjoy being crafty on my own, I love collaborating with Heath on projects like this; and he never ceases to amaze me with skills.  Handy husbands certainly are priceless!  Since we already had most of the materials, the total cost of this project was only in the paint, at a whopping $6.23.  We only used about half of each jar, making this even more cost-efficient since we can use it on other small projects around his room.  Maybe frames?  Art work?  Canvases?  Oh, the possibilities!

Thanks for checking out our project!  Please head over to the hosts blogs to check out their Pinterest-inspired projects, as well as the many, many other bloggers that have linked up!

Linked to:  A Bowl Full of Lemons; Home Stories A to Z; House of Hepworths; Live Laugh Rowe; The Crafty Blog Stalker; Create Craft Love; The Shabby Nest; The Taylor House; Young House Love



  1. I love those! And I love using the sample paint for the project, it's a much better option than buying a ton of paint you probably won't use... a much better way to save money.

    1. Thank you! We would have gone for the spray paint if they didn't have the trial sizes available with these colors, but I much prefer this kind of paint for the project.

  2. I love your shelves! These are fabulous! I would love for you to share on Blog Stalking Thursday! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thanks Katie! I would love to join--will do that today :)

  3. I have a very small wall in my daughter's nursery that I've been trying to find something to fit on. I love that you can make these yourself in whatever length you need. And they sound simple enough for me to try myself =)

    1. Most definitely! If you have the right tools, these are a cinch. I did help in this process, but my hubs just usually takes on a project head-first while I photograph :)

  4. Love this! We used to have something similar in my son's bedroom, except we used a wooden Ikea spice rack - never thought to diy our own.

    New follower :)

    1. Thanks Angela! They're super easy when you have the right tools, and they will hold much more than the spice racks (judging by the dimensions).

  5. Very cute idea! I love the colors that you picked out! Would you consider sharing this and any other projects that you have at my Pinterest party?

    Thanks so much!

  6. The bookshelves look wonderful! Love the colors!


Thanks for your comments! Keep 'em coming!