My Very Own Built In Bookcase

We’ve lived in our home for over 9 years now. And for 9 years I’ve stared at this random little indented wall in my den and thought that I should add a bookcase.

Over the years, the little indent has been the home to our Christmas tree and lately I’ve had some hanging lights in there. However, it never really looked quite right. So, I took everything down and cleared it out in anticipation of this project.

I had a plan, which I sketched out with some ideas. But once we got to Home Depot to see what kind of wood options we had, the whole plan was thrown out the door. The problem was that we needed long pieces of wood (the indent was 58.5 inches across), but also wide enough that I could use them as bookshelves.

After looking through the whole store, we found a winner in the closet department: Rubbermaid Chestnut Oak Laminated Wood Shelves in a 12” x 72” size for $15 each. I started by grabbing 5 of those, because I knew I wanted 5 shelves. But then, we also bought a bunch of the smaller sizes to use on our project as the shelf supports.

I’m not going to go through the whole process, because frankly it was an absolute blur of sawdust, sweating, more sawdust, and a nail gun. My dad is the master craftsman… while I was his humble assistant that ran all over the place, checked measurements, held boards while he cut them on his miter box, and pounded things into place with a rubber mallet.

My dad and I work really well together, in that I’m always open to trying things in different ways. And if something isn’t working, we can typically figure out another way to get to the same end-goal. With that being said, this project went MUCH quicker than I anticipated. My dad and I met at Home Depot at 9am and we were totally done and cleaned up at noon.

Pro Tip: buy EVERYTHING you think you might possibly need for your project the first time, as it’s much more fun to return unneeded stuff when you’re done then to have to run back out to the store in the middle of a project

On our morning trip, I spent $188 at Home Depot. When we were done, I went back to the store and returned $59 worth of stuff we ended not needing. So, the whole bookshelf project totaled $129.

Here is the slide show, but I also made an adorable little video with THE BEST song ever that you can view here (click through and turn on the sound):

Once we were done building and I had vacuumed up the sawdust. My dad left and it was time for me to do the fun part of ‘styling’ the shelves. I gathered up all the books that previously lived on my mantle, grabbed some more from my office and then went around the house stealing fun trinkets like photos, art projects and vases. I also took a quick trip to Homegoods to buy a couple more fake plants and two baskets.

And I LOVE the finished product!

Now the little den indent looks like it’s supposed to be there. The bookcase is custom, so it fits perfectly and with the light and the recliner, it makes a great little spot to snuggle up with a book.

All in all, I’m kind of annoyed that I THOUGHT about the project for 9 years… and it only took 3 hours.

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2 thoughts on “My Very Own Built In Bookcase”

  1. That’s funny. I do the samething, think ing about a project longer than is necessary. It looks great! I love the way you styled it! The cute bookends, plants and baskets.
    Here’s to helpful dads!

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