I love a good DIY as much as the next SUV-driving white mom in my 30s, but goddammit, I hate it when I click on a do-it-yourself project and realize I’m going to need a jigsaw, a sewing machine, a $500 roll of wallpaper, and my dad to get it done. That’s why I’m super excited to share this ridiculously easy DIY small wood bookshelf. In fact, I’m probably giving you way too many instructions, but I like to tell a fucking story with words and pretty pictures, okay?
Anyway, I spent the last few weeks looking everywhere for the perfect little shelf because my son’s book basket was literally bursting at the seams and we’re short on wall space around here. I wanted something simple, flush to the ground, and made of real wood — not some tacky-ass veneered shit. It’s hard to find something new that fits all three categories, and I wasn’t having any luck in the usual second-hand places either. I’d had the idea of putting two vintage crates together, but I wanted something really minimal (meaning no faded logos), and I didn’t necessarily want my kid to get tetanus every time he reached for Everyone Poops. At some point, I decided I would just DIY it. Last week, Target made it ridiculously easy for me.
And when I say “easy,” I mean EASY AS FUCK. Literally, I just glued two of these Pillowfort wood crates together, then secured them with some small nails. If you’re all “OMG, that’s brilliant!” and I’ve convinced you I’m the first person on the Internet to ever have this idea and you’d like some more detailed instructions than “glue some shit together,” keep reading. Otherwise, why don’t you just hop on over to Instagram and follow me?
DIY Small Wood Bookshelf
WHAT YOU’LL NEED:
2 Pillowfort wood crates (or similar, as long as they’re the same size)
⅝-inch nails (or “brads,” whatever that means)
Optional: Some sort of clamp
HOW TO MAKE IT:
First, decide how you want to orient your crates/shelf, tall or wide. The crates I used were slightly rectangular, and while the wide set-up looked a little nicer, I decided to make it tall to accommodate my son’s biggest books.
Next, add a bunch of wood glue to the top of the bottom crate. I made this little design for absolutely no reason at all. The following step isn’t necessary, but you could use a clamp to hold the crates in place before you nail it together. They’re very lightweight and the glue will make them a little slippery.
Next, hammer in a bunch of nails around the perimeter of the bottom of the upper crate (the “middle shelf”) to secure it to the lower crate. I think I used about 30 nails total, and I’m sure that was overkill. (I’m the kind of person who uses so much tape it will take 10 minutes to open a present from me, so…)
Wipe off the excess glue, and — voila! — you’re done. You don’t really need to wait for the glue to dry since you’ve secured it with way too many nails. Just don’t fill the bottom with books then try to lift it from the top like a dumbass. You can paint it if you want, but I like the look of the raw wood. Next, you get to put some shit on it — books, records, tchotchkes, and definitely a plant. Before I put this pretty little Xanadu philodendron up there, I had a huge and heavy split-leaf philodendron on top and it held up just fine. This DIY small wood bookshelf is lightweight, but its sturdy AF.
See? I TOLD you. But, yeah, it kind of dwarfs the shelf.
Ultimately, this will become a bookshelf for my kiddo. But it sure was fun to style it all adult-like for a minute.Like what you see? Follow me on Instagram!