How To Build A Bookshelf Wall

Stacking up your books in piles is not a pretty sight. And the best way to showcase your exquisite book collection is by storing them on wall shelves. You don’t need fancy tools or the help of a carpenter to build a wall bookshelf. Simple supplies like- wood boards, a drill, a saw, and some brackets are enough for the purpose.

Are you getting curious? Here is an easy-to-follow guide on building a wall bookshelf from scratch. Read on to learn the steps and other essential tips.

Tools Required To Build A Bookshelf Wall

To build a bookshelf wall, you will need the following materials and tools:

  • Wall studs or mounting boards
  • Screws or nails
  • Wood glue
  • Wood filler
  • Shelf brackets
  • Bookshelves (pre-made or custom-built)
  • Level
  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
  • Saw (hand saw or circular saw)

How To Build A Bookshelf: Step By Step Guide

Here are the steps you can follow to build your bookshelf wall:

  • First, you’ll need to plan out the design of your bookshelf wall. Next, measure the wall where you plan to install the bookshelves and determine how many shelves you want and their dimensions. You’ll also need to consider the weight of the books and other items you plan to store on the shelves and ensure your design is sturdy enough to support their weight.
  • As your design is planned, it’s time to assemble the materials you’ll need. To make the shelves, you’ll need wood for the frames and support brackets, screws, nails, and additional hardware. Purchase decorative molding or other decorative elements to add to the shelves.
  • Next, using a saw and a measuring tape, you’ll need to cut the wood for the shelves and support brackets to the appropriate sizes. Again, it’s important to be precise when cutting the wood to ensure that everything fits together properly.
  • Once you have all the pieces cut to size, it’s time to start assembling the shelves. You’ll need to use screws and nails to attach the wall support brackets and the shelves to the frames. Make sure everything is level and sturdy as you work.
  • Once the shelves are assembled, you can add any decorative elements, such as molding or trim. You can also paint or stain the brackets to match your décor.
    Finally, you can start filling the shelves with books and other items.

Building a bookshelf wall is a relatively simple project that can add storage and display space to your home. With detailed planning and attention to detail, you can create a beautiful, functional bookshelf wall that will last for years.

Can bookshelves be built into a wall?

Yes, you can build bookshelves into a wall. This type of shelving system is integrated into a wall structure. To make a bookshelf into a wall, you will need to plan the placement and size of the shelving unit.

You will also need to consider the load-bearing capacity of the wall and choose materials that are strong enough to support the weight of the books and any other items that you will place on the shelves.

Once you have planned out the design and chosen the materials, you will need to cut openings in the wall and install the shelves using screws or other fasteners. It is important to ensure that the frames are level and secure so that they do not tip over or sag under the weight of the items placed on them.

Building a bookshelf into a wall can be a challenging DIY project, especially if you are unfamiliar with construction or carpentry. Consult with a professional or seek guidance from a home improvement store or online resource if unsure how to proceed.
However, you can also watch the following video to get an idea.

How much do you need to spend to create a wall bookshelf?

It is easier to give a precise cost for building a wall bookshelf by knowing more about the specific design and materials you want. The price will rely on factors such as the

  • Size of the shelf
  • The type and price of the materials you use
  • Any special features or customizations you want to include
  • Whether you will hire a professional or do the work yourself

Some general estimates for materials you might use in a wall bookshelf include:

  • Basic lumber: $10-$20 per linear foot
  • MDF (medium-density fiberboard): $15-$25 per linear foot
  • Plywood: $20-$30 per linear foot
  • Hardwood: $30-$50 per linear foot

In addition to materials, you will also need to consider the cost of any hardware or other supplies you will need, such as screws, nails, brackets, and finish materials. If you hire a professional to build your bookshelf, labour costs will also be a factor.

Overall, building a wall bookshelf could range from a few hundred dollars for a basic design using inexpensive materials to several thousand dollars for a more complex, custom-built shelf using high-end materials.

How do you make cheap built-in bookshelves?

There are a few ways you can create built-in bookshelves on a budget:

  • Use standard shelves: You can use standard shelves readily available at most home improvement stores and place them in an empty wall space. These shelves can be easily cut to size and painted or stained to match your existing décor.
  • Repurpose old furniture: You have an old piece of furniture that you no longer use. Now utilize it and repurpose it into a built-in bookshelf by removing the back and attaching it to the wall.
  • Use floating shelves: Floating shelves are a simple and affordable option for creating a built-in look. They are straightforward to install and can be customized to fit your space and design preferences.
  • Using inexpensive materials: You can build your built-in bookshelves from scratch if you have basic carpentry skills. Using cheap materials such as plywood and dowels, you can do it. This option will require more time and effort, but it can be a cost-effective way to create a custom look.

Regardless of which option you choose, measure the space carefully and plan out the design before you start to ensure that the bookshelves will fit and look the way you want them to.

Is it cheaper to build a shelf or buy one?

It depends on several factors, including the materials you use, the size and complexity of the shelf, and your skill level. In general, building a frame is always cheap than buying a stand.

How To Build A Bookshelf Wall

If you purchase a simple, mass-produced shelf from a store, especially on sale or at a discount, you can get them cheap.

On the other hand, if you want a custom shelf with a specific size or shape or if you use high-quality materials, it may be more cost-effective to build the frame yourself.

Here are some other things to consider when deciding whether to build or buy a shelf:

  • Cost of materials: Building a shelf will require you to purchase the materials needed, such as wood, screws, nails, and any other hardware. The cost can add up quickly if you need to buy all new materials.
  • Time and effort: Building a shelf can be time-consuming, especially if you are new to woodworking or need access to the necessary tools. If you value your time, it may be worth purchasing a shelf instead of building one.
  • Skill level: If you are an experienced woodworker, you can build a shelf more quickly and efficiently than someone new to woodworking. Building a frame may be cheaper if you are confident in your abilities.

Overall, it’s important to consider all these factors when deciding whether to build or buy a shelf. It may be cheaper to make a frame in some cases but not in others. The best choice for you will rely on your specific needs and circumstances.

What tools & Materials do you need to build a bookshelf wall?

To build a bookshelf wall, you will need the following tools and materials:

  • Measuring tape: To measure – the length and width of the wall where you will install the bookshelf, the size of the shelves, and any other components.
  • Pencil: To mark the locations of the shelves and other components on the wall.
  • Level: To ensure that the bookshelf is level and straight.
  • Screwdriver: To install screws and other fasteners.
  • Power drill: To drill holes for screws and other fasteners.
  • Wood screws: To attach the shelves and other components to the wall.
  • Planks: To create the frame and shelves for the bookshelf. You will need to determine the size of the shelves based on the books you plan to store on them.
  • Wood glue: To secure the joints of the frame and shelves.
  • Finish: To protect the wood and give it a polished look. This can be a clear sealant, paint, or stain.
    Sandpaper: To smooth out any rough edges or imperfections in the wood.
  • Clamps: Hold the frame and shelves in place while the glue dries.
  • A saw: To cut the lumber to the desired size and shape.
  • Chisels: To create precise joints and edges in the wood.
  • A hammer: To drive nails or other fasteners into the wood.
  • Protective gear: To protect yourself from sawdust, wood chips, and other debris, wear goggles, a dust mask, and gloves.

It’s also a good idea to have a helper on hand to assist with holding and positioning the shelves and other components while you work. With these tools and materials, you should be well-equipped to build a sturdy and stylish bookshelf wall.


That’s all you need to learn about how to build a bookshelf wall. This will help you to get a clear view of the construction. It will also guide you regarding everything you need and how to start the process! So, don’t wait! do it!

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