I love to read. It is one of my favorite past times to curl up with a good book, take a break from the real world, and escape into the sea of words held in the pages of my most recent reading adventure.
My reading obsession has broaden my world, without ever having to leave my house. But, it is has constricted my closet. My poor books, with nowhere to go, have ended up in boxes filling every closet in my house. I longed for a bookcase to display them, but our small house has little space for the book trophy case I require.
After two years of racking my brain for any available space to display my books, it finally hit me. The space behind our bedroom door at the top of the stairs was a dead space. A small nook, with nothing there. It was a small, narrow space, useless for most things, but perfect for a bookcase.
Nick and I have done A LOT of projects around our house, which has also caused our bank account to sag a bit. My need for a bookcase was trumped by our bank accounts need to withhold funds. However, I was impatient, and as usual I found a way to get it done right away. Rather than spend a lot of time and money constructing a bookcase from scratch I did some research and found two pre-fab bookcases from Target that fit perfectly. I loved the look of the two cases next to each other because it not only filled the space but it also looked more like a unique, custom built bookcase.
Below are the supplies and set-by-step instructions on how I completed this DIY, home improvement, craft project. All you need are a few basic tools, and basic knowledge on how to work them. Due to my impatience (in life and with this project) I decided I wanted to get this project done in one weekend, which also happened to be a weekend Nick was out of town. I am proud to say I did this 100% on my own, which shows how easy it was!
- Pre-fab bookcase
- Box cutter
- Paint scrapper
- Pry bar
- Scrap wood
- Dry wall mollies
- Circular Saw
- Paint brush
STEP 1: Remove the molding from the wall. I had never done this before and was afraid I would break the molding or punch a hole in the wall. I had to take a minute to allow my impatience to subside before I started my research, gathered my tools, and prepped before I jumped right in.
- First use a box cutter to slice the caulk between the molding and the wall.
- Then use a metal scrapper to wedge between the molding and the wall. Wiggle it slowly to loosen the board and the nails.
- Once you create a space between the molding and wall place a scrap piece of wood on the wall and a pry bar in the space. Slowly pry the molding off with the pry bar, making sure to put pressure on the scrap wood on the wall. This will disperse the weight and prevent the pry bar from punching a hole in the wall.
- Use a hammer to remove all of the nails.
- I used a great website to help me with the process, check it out here!
STEP 2: Pre-fab bookcase… While looking around for the perfect case I found that the cheapest places to find bookcases are Target, Walmart, and IKEA. If you are flexible on color and size the process won’t be too difficult. Since I had a very specific size space and wanted a white bookshelf, it took a few weeks plus an in store and online purchase to get what I needed.
- Put together your bookcase according to the directions that came with it.
- Place the bookcase in the area you want to install them.
- Make any adjustments necessary, make sure the bookcase is level. (Living in a 1940’s home there are a lot of odd things in my house, including uneven walls. I had to place a scrap piece of wood under the front legs of the bookcase in order to push the bookcase against the wall.).
- Use a screwdriver to create holes through the bookcase and into the wall, to create a pilot hole for the dry wall mollies, and to make it easier to insert screws. When doing this always make sure the drill bit you use is slightly smaller than the screw you are using.
- Place dry wall mollies where they are needed and use screws to attach the bookshelves to the wall.
STEP 3: Reattaching the molding… I had to take my existing molding and re-cut it in order to piece it together on the front of the bookshelf.
- Using a circular saw make any adjustments necessary to piece the molding together on the front of your bookshelf. In order to create a clean look on the corners cut the molding at 45 degree angles.
- Attach the molding to the front of the bookcase and nail it with finishing nails.
- Spackle on top of the nails heads in order to make them blend in.
- Caulk the top edge of the molding to create a clean look.
STEP 4: Finishing…
- Spackle over any holes in the bookshelf. If you are 100% satisfied with the placement of the shelves, Spackle over the shelf adjustment holes in order to make it look like a custom built shelf.
- Paint the molding to cover up the Spackle, paint the shelf where it is necessary.
- Put your books on display!