Did you see our Coral and Mint Nursery Reveal for the One Room Challenge?  The reading nook in the corner of the room is one of my favorite features! The Easy DIY Children’s Book Shelves are the perfect place to display our baby girl’s books and some decorative items!
I made an easy DIY Canopy, added some pillows from Minted, a soft carpet from HomeGoods, and then we DIYed some easy shelves to use as book ledges!

We have these shelves in other places in our home. I have a couple in our living room in a dark walnut finish and they are perfect for displaying knick knacks and art work.

A lot of high end stores sell these shelves, but for 89 dollars for a three foot shelf. 89 dollars?!?! Are you kidding me!!! I searched Pinterest and low and behold, one of my favorite blogs had the solution to making these shelves for a fraction of the cost. Shanty 2 Chic had a post on how to build these shelves that looked extremely similar to the high end store version, but her’s are more rustic with a stained looked, which is exactly what I wanted.

Want to know the best part? My version of these shelves cost less than $5 a shelf. Yes, that’s right. $5 dollars. Granted, I already had the wood stain, spare screws, and wood glue, but still. Even if you need those supplies, you won’t spend more than 15-20 dollars.

Anyone can build these. Seriously, I have never done an easier project. You need very basic supplies and if you get the wood cut at the hardware store, you don’t need any power tools. Just a hammer and some nails!

Head over to Shanty 2 Chic  to see how they made theirs, or check out my quick tutorial below.

Here’s what you need for 2 3 foot shelves. Adjust your length measurements if you want longer shelves. The shelves for the nursery are 2 1/2 foot. 

1 1x2x6
2 1x4x6
Wood Glue
Finishing or Small Nails about 1 1/2 inch
Wood Stain
Drywall screws
Sand paper, sanding block, hand sander

Step 1: Cut all three of your wood pieces in half to form 3 foot pieces.

Step 2: Glue your 1X4’s together to form the back and the bottom of the shelf. The actual shelf piece should lay against the bottom edge of the back piece. When the glue is dry, use your 1 1/1 inch nails and nail three nails across the back.

Step 3: Glue your 1X2 across the front of the shelf piece. When dry, nail in with small finishing nails.Step 4: Sand any rough edges and then stain. The living room shelf is in Minwax Dark Walnut and the nursery shelves are a combo on dark walnut and weathered gray. Reapply coats of stain as needed and sand to distress if desired. You can put a protective coat on these, but it is not necessary.

Step 5: Let stain dry completely and then secure to the wall however you’d like. We used dry wall screws straight into the studs.

Here is a new shelf that I built for the other side of my living room! This one is 4 foot long and I love it! It is perfect for holding this large canvas.

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Easy DIY Book Shelves that Cost Less than $5 a Shelf!

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26 thoughts on “Easy DIY Children’s Book Shelves

  1. First of all, don’t you love dads who help you with these projects?? I love these shelves. I have never been in a pottery barn, but I wouldn’t buy them after seeing yours. Pinning

  2. I love your new shelves. It is always great to have the abilities to make something rather than paying the crazy retail prices for items.

  3. Thanks for linking up to the Bloggers Brags Pinterest Party! Your post has been pinned to the Bloggers Brags Pinterest Board 🙂

    Thanks for giving me something else to add to my husband’s honey-do list 😉 This is awesome and looks so easy to do!

  4. Have you tried doing deeper shelves? I really like the 10″ deep ones to put bulkier items on, but I’m concerned they won’t be sturdy enough if I make them myself.

    1. I have deeper shelves in a separate post. They look different but are better for bulkier items. Just search floating shelves on my site!

  5. These shelves came out really beautiful! I just ordered some weathered gray stain for a project and now I’m glad I did! I love this whole room!

    1. The weathered gray is so pretty! I love to add a drop of dark walnut to it to make it a litte richer!

    1. I have seen the rain gutter book shelves and they are such a great idea!

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