Lifestyle Inspiration

DIY Bookshelves from Recycled Materials and Tools Needed

By Harold Camaya

Thanks to Gutenberg’s invention and the printing revolution, our favorite books are now anywhere and everywhere. Most die-hard readers believe that a room without books is like a body without a soul. All the bibliophiles out there I am pretty sure you’ve hoarded loads of books and now do not have any closet space to keep them. However, giving them away is not an option as books contain so much emotional and aesthetic value. So don’t worry as we’ll teach how to keep the books you love in your heart and home with these DIY bookshelves from recycled materials.


Damn straight, you read it right. If you have an old ladder lying around unused in the attic it is time to put it to good use. Without further ado go fetch a hammer and some nails and start working. When you flip the ladder onto its side it serves as a horizontal rack, the side poles act as support for the books and each of the rungs conveniently serves the purpose of bookends. This will make your room look vintage and classy along with accommodating your reading treasures.

Old books

Yes, old books themselves can be recycled into cool bookshelves. You can nail a wall bracket into the wall and reuse old books to form a concealed bookshelf where the book itself becomes the support and fix hardcover to cover the bottom bracket so that more books can be kept at the top. Another innovative option is an inverted bookcase,  with a wooden slab as the shelf and books floating underneath! Who knew books can be used like this too!

Suitcase and trunks

I am positive that you’ll have an old suitcase or an ancient trunk lying around somewhere. If they have a flat surface then flip them to one side and nail them into the wall to make the shelf. Another alternative is to use them for the interiors of the shelf with wooden planks added horizontally inside to form divisions to store your books. You can place these DIY shelves on the wall for an elegant touch or simply leave them on the floor.


If you have old worn out drawers that you don’t what to do with but don’t plan on throwing away either, they can now be the hero of this shelf. If you don’t have any you can still pick them up at the thrift store for cheap. Flip them with or without the handles letting the insides act as a shelf with the top serving as the second layer of shelving. Screw it into the wall and you have an easy rack ready.


Pianos are so aesthetically pleasing. Now let us learn how to make a bookshelf out of this wonderful instrument. Fit it to one side and hollow it out completely. Now just add on some wooden shelves and a retro-looking bookshelf is all set to adorn your room.

Old and unused wood

If your carpentry skills are good then here’s the perfect match for you. You can use pieces of old wood and creatively align them into different shapes like a tree or even spell out words with them. These will do the job of decorating as well providing room for your books. Two birds, one stone!


A door shelf sounds fascinating, right? Well, it is extremely simple to build too. Saw the door in half for the two parts to act as edges or bookends holding the books in. Paint them to enhance their prettiness.

Industrial pipes

You’ll be convinced that art can be made out of anything after you make this rustic rack out of ugly pipes. You can add wooden planks if you wish and you are done creating a handy shelving unit. Go you!

Bricks and concrete blocks

This requires a little extra work and assembly. Stack two sets of bricks or blocks at the desired height, length and pattern to provide the support of a shelf. Alternate and jazz them up with wooden planks.

Cheesecake box

Make yourself a stylish round bookcase with a discarded cheesecake box. If you don’t have one, then you can find them at a local gourmet store and the circular box shelf will blend in with your room beautifully.


I hope you’ve understood how even waste can be transformed into blissfully useful bookshelves. All you need is some junk and appropriate tools to remodel. Finding all the tools for the job can be frustrating if you don’t organize them in one place. So just buy fancy leather tool pouches for storing all your carpentry tools. Good luck with altering your living space.

Author Bio:

Harold Camaya is a blogger who loves to write in different verticals. She has co-authored Supercharge Organic Traffic, a popular course focusing on Organic Traffic for E-commerce. Her hobbies are traveling and reading.

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