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What Are the Best Tips for Making a DIY Bookshelf?

Dan Cavallari
Dan Cavallari

Building a DIY bookshelf can be a rewarding project that will save the builder some money, but it is important to keep in mind that this process can take several hours to complete, not to mention the proper tools to do the job. Start by planning the DIY bookshelf and figuring out which tools will be necessary for the job; it is imperative that the builder gather these tools before beginning the project to prevent delays and ensure all steps in the process can be completed safely and properly.

Consider the materials to be used for the DIY bookshelf project carefully. Wood should be chosen based on appearance, but more importantly, on durability and ease with which it can be manipulated. Hardwoods will be more expensive than softwoods because hardwoods tend to be more durable and attractive. It helps to draw up a budget ahead of time to figure out which materials will be most appropriate and affordable. Don't forget to consider hardware as well; brackets and screws come in a wide variety of materials, sizes, and functions, so think about the budget as well as the design of the DIY bookshelf to ensure the proper hardware is chosen for the project.


Measuring the space in which the DIY bookshelf is to be built may end up being the most important step in the process. Be sure to measure carefully, then re-measure to ensure the recorded measurements are correct. The size of the space will dictate how many shelves can be built and what quantity of materials will be necessary. Spaces with odd angles can be difficult to accommodate, so be sure to do some research into the various methods for accommodating uneven or oddly shaped spaces.

It is a good idea to dry-fit all parts before installing them permanently. This means the builder will essentially create a mock-up of the DIY bookshelf before screwing or gluing components into place permanently. Taking this step is a great way to ensure all components are cut and shaped properly and no gaps will exist between components. Once the mock-up has been done and any errors are corrected, the DIY bookshelf can be installed without the worry that errors will exist once components are permanently in place. Remember to do any trim cuts before installing components permanently, as it may be difficult or impossible to do so after the components are installed.

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Discussion Comments


@talentryto- When it comes to hardwood for a DIY project like building a bookshelf, you have several good options. Cedar is my favorite type of wood to use for DIY woodworking because it is durable and has a nice smell. The downside to cedar wood though is that it is costly.

Cherry is a nice hardwood if you like a bright, reddish color. Most cherry wood also has the unique characteristic of getting darker and richer in color over time, so you should only use this type of wood if you like darker colors.

For the deepest wood color for your home office bookshelf, walnut will be your best option. This dark hardwood is also as durable as it is beautiful.

If you want a natural or light colored wood for your DIY bookshelf, you should go with pine or maple. While pine is usually lighter in color than maple, it is also a bit softer and more likely to splinter than maple hardwood.

When choosing a hardwood for your DIY bookshelf, think about the other types of wood furniture that are already in your home office. The best wood for your bookshelf will either compliment or match these other pieces of wood furniture.


I'm planning to build a DIY bookshelf for my home office, and I want to use a type of hardwood for the project. I'm interested in some ideas about the different types of hardwoods that make nice bookshelves.

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