Built-in Bookcase

13 DIY Bookcase Plans & Ideas

Originally contributed by • last updated 2/10/2021

Leora Dowling

DIYing a bookcase saves money and creates a piece with personality. You can create a custom piece that fits within your space and decor or add quirkiness and whimsy. While a bookcase can store books, it’s also a display space that can frame the accessories that bring detail and personality to your home. 

Sometimes all you need are the right DIY bookcase plans and a spark of excitement to kindle your inspiration. Pallets, ropes, armoires—we’ve put together a list of amazing plans and DIY bookcase ideas to get your creative gears turning. 


Built-In Headboard Bookcase

John and Sherry
Young House Love

A bookcase as a headboard—yes, please. All that beautiful storage makes room for books, a lamp, a glass of water, and anything else that finds its way to your bedside. This DIY bookcase plan from Young House Love also leaves room for knick knacks and decor pieces to add personality to the bedroom. These plans are designed for use with a daybed but can be altered for use with a traditional bed frame. 


Playhouse Bookcase

Lees Wood Projects

This bookcase turned playhouse from Lee's Wood Projects offers the perfect storage for stories of magical creatures and heroes. The angled roof, shelves of differing widths, and sturdy base offer plenty of storage and stability for a children’s room. When making bookcases for children’s rooms, don’t forget the details. A hidden door and window on the side of these plans take them from cute to magical. 


Basic Wooden Bookcase with Curved Edge

Lee's Wood Projects

A curved edge on the top and bottom of this bookcase from Lee's Wood Projects gives it a touch of style without going overboard. You can always keep those edges straight if you want a traditional design. Your materials will make a big difference in the final outcome. Combine a basic design with bird’s eye maple or another beautiful natural grain and let the wood take center stage. Birch or pine offer a better (and less expensive) surface for paint. 


DIY Narnia Wardrobe Reading Nook

Robert and Lauren
Bless'er House

Whimsical, practical, and beautiful all at the same time, this DIY project from Bless'er House adds book storage and a place to get comfortable. A Narnia-themed wardrobe book nook somehow makes it all the more magical. Wardrobes and armoires aren’t hard to find, and they’re a favorite for DIY bookcase makeovers. We love the idea of a book theme to decorate the interior. Since children are about the only ones small enough to use the wardrobe as a book nook, a classic like Peter Pan, the Secret Garden, or the Hobbit could be the inspiration for your DIY bookcase plans, too. 


DIY Crate Bookcase

Tara Michelle
Tara Michelle Interiors

DIYers see the potential in everything, and raw wood crates fill every craft store. This simple DIY bookcase idea from Tara Michelle Interiors involves a little ingenuity (and some screws and L-brackets) to create a fun way to store books. Adapt the shape and configuration—vertical or horizontal. Crates are large enough to hold a lot more than books. Think boots, shoes, and outdoor gear in a mudroom or school and craft supplies for at-home school. 


DIY Book Ledges

The DIY Playbook

Book ledges give you some vertical storage space and leave the room open and airy. They’re a great option if you’re low on square footage. Use them over a desk or an entire wall. They’re also a great option if your books are worth displaying. Antique children’s books for the kids room or novels in a study or office add to the decor while in storage. 


Rope Bookshelf


Think of a rope bookshelf as just a different take on a floating bookshelf. True, it’s not a full bookcase, but sometimes you need something a little smaller to provide some vertical storage. The rope’s casual vibe brings texture and vertical lines without adding weight to the room. It’s another great option when you’ve got limited floor space. 


Mid-Century Modern Side Table

Jen Woodhouse

Let that bookcase pull double duty by acting as storage and side table. A modular look with the legs of a typical mid-century modern piece makes this an interesting, but simple way DIY bookcase plan. This plan only takes two 1 by 12 boards, making it an efficient use of materials, too. 


Reclaimed Pallet Bookcase

Jen Woodhouse

Wood pallets may require a little extra work to make them usable (like removing the hardware), but they offer a plethora of wood that’s loaded with character. This project deconstructs the pallet and remakes it with a modular feel. You can leave the wood raw for a rustic vibe or sand and paint it for a colorful place to store your books and display pieces. This particular DIY pallet bookcase plan from Jen Woodhouse leaves space for crates, which can hide those items that clutter the room. 


Strong Tie Bookcase

Jen Woodhouse

Some bookcases save floor space and blend in with the decor. This DIY bookcase idea has visual weight, and a style that won't be blending in anywhere. Sturdy bookcases can hold books, kitchen appliances, or display pieces that balance the bookcase’s heft. The X-cross ends bring the design up a level, while 2 x 4’s give it a sturdy base. 


DIY Hidden Bookcase

Stefan Steinbauer

Please put a hidden bookcase in your home. Nothing adds character faster than a secret entrance to another place...even if that place is only the hallway or bedroom next door. Think of it as a classic take on a modern escape room, an escape bookcase. Or put one in because they’re fun, whimsical, and just plain cool. True, you might have to think twice about the kind of items you store on a bookcase that can move, but it’s worth it. The Family Handyman offers a great hidden DIY bookcase plan if you’re ready to take the plunge.


Built-In Bookcase

Leora Dowling

Built-in bookcases grace many a craftsman-style home. They’re a fantastic use of space, look high end, and add character. The Family Handyman has a set of plans that fit a bookcase between wall studs. Try it somewhere simple like a hallway or coroner nook. If you’re more adventurous, under the stairs is an empty space just waiting for a DIY transformation. 


Pallet Bookshelf

Jenna Burger
Jenna Burger Design

A different take on a DIY pallet bookcase is a pallet bookshelf. This design is similar to a book ledge, but with extra front and side coverage that lets it hold more books. A well-worn pallet could bring a rustic touch, but you can always stain or paint it to match or complement other pieces in the space.