Last year I spotted an ultra cool bookcase in an ultra expensive store and knew I had to have it, despite the painful price tag! Well John had other ideas…he insisted he could build it for next to nothing, or at least something very similar.
I have to admit, I had some major doubts, but turns out he’s pretty darn handy! He whipped up the most beautiful industrial bookcase in no time at all…
Obviously, before shopping, you will need to figure out your measurements and how much wood you need (depending on how large you want to make your bookcase). We designed our bookcase to fit the exact wall where it was going, but you can easily tweak our design to fit any space you need. We debated between 4 and 5 shelves, but with our low ceilings, opted for just 4. You could even put two smaller bookcases side by side if you have the room!
Industrial Bookcase SUPPLY LIST
- Wood for frame “ladders”: We used the 2 x 2 x 8ft pine boards pictured above.
- Wood for shelves: We used a nice Redwood (1 1/2″ thick x 9″ wide) and had Home Depot cut the four boards to the exact length we needed.
- Wood for the back and sides of each shelf: Here we used 3 1/2″ wide x 3/4″ thick pine. *NOTE: When staining the shelves we definitely noticed a difference between the base of the shelf and the sides/back due to the fact that we used two different types of wood. After a few coats of stain and decorating the bookcase, it is hardly noticeable…but you may want to use the same type of wood for all the shelf pieces.
- Black spray paint: Who knew there were so many options for black spray paint!?? We wanted the frame to look as much like metal as possibly and ended up going with a semi-flat black. It turned out perfect!
- Stain for shelves: We used a combination of two colors to get the look we wanted. Minwax Walnut and Classic Gray.
- Other supplies: Nails, nail gun, wood glue, wood filler, torch (optional), and sand paper (or electric sander).
First up, the shelves.
This was such a simple design and exactly what I had in mind. John cut the 3 1/2″ pine boards into 4 pieces, the exact length of our pre-cut Redwood shelves. He then nailed them to the back of the shelf, with the bottom flush and the top protruding to create a backing ledge.
Next, you will need to measure the sides of the shelf (including the new back piece). Cut a piece from the same 3 1/2″ wide pine for each side (we needed 8). Nail the sides in place in the same fashion as the back piece, meaning the bottom is flush with the shelf base and the top protrudes up to create a box like shape.
And that was it! We did not even fill the nail holes, but left it super raw and unfinished. Next up, John took a torch to these bad boys…
*TIP: You definitely want to let your stain dry for a few hours before deciding whether to add more coats or a different shade as it drastically changes color when dry.
Now for the frames!
John basically built two ladders to support the shelves. Each ladder has four “rungs” for the four shelves to rest on and is enclosed at the top by a fifth rung.
Below are the 8 x 10 rock star quotes we used on our shelves. You are welcome to save the jpeg images and print from home (or order from a photo shop). I simply printed them at home and stuck them in inexpensive white frames I had on hand.