Book or Magazine Ladder Shelf

Starter Projects
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Build your own forward facing bookshelf or magazine rack! These easy to follow plans include everything you need to DIY your own bookshelf designed to help kids put their own books away!

Have you already heard?

Katie and Sherry asked me and Erin to join them for the Pinterest Fall Edition!  
OF COURSE I said yes!!!  What girl wouldn't take the challenge to make something from a Pinterest pin?
Now the big question is ...
Are YOU on board?
It's pretty simple, all those Pinterest pins on your to-do list?  Just commit to making one of them, and share with us next Wednesday.  You can get the full details over at Bower Power or at Young House Love.  
So what to take on for my Pinterest Challenge Project?
With Christmas (and Grace's Birthday) right around the corner and my daughter learning to read, a bookcase that allows books to face forward is high on my priority list.  But I also want something incredibly easy and cheap to build, and takes up just about no space.  
Sooooo ... here's my plan, a forward facing bookshelf so she can put her own books away, filled with her favorite books!  
Now for the Pinspiration ....

Source: via Ana on Pinterest


So today I will post the plan, and next Wednesday, I'll debut my finished project!  
You can join me in building this Pocket Bookshelf - plans follow - or take on your own Pinterest Challenge Project.  Either way, it's going to be FUN!!!

I'm off to build - will be adding an intersting spin to my project! Looking forward to seeing yours! Best luck building - Ana

Dimensions are shown above.


Shopping List

1 - 1/4" Plywood or Hardboard full sheet (8 feet x 4 feet)
3 - 1x3 boards, 8 feet long (you can use 1x4s for deeper shelves)
Either pocket holes or 2" screws

Common Materials
2 inch screws
3/4 inch finish nails
1 1/4 inch finish nails
120 grit sandpaper
Cut List

2 - 1x3 @ 47 3/4" (Short point to short point, one end cut at 10 degrees off square)
5 - 1x3 @ 31 3/4" (Shelves)
1 - 1/4" plywood @ 46" x 33 1/4"
4 - 1/4" plywood @ 4" x 33" (if you are staining, cut the strips with the grain)

Tape Measure
Speed Square
Safety Glasses
Hearing Protection
Kreg Jig
Brad Nailer
Power Sander
Drill Bit Set
General Instructions

Please read through the entire plan and all comments before beginning this project. It is also advisable to review the Getting Started Section. Take all necessary precautions to build safely and smartly. Work on a clean level surface, free of imperfections or debris. Always use straight boards. Check for square after each step. Always predrill holes before attaching with screws. Use glue with finish nails for a stronger hold. Wipe excess glue off bare wood for stained projects, as dried glue will not take stain. Be safe, have fun, and ask for help if you need it. Good luck!


Step 1

Cut your 1x3 sides as shown above. NOTE: I ended up cutting the bottoms at a 5 degree angle - felt the 10 degree was just a little too much.

Step 2

Mark location of all shelves and predrill holes. You can either use the Kreg Jig or countersunk screws from the outsides.

Step 3

The back is attached flush on top as shown above.

Step 4

Then just apply glue to back edges and nail plywood on.

Step 5

Step 6

Make sure you secure the bookshelf through a predrilled hole to a stud in the wall to keep the bookshelf from falling forward.

Finishing Instructions
Preparation Instructions
Fill all holes with wood filler and let dry. Apply additional coats of wood filler as needed. When wood filler is completely dry, sand the project in the direction of the wood grain with 120 grit sandpaper. Vacuum sanded project to remove sanding residue. Remove all sanding residue on work surfaces as well. Wipe project clean with damp cloth. 

It is always recommended to apply a test coat on a hidden area or scrap piece to ensure color evenness and adhesion. Use primer or wood conditioner as needed.


Jean (not verified)

Wed, 03/07/2012 - 04:19

Can you explain how you secure this shelf to the wall? I am wondering if one screw is enough and also, where do you drill the hole in the shelf to put the screw? Because it leans, the top piece will not be flush with the wall.
I am considering using a cleat to secure it to the wall, but I am not sure how I would do that either.