Kentwood Bookshelf

Submitted by Ana White on Tue, 03/13/2012 - 19:31
| Print this plan

How to build a rustic wood bookshelf. Free plans, shopping list, cut list and real photos to help you build your own bookshelf.

Today is Make a Beautiful Bookshelf Day.

This beautiful bookshelf ...
It's made of solid pine boards.  And it's DIY.
We have our friends from Shanty2Chic today to thank for building and sharing this beautiful bookshelf.  You can learn more about how Whitney stained and finished this bookshelf at her blog post.
So let's get building!
Dimensions are shown above.


Shopping List

1 - 4 feet long 1x12
2 - 8 feet long 1x12
2 - 8 feet long 1x2
2 - 8 feet long 1x3
4 - 8 feet long 2x2
planking for back

Cut List

2 - 1x12 @ 60 3/4" (sides)
4 - 1x2 @ 11 1/4" (side trim)
4 - 2x2 @ 62 3/4" (legs)
4 - 2x2 @ 21 1/2" (top supports and bottom shelf trim)
4 - 1x12 @ 21 1/2" (shelves)
6 - 1x2 @ 21 1/2" (shelf trim)
6 - 1x3 @ 26" (top)
7 - 3 1/2" wide planking or 1x4s @ 60" long (back)

Tape Measure
Speed Square
Safety Glasses
Hearing Protection
Kreg Jig
Brad Nailer
Power Sander
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

Start by drilling 3/4" pocket holes along side edges of the sides. You may also wish to drill holes along top edge for attaching top. Then add the side trim to the outsides.

NOTE: If you don't have a pocket hole jig, you can still build this plan. You will need to carefully predrill holes and use 2 3/4" trim screws to attach legs in next step.

Step 2

Add the legs ...

Step 3

And the top supports.

Step 4

Build your bottom shelf first (see next step) and then attach to bottom.

Step 5

Step 6

And insert into the bookshelf. I recommend having fixed shelves in this project to give you something to attach the back planking to.

Step 7

Build top first with 3/4" pocket holes and attach to top.

NOTE: If you do not have a pocket hole jig, cut 3 2x2s 11 1/4" long and screw between top supports. Then use these supports to attach top planking to.

Step 8

Finally add the back. To conserve costs, try adding planking or tongue and groove to back, but you can always use 1x4s.

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.
Help Improve This Plan

We apologize if there was an error in this plan. Please help us out and report any errors here.


Philippe Merta (not verified)

Tue, 09/04/2012 - 11:08

In the materials list there are 2-1/2" pocket hole screws there but I can't see any place in the building instructions when they are used. Did I miss something or where are they supposed to be used?

Sarah Willey (not verified)

Thu, 01/10/2013 - 14:44

I can't wait to make a pair of these!! I need someplace other than my floor to store all of my nursing textbooks. How much would the wood be for one of these? I believe I guessed about $40-50. Has someone made one already? How much did they spend? Hah, I'm a broke nursing student so I thought I'd ask before I drive to the store to get the wood


Thu, 04/18/2013 - 09:32

We are working on it right now! Question: what kind of wood do you usually work with to build your projects?


Mon, 11/11/2013 - 10:54

I'm having a hard time getting my shelves level *frustrating!* you have any tips so that I don't keep putting holes in the insides?


Sun, 05/04/2014 - 21:52

Start at the bottom and work up.

For fixed shelves, cut spacer blocks and work your way up.

Otherwise, invest in a shelf pin jig (purchased or homemade) and a drill depth stop. Again, start at the bottom and work up. As long as the bottom is level, everything else will fall into place.


Fri, 05/02/2014 - 15:22

I am trying to build a bookshelf to fill an exact space. How much wider can you safely make this without the shelves bowing?


Sun, 08/24/2014 - 05:35

Hello, I really wanted to build this bookcase, so I converted the measurements to what I could buy in our biggest hardware store, Bunnings here in Central QLD, Australia.

Cost of Timber (Pine) $207.14
Nails, Screws, Glue, Stain, Wood Putty $89.69
Total Cost $296.83

I can buy a similar type bookcase for $366.41 from

Looking at the comparison, I don't think its worth the effort. :(
If anyone wants my spreadsheet with the converted timber measurements, let me know and I will send to you.