Rain Gutter Bookshelves

9 Materials
1.5 Hours
For those of you who tuned in to the Hometalk Facebook Live Segment on mine and Rob's house a few weeks ago, you may remember someone tuning in and suggesting I do a rain gutter bookshelf project. You may also remember Miriam relaying a shout out from an audience member named Alex, telling me that, "Bo says, 'hi mommy!'" I knew that one of my best friends here on Long Island, Alex, was tuning in for the segment at her house while she babysat my son (Bo), but I had no clue until after the segment that she was the one who suggested rain gutter bookshelves. I wanted to do this project in Bo's room but I'm literally all out of space in there so I decided to put them together for Alex's son's nursery instead. She was super pumped when I asked her if I could do them at her house and I'm so excited to introduce this project to y'all! It took a little while for me to figure out what in the world I was doing but overall, it ended up being fairly easy and I'm so happy with the finished product.

1 – 10’ white K-style vinyl gutter

4 – white K-style vinyl joiners

2 – white K-style vinyl end cap sets (they come in sets of 2)

2 – white K-style vinyl inside mitre (these are the middle sections of the shelves)

-1.5" drywall screws



-measuring tape


(Sorry, I don't have a photo of the supplies but you can see everything I used in the step-by-step photos.)
STEP 1: Cut gutter

The first thing I did was – using my chop saw – carefully and slowly cut my gutter into four even pieces. Since the gutter was 10’ long, I measured and marked every 2.5' on the gutter.
STEP 2: Attach end caps

Next, I placed an end cap on the left end of two of my gutter pieces; then did the same for the right end of those same two gutter pieces.

You should have 4 pieces of gutter—two with an end cap on the left and two with an end cap on the right.
STEP 3: Join gutters

After my end caps were on, I took one of the shelves that had a left end cap and slipped on the bottom/cushion part of the joiner. I slid it on until the gutter was about half way in (photo 1) then I took one of the shelves that had a right end cap and slide it on to the same joiner (photo 2) until the left gutter piece and the right gutter piece were touching (photo 3).

Next, I took the plain/top piece of the joiner (photo 4) and, clipping it on at the top first (photo 5) then snapped it into place from the bottom (photo 6). Repeat for your two remaining gutter pieces.

*Note: Since I’ve never done this project before and have never handled gutters, I was so afraid I was going to break the joiner and/or the front of the gutter during this step, but you really have to almost man-handle these pieces because they fit on super snug.
STEP 3: Mount shelves to wall

Lastly, I marked in the corner of the wall with a pencil where Alex wanted the corner of the bottom shelf to hang. Then, I used a level to make sure the gutter was sitting evenly (is that a word?) on the wall and marked where the end of the future was on the wall.

Next, I had Alex hold the gutter on the marks while I drilled them securely to the wall. We repeated this step for the top shelf.

*Note: Initially, I went crazy trying to deal with anchors and that was proving to be a nightmare so with Alex's permission, I x'd the anchors since she didn't intend to load the gutters with books. Overall, however, the gutters felt very sturdy when I was finished mounting them to the wall so I feel confident that they will hold just fine without anchors.
I'm so in love with this little reading nook for Ray J to hang out in when he gets old enough! Once Rob, Bo (our son) and I move, I plan to put several of these rain gutter bookshelves up in his new room.
Resources for this project:
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Frequently asked questions
Have a question about this project?
3 of 10 questions
  • You49009845 You49009845 on Jul 05, 2020

    where does one buy fancy plastic guttering?

  • Deco Deco on Aug 10, 2020

    Could you add gutter top that keeps out leaves to what’s shown here

    to make shelf space for miniature cars, etc?

  • JR JR on Jul 09, 2021

    How wide can you get gutters? Or are they standard?

Join the conversation
2 of 185 comments
  • Patricia Holt Patricia Holt on Feb 28, 2020

    Wow! I love the idea and concept! My mind got thinking of all the different places I stack books!!!! My first thought was my cookbooks! I collect church cookbooks and each one is from a church I have visited in the past. I thought, what a great way to store and display these cookbooks about my kitchen! Then, the bathroom where floor space is limited... it is limitless! I love this and will put this into practice right away! Painting with that chalk paint... sponge painting in multiple layers of colors!

  • Bek Bek on Jul 01, 2020

    It occurs to me that this project would also work as a picture rail, provided the frames weren't too heavy, and with the amount of light-weight, pretty frames available, that isn't really an issue!