Cute and Easy Bookshelves

6 Materials
2 Days
Hi! It's Andrea from Target + Tory. I love to DIY, whereas Shannon loves to BUY. I knew our toy room was in need of a makeover when I could barely walk in it. The Ikea Expedit cubbies we had been using were NOT cutting it.
(When you are done here, check out the full version at
THE DREADFUL BEFORE (don't judge, lol)
I can't believe that picture actually is out for the world to see. I made the kids go through everything and throw away / donate as much as possible (it's always their favorite toy ever when we get to this point). I knew that we had some large items that needed storage, so I decided tall bookshelves would be the best decision.
I found these plans over at Ana White (, and they ended up being the perfect size for my space, AND they were really easy. Only a few tools are required!
I had Lowe's cut the 2x8's so I wouldn't have to get out the circular saw. I used my Miter saw to cut the 2x4's. (I woodwork in whatever clothes I'm wearing. I'm a busy mom. You do you.)
After all of my wood was cut to length and I made my pocket holes, I stained the pieces in a Dark Walnut BEFORE attaching them together. For those who stain, you know it is not easy to get the stain in all of the cracks. Your piece will look much better if you stain first.
I decided it was much easier to put the shelves together IN the toy room, instead of carrying them down the stairs and around corners. This project would be much easier with an extra set of hands, but I did it with my 2, so you can too!
Once they were up, I had to use a spade bit to drill holes where I wanted the conduit to go. I had a real difficult time with the wood busting out the opposite side. On my blog, I talk about the few ways that didn't work, and the one way that did....kind of.
I attached the shelves to the wall with brackets and anchors to make sure they would not tip over :)
In the end, the kids wanted a desk to go in there as well. Luckily we had one my grandma had given us. Even though it's not the style I would have chosen, it's perfect! I still have some more decorating to add to the space, but I have learned not to buy something just to fill a space. So I am waiting to find the perfect addition.
Thanks so much for checking this out. If you have any questions, let me know! I will have more DIY projects on my blog (there's currently a laundry/mudroom makeover on there) soon. You can also follow Target and Tory on FB!

Resources for this project:

See all materials
Any price and availability information displayed on [relevant Amazon Site(s), as applicable] at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.
Hometalk may collect a small share of sales from the links on this page.More info

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!

Frequently asked questions

Have a question about this project?

3 of 25 questions
  • Chatty Cathy Chatty Cathy on Dec 30, 2017
    Have you considered building a desk, using the same techniques as you did on the shelves?

  • Sharon McMasters Sharon McMasters on Jan 13, 2019

    I must have missed something. Why did you use the conduit? I don't understand what it adds to your shelves.

  • Lisa Cuddy Lisa Cuddy on Jan 20, 2019

    What’s the conduit for? Good job on the shelves. You do realise the room will still get messy? They’re kids after all. Been there . Done that. And I’d do it over again in a New York minute. I miss my babies. Blessed be


Join the conversation

2 of 165 comments
  • Virginia Virginia on Jan 12, 2019

    On how perfect...I love that you left the desk as it was....adds personality and charm...I wish I had the nerve to try making shelves like yours...I will save this and maybe someday.

  • Mike Williamson Mike Williamson on Jan 13, 2019

    You did a great job building these shelves. Very smart to attach them to the wall. Kids love to climb on anything they are NOT supposed to.

    I also like the conduit idea.