How to Build Creative and Modern Arrow Shaped Bookshelves

by Mr ATC
16 Materials
2 Days

If you’re looking for a creative and modern way to add some storage space to a room in your house, take a look at these arrow-shaped bookshelves. They’re an easy build and you can paint or stain them to match any decor. Plus, just like a puzzle, they can be moved around to fit in your area. Follow my easy instructions and build your own fun set this weekend.

Each Arrow Requires 8 Pieces

  • 2 side pieces
  • 1 base piece
  • 2 arrowhead pieces
  • 2 side arrowhead supports
  • 1 backplate in arrow shape cut to fit perimeter of assembled frame

Other Tools and Materials

  • Measuring stick
  • Clamps
  • Jig saw
  • Miter saw
  • Circular saw
  • Angle clamps
  • Nail gun
  • Nails
  • Paint
  • Brush
  • Rag
  • Drop cloth
  • Gloves
  • Mask
  • Eye protection
DIY Arrow Bookshelf
Measure out Your Wood
Measure out Your Wood

Very carefully measure out and mark your wood. I used leftover scraps of laminate covered plywood, but you can use whatever you have on hand. Since these pieces will go together like a puzzle it’s very important that the measurements are precise. If they’re even slightly off, they won’t fit together properly. If you do have to make some corrections or adjustments, it can be done before you nail it all together, by trimming the pieces with a jigsaw.

Cut Wood for Sides
Cut Wood for Sides

The wood used to create the sides of the arrow, the base and the backplate all had straight cuts. I cut the wood with my circular saw on the marks I drew. I locked the board into place with clamps so it wouldn’t move as I cut. This part of the process was simple.

Cut Arrow Pieces
Cut Arrow Pieces

Cutting the pieces for the arrowhead was a little more involved. I needed to cut those pieces on 45 degree angles, with a miter saw, so they would fit together at the point. The two smallest pieces that support the arrowhead were cut with one straight edge that would be nailed into the side board and one 45 degree angle cut that would be attached to the arrowhead. Both arrowhead pieces were cut at 45 degree angles on both sides.

Assemble the Arrow
Assemble the Arrow

I started by using angle clamps to at the corners where I was going to nail my base to my sides. The angle clamps would assure that I was setting them at the exact 90 degree angle I needed. I attached the smallest pieces to the top ends of the large rectangular pieces, I used angle clamps there, as well, nailing the straight edge into the side. Then I added the two top pieces to create the arrow point. Lastly, I nailed the arrow shaped backplate onto the frame.

Add Backplate

After assembly was complete on all the arrows, it was time to prep them for paint. I sanded all the surfaces with a power sander to make it easier and speed up the process. I paid special attention to any areas I had cut or where the wood was joined. Then I dusted them off with a rag and placed them on a plastic drop cloth.


I painted each arrow with two coats of paint. I applied each coat with a brush. I used two different paint colors to add interest, covering 2 arrows in white and the rest in a bright blue. If you used wood, rather than the laminate covered wood I used, to construct your arrows, you could stain them instead.

Paint Contrasting Colors
Get Creative
Get Creative

There are many different ways these shelves can fit together. I played around with them like puzzle pieces, trying to come up with the best and most pleasing design for my room. When I found one I really liked I placed some feet on the bottom of the base of the bottom arrow.

Add Feet
DIY Arrow Bookshelf

A few simple cuts and a little bit of paint was all it took to make these modern and creative arrow shaped bookshelves. Place them in a den, living room, playroom or bedroom, they’ll add a touch of interest and a lot of storage for books, magazines or collectibles. You can move the arrows around and play with the arrangements, too. I hope that this tutorial will help you to build your very own set.

What colors will you choose when you build your own arrow shelves?

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