So, I’m kind of a book fiend. Nothing beats a sunny afternoon on a porch swing with a good book. I love my Nook when it comes to reading “fluff”. You know, the stuff you read maybe once or twice and then have to take to the resale shop. But when it comes to my tried-and-true favorites like Harry Potter that I read and reread until the pages fall out, I need it in hardback. And these pretty hardbacks shouldn’t be hidden, they need something to make them center stage!
It just so happens that this little wall jut-out from my kitchen pantry is the perfect width for hardback books. Plus, it was just sitting there, calling my name to do something with it. I came up with the idea for this floating book tower after seeing this image on Pinterest:
Beautiful, right? But get this. It’s “price upon request” which in rich people speak, means “you’re outta your damn mind”! Um, one 2×4 is two bucks at Lowe’s. Even if you get super fancy wood, there’s no way the materials cost anywhere over $10. So you’re asking me to pay you in my lifeblood to chop up a stick of wood and hang it on my wall. No thanks! Besides, it looks a little skinny to me. Why not upgrade to a 2×6? One 8 foot board is just over $3, and you can get two shelves to a board. Here’s how!
• 2 – 2x6x8′ stud-grade pine boards (2 shelves per board, so this makes 4 shelves)
• Countersink bit (optional)
• 32 – 2.5″ screws, 9 – 3 or 4″ screws (again, supplies are for 4 shelves.)
• Paint or stain, sandpaper
Step 1: Build your boxes.
I don’t have a photo of this, but I cut my boards to 10″ lengths, and you need 4 per shelf. Make a box by screwing the boards together. I recommend countersinking your screws or at least pre-drilling the holes, because the stud grade pine has a tendency to split. Which was my problem. You can also get fancy and cut the edges on 45 degree angles, like the Pinterest photo above. I tried to do this, but got impatient and my angles were all screwed up. So I had to cut them off at regular old 90 degree angles, but it still looks pretty good! I’d also recommend painting or staining these now. I waited, and it was a pain in the tuckus to paint them and not get any on the wall. I’m just so impatient sometimes!
Studs are usually located roughly 16 or 24″ apart. As my shelves are only 10″ wide, that was going to be an issue. I decided to mount them flush to my side wall, since there was a stud there. I used three 3″ screws in the side, drilling straight through my shelf into the wall stud. Those suckers aren’t going anywhere! If you plan to mount them on a center wall, I would suggest pre-drilling holes and “toenailing” them into the studs, or using a Kreg Jig if you have one. You’re going to need to hold up roughly 20 pounds of weight between the books and the shelf itself, so studs are key. If you don’t want to mess around with drilling, you can get L brackets and use those to attach the shelves to the studs, no problem!
Step 3: Load up with books!
I filled ‘er up with all my hardbacks, and it worked out perfectly. If you’re not as big of a book hoarder, these would look great with any other type of decor. Those floating display boxes can cost a fortune at the store, and these are only $2.50 a piece! This entire setup only cost $10.
I painted these with the same glossy black paint as my hutch, and I’m actually surprised at how well the gloss paint hides imperfections. I always thought it showed them more, but I was wrong. This project is so easy to customize with your own dimensions. You can make them in different sizes, and intersperse them on a large wall. Or do something like mine, with them equally sized and space to make a fun book display. It’s awesome that I get to store and show off my books in a cheap, space-saving way!