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I posted a picture of our daughter playing with her books on her bookshelves the other day, and it dawned on me that I never shared with you guys our “Ikea spice rack” inspired bookshelf DIY.
If you’ve looked on Pinterest for children’s bookshelf ideas, then chances are you’ve seen the Ikea spice rack bookshelf hack. The shelves are sized perfectly for holding children’s books and you can place them on lower levels for them to reach. We loved the idea!
But because it’s us, and we can’t pass up a good DIY, we decided to try and create our own spice rack bookshelves.
Not only did it save me an hour of driving time to my local Ikea, but after building it and seeing how sturdy it was I had the piece of mind that those bad boys weren’t going to go anywhere when our daughter got old enough to start pulling on them. #momwin
And while you do need a few tools for this project they are for the most part pretty commonly found in an averagely stocked garage. We didn’t use anything super fancy this go around.
This is also a great project if you don’t have a lot of experience with woodworking projects and want to try something that isn’t super intimidating.
Alright, let’s do this!
What you’ll need:
- 1 1×4 24in long
- 1 16in piece of thin strip moulding
- 6 1 ½ in screws (size #8)
- Wood glue
- Pocket hole jig (this is the one we use)
- 80 or 100 grit sandpaper
- Spray paint colour of choice
- Tape measure
- Saw (chop saw or hack saw will work)
- Bar clamp
- 2 robbertson (square drive) screws
- Optional: stud finder
You’ll want to start by measuring 16in on your 1×4 and cut it to size using your saw. Go ahead and set your 16in piece aside. Now grab your scrap wood and cut it in half. Your two pieces should measure roughly around 4in.
And since we don’t want any babies getting splinters, make sure to lightly sand the edges of all three pieces using 80 or 100 grit sandpaper.
Take your 4in pieces and line them up flush against your 16in board as if you were about to put the shelf together, and mark their placement with a pencil. Then set the 4in pieces aside. Now you can pre-drill two screw holes halfway between the edge of the board and your pencil marking. Your holes should be about 2in apart.
Don’t worry, he’s not bleeding. Just played with red paint earlier in the day. 😉
Once your holes are done, go ahead and apply a small amount of wood glue to the edge of one of the 4in pieces that will sit flush against the 16in board with the marks you previously made. While holding the piece in place, go ahead and screw in 2 of your 1 ½ in screws in the holes you already drilled. Once secure, repeat on the other side.
Now it’s time to play with the moulding. You’ll want to measure your moulding to 14 ½ in and cut accordingly with you saw. Now go ahead and place your moulding between the two 4in pieces, and while securely holding the moulding, you’ll want to drill a hole through the 4in piece into your moulding on both ends.
Add a small dab of wood glue to each end of the moulding. Then, while holding the moulding in place again, you’ll set two screws in the holes you just finished drilling.
Here is where things may start to sound a little foreign to you if you haven’t had a lot of experience with woodworking projects. We decided to make pocket holes for these bookshelves rather than make a backing that would have to be screwed into mollies into our wall.
Why did we do that?
Because with the pocket holes, we were able to screw the shelf directly into the studs of our walls which meant the bookshelves were the most secure they could possibly be. No matter how much our daughter pulled and tugged, those shelves weren’t going anywhere! The same could not be said for the previous method.
So if you’re in a similar boat like us where security is a concern, I would definitely recommend the pocket hole method.
Okay, back to the project…
Taking your beautiful new bookshelf, while using your bar clamp to keep it secure, place your jig in the middle of one of the 4in ends. Then drill a hole through the jig to create your pocket hole. Repeat on the opposite side of the shelf. Make sure to lightly sand each pocket hole to protect little fingers from splinters.
Now it’s time for painting! Go ahead and cover your shelf with the spray paint color of your choice. Plan on needing two coats since wood likes to soak spray paint up.
Once it’s dry you’re ready for mounting!
For security reasons, you need to mount your beautiful new bookshelves into the studs of your wall (studs are the beams inside your wall). If you are unfamiliar with how to find them, I would recommend using a stud finder (like this one). It makes your life so much easier and they can be found reasonably priced at your local hardware store. Once you’ve found your stud, line your shelf up where you would like it to be and secure it to your wall using your robbertson screws.
Voila! You now have your very own Ikea spice rack inspired bookshelf that is just begging to be filled. We hope your kiddos enjoy their bookshelves as much as ours does.
Ikea Spice Rack Inspired Bookshelf:
- Measure and cut your 1×4 to 16in and set aside.
- Cut your scrap wood in half resulting in two 4in pieces.
- Lightly sand all three pieces with 80 or 100 grit sandpaper.
- Place your 4in pieces against your 16in board as if to secure in place. Mark their placement.
- Pre-drill two holes on either end of your 16in board between the edges of your board and your markings. The two holes should be 2in apart.
- Place small amount of wood glue to the end of one of your 4in pieces and place it against the 16in board.
- Drill the 4in piece in place through the previously drilled holes using the 1 ½ screws.
- Repeat on opposite side.
- Measure and cut moulding to 14 ½ in.
- Place between 4in ends and pre-drill a hole on either end.
- Place a small amount of wood glue to the end of both sides of the moulding and place back between the 4in pieces.
- Drill screws into previously drilled holes securing moulding in place.
- Clamp jig against one of the 4in ends of the shelf. Drill hole through jig.
- Repeat on opposite side.
- Lightly sand newly made pocket holes.
- Apply two coats of spray paint.
- Using stud finder, place shelf in its desired location.
- Drill robberston screws through the pocket holes into the studs, securing the bookshelf in place.
So what do you think?! Does it hold up against the store bought version? Let me know what you think in the comments below!