DIY Ladder Bookshelf, An Easy Weekend Project

I have been rearranging some things in our sunroom to get the space ready for the winter months.  Since the room has been redesigned it is quickly becoming our favorite place to hang out.  In order to accomodate more toy storage and add some visual interest to the room, I wanted to add a shelf in the corner.  My husband, who is always much craftier than I, suggested we build our own shelf. We decided on a ladder shelf to keep the corner open and not too bulky.

Scott solicited the help of his dad who is a great craftsman when he was in town a couple weeks ago.  His dad came across a great plan for a ladder bookshelf in this month’s issue of This Old House Magazine.

The plan estimated about 6 hours of work and $82 for poplar. We wanted a wood finish to match the side table in the room so we went with inexpensive wood for a total of $40. We also made a couple modifications to the dimensions to better fit our space.  We widened the shelves a bit and raised the bottom one so that we could fit two large toy storage baskets underneath.

After setting up a makeshift workshop in the driveway, Scott and his dad were able to build out the whole shelf in about three hours.


Everything was straight-forward and went according to the plans.

With the construction finished, I stained the shelf to match the side table in the room. The stain really dressed up the inexpensive wood and gave it a beautiful finish.

We moved it into place and I added some decorative elements to the top shelves.  A couple large pictures frames from Home Goods with some artwork I printed off on our home printer.

Our baskets from Target fit perfectly underneath the bottom shelf providing tons of toy storage!

And one more look from the side. It keeps the corner nice and open but adds some height and interest.

I’ll be back next week to share some more pictures from this room as I transition it from Summer to Winter!

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