HANDMADE HOME

DIY Modern Bookcase Tutorial

Handmade Home features a slew of contemporary DIY ideas and inspiration for your home. With an emphasis on easy, affordable and down-to-earth DIYs, we love to deliver original and creative projects that empower you to give it a go and express your inner maker!

Elly Keen

So, you’re looking to replace those old cube shelves you’ve had for like, well, forever! You dream of a modern bookcase that fits your home style and your budget.

Your dream bookshelf is just a day away with this full DIY tutorial which will show you how to take those old cube shelves and transform them into a new shelving unit for your home.

Even if your space is small, you do not need to buy new. This bookcase is fully customisable — so you choose the size, it’s the perfect project for all you small space dwellers looking to save on waste and save on money!

 

How to make Modern Bookcase using old cube shelving

Now, I know what you’re thinking… we did an upcycling project last week with the Cane Headboard Makeover.

Maybe you’re wondering, what is so good about upcycling anyway?

Well, I’ll tell you…

  • It’s all about using what you already have, which equals less waste.
  • It will save you moolah and who doesn’t want to save a buck or two?
  • Upcycling is what all the cool kids are doing these days, yes you heard it here first.

So, now you’re on the upcycling band wagon. Let me share with you this week’s ingenious idea.

 

How to make Modern Bookcase using old cube shelving

You know those modular cube shelves which were all the rage about five years ago?  Yeah, you know the ones I’m talking about! The flat pack, storage units which came in 1 tier, 3 tier, 4 tier…

…well you get the picture.

There’s a good reason why these cube organiser shelves were considered essential at the time (and still kinda are). Because they have a no-frills, simple design yet provide a clever storage solution when you are living in a small space.

But what do you do with those cube shelves you purchased so many years ago, the ones that no longer fit your home style or just look run down and shabby?

Don’t replace them, don’t throw them away!

I’ll show you how to refurbish and transform them into a brand new, modern bookcase which can be entirely customisable depending on your space.

 

 

How to make Modern Bookcase using old cube shelving

“The perfect project for all you small space dwellers looking to save on waste and save on money!”

Instructions for DIY Modern Bookcase

 

The materials you will need for this modern bookcase are:

 

  • Cube shelves
  • Screwdriver or Electric Drill
  • Sandpaper (electric or hand)
  • Paint
  • Paint roller
  • Dressed Pine
  • Wood Stain
  • Wood Glue

 

How to make Modern Bookcase using old cube shelving

1. Firstly, start by taking your cube shelving apart in preparation for painting. You can do this using an electric drill, if you have one. Don’t worry if you don’t cause it’s just as easy using a screwdriver!

 

How to make Modern Bookcase using old cube shelving

2. Next, lightly sand back the shelving panels so that the paint has rough surface to adhere to.

If your cubes are already the right colour and in pretty good condition, you may be able to skip this step!

 

How to make Modern Bookcase using old cube shelving

3. Then using your paint roller, apply the paint. I applied two coats of paint, sanding gently between each coat for an extra smooth finish.

 

How to make Modern Bookcase using old cube shelving

4. While you are waiting for your paint to dry, you may begin to stain the dressed pine.

I planned for my bookcase to be 3x cube shelves stacked horizontally on top of each other meaning that the timber mantel needs to be at least 790mm length x 230mm width. (I opted to go for 840mm x 280mm to give it a slight over hang at the front and the sides).

The size of your mantel may differ depending on how you customise your bookshelf.

 

 

How to make Modern Bookcase using old cube shelving

5. Once your paint has dried, screw the cube shelving back together.

 

How to make Modern Bookcase using old cube shelving

6. Then, stack the shelves accordingly and secure the cubes and mantel together using wood glue.

Allow to dry overnight, using a heavy object to apply pressure while drying. For extra security, you may opt to fasten further with a couple of brackets at the back.

 

 

How to make Modern Bookcase using old cube shelving

“Upcycling is what all the cool kids are doing these days, yes you heard it here first.

How to make Modern Bookcase using old cube shelving

I hope you liked this DIY and feel inspired to try upcycling instead of replacing next time you feel the urge to change up your home.

Elly xx

Elly Keen

Eclectic Creative Blog Contributor

 

Elly Keen realised her love for interior styling while decorating her rental gem in New Zealand’s coolest little capital, Wellington. This enjoyment for styling objects and spaces led to Keenie / DIY, a lifestyle blog where Elly regularly contributes clever DIY ideas and home decorating inspiration. Elly’s styling and photography has a deeply personal touch, reflecting her own home environment that is eclectic, warm and constantly evolving.
Connect with Elly on Instagram: @keeniediy | Pinterest keeniediy | Website keeniediy.com

Want to become a part of our design loving community?
Subscribe to our newsletter for the latest tips, tricks and whats happening in the studio.