Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Slim book shelves for beside children's beds

I love Pottery Barn and Pottery Barn Kids! Then again, who doesn't? But to be honest with you, I don't think I have bought a single thing there...ever. I use their website as a source for ideas and not for anything else.  When I came upon the slim book holders they show in photos next to the kids beds (priced at $49 each!!!), I knew I had to make them. I loved the idea of having a thin book shelf right next to my guys beds without having to worry about them hitting there heads because it came out so far.

Here is the Pottery Barn version:
(source Pottery Barn Kids)

So I started googling and found an amazing website called Knock-Off Wood by Anna White.  Anna is a genius when it comes to making anything to do with wood.  She gives amazingly detailed instructions on how to make these adorable shelves on her website.

I cannot tell you how easy these were to make and how nice they look!

I went to my local Home Depot and found precut pine wood in the perfect length of 36 inches (they also had 24 inch ones too)!!! These pieces worked out cheaper than the longer pieces that I would have had to cut! The only cutting I had to do was for the two side pieces and if you don't want to do the curved cut, you can have Home Depot cut a squared edge for you for free!

I won't bore you with the details on how I made these because Anna does an amazing job but I will tell you I made a slight modification to the top guard piece. We flipped it so more books could fit in the shelf. Either way works but this was our preference.
After they were assembled, I simply spray painted them with navy spray paint (I didn't prime) and put two picture hanging hooks on the back.

As you know, I live in Canada, so the wood cost a little more than Anna White's version. The grand total for this each shelf was approximately $10 for the wood and $2.50 for the spray paint. I could have saved a few dollars by using primed MDF but we would have had to do more cuts. I was overjoyed with the end result and pretty happy with the price, especially when Pottery Barn is charging $49!
I made 2 of these for my nephews for Christmas so they can hang them next to their bunk beds. I gave them each a book and a lamp to round out the gift.



  1. Stephanie, that is brilliant! I love that you posted the Canadian price too. What a great Christmas gift for your nephews. I am sure that they love them! Thanks for posting!

  2. You should submit this idea to:

    She does all kinds of knock off stuff like you did here! Looks great!

    Becky B.

  3. I love these book shelves and need to make some right away. Then maybe my kids wouldn't destroy so many books by sleeping with them. I'm totally on this one. Thanks for the inspiration.

  4. Isn't Anna a genious? Great job on the shelves!

  5. Awesome jop! I love Ana WHite! I just finished my second project from her!

  6. I love these! You did a great job! I sooo need some of these for my kids!!

  7. What a great idea. Perfect for when kids want to look at books in bed! I'd love for you to come link up at my party today:

  8. That's so cute. I need to make some of these for my kids playroom!

  9. These turned out great. A few years ago my husband made similar shelves for our kids. They get a ton of use.

  10. I am a big Ana fan too! I am thinking I need a couple of those (or maybe one long one) for my kids' playroom.

  11. i totally need one of these and have it on my 30 before 30 to make something off ana site. i guess this will be my first thing!!

  12. I'd love for you to link up to Inspire Me Mondays @ Singing Three Little Birds!

  13. Great job making your own. Looks great! I too didn't want to pay Pottery Barn so had my talented uncle make it for me.

  14. Nice! PB is a great for inspiration - I agree with that! I've never been brave enough to try anything with carpentry, but you've made it look so easy.

  15. Very cute! Thanks for linking up to Mad Skills Monday!

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  17. looks spot on, and perfect for little arms to reach them!

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