Introduction: Invisible Book Shelf

Picture of Invisible Book Shelf

Cast levitation level 7 on your books!

Step 1: What You'll Need

Picture of What You'll Need

Good sized "L" Bracket
Carpet Knife
Small wood screws (of the flat headed variety)
Large wood screws
Tape Measure or Ruler
A Stack of Books for Weight

A friend at work gave me a stack of Stephen King books that were collecting dust in his garage. My previous two shelves from the introduction were free books that my public library was trying to get rid of.
Use a book you don't mind never reading again.

Step 2: Measure Twice, Cut Once.

Picture of Measure Twice, Cut Once.

Measure the half way point, make a mark, set down your bracket, draw an outline, measure again, cut out a hole deep enough that the bracket will set flush. You are doing this to the back or bottom of the book, the part that will be visible in the finished product.

Step 3: Don't Put Away the Carpet Knife Yet!

Picture of Don't Put Away the Carpet Knife Yet!

Use your knife to make a notch for the "L" bracket so the book can sit flush against the wall.

Step 4: Screw Stephen King!

Picture of Screw Stephen King!

...or at least place your small wood screws to secure the "L" bracket in place, and one on either side toward the edges of the book to secure the pages of Stephen Kings book together. Hanging the bracket over the edge of a desk, chair, or counter is helpful. The pages will try to rise up the screw as you insert it, so make sure you're putting some pressure on them to keep them in line. If this part is not done correctly the end result will show the pages as wavy and will tip off the viewer that something is amiss. The picture shows me using a cordless drill, but I found that doing it by hand was much more effective.

Step 5: Glue, and Apply Pressure

Picture of Glue, and Apply Pressure

The glue will hold the bottom cover of the book in place, and the screws hold the pages together. Put the stack of books on top of the whole deal and wait overnight.

Step 6: No. Seriously, Wait Overnight.

Picture of No. Seriously, Wait Overnight.

Did you think I was kidding?

Step 7: Attach It to the Wall.

Picture of Attach It to the Wall.

...sorry to switch books, but I wanted to finish the Instructable while the glue was drying.

use a large wood screw to attach the whole mess to the wall. Find a stud first.

Step 8: Load It Up!

Picture of Load It Up!

put some books on it to cover your handiwork. make sure you put enough books to cover the bracket, don't leave it like this picture.

Step 9: Forget That It's There...

Picture of Forget That It's There...

...and wait for the crazy looks on peoples faces when they notice it and can't figure it out.


polymathism (author)2007-10-03

easy to follow, and after the first one its clockwork. i made a zipper like format. good space saver too!

buy copegus (author)polymathism2017-05-29

nice.. it's works

Looks pretty nice! Great inspiration.

Now looking in my bookshelf for what books to sacrifice..

I can't believe how many books one can squeeze in there without it looking cluttered. Good job!

sparkertoo (author)polymathism2013-11-02

This is definitely the most attractive arrangement of shelves, and I've got just the space to copy it! 8)

Browncoat (author)polymathism2007-11-08

That looks FANTASTIC!!

andydrumer12 (author)2010-02-02

 Here's a pic of the one I made. I liked the way the books look standing up, kinda defeats the purpose but oh well..

sparkertoo (author)andydrumer122013-11-02

I like the books sitting upright just as well as I like them stacked. Unless you're implementing this idea because you really need more storage space for books, it's a nice way to display a favorite item or two - even to use for no other purpose than to create "artwork" for an empty wall. Probably does need a book or two no matter what its purpose, to maintain the "theme" inspired by the "book" shelf. ;-)
I have to comment again on Polymathism's staggered zipper design, too; it's also a very attractive example of mixing it up a bit, by adding a single rather dramatic piece on the uppermost shelf. I love where both of you went with the idea almost as much as I love the instructable!

frenzy (author)andydrumer122010-06-14

This posting has won today's "I Made It" Challenge. For that you win a 3 month pro membership!

J@50n (author)andydrumer122010-02-04

 no, i like the way you have the books set upwards! 

dorxincandeland (author)2011-07-14

Project of the day! Woot!

epoh (author)2009-10-26

Hi everyone,
I'd like to thank for this great instructable!

I was planning to do my bookshelf for about 6 months. When I finally got to round to it, it took me about an hour or two.

I used an old calendar notebook with metal binding on the side so I can hang my earing collection :)

Thanks again!

canida (author)epoh2010-08-18

Nice mod!

ahurlimann (author)epoh2010-05-07

You've just inspired me. Wow, I love how you used the spiral notebook to make it more "fun"ctional!

CraftyGal1965 (author)epoh2010-04-04

How cool is that!  Wow!

stewent (author)2009-11-16

Here is the one I built. I did it with two brackets and it turned out great. Awesome instructable!

SirJoey (author)2009-02-21

Way kool! Thanx for sharing this one! Here's mine:

artista (author)2007-09-11

Wonderful idea!!! And very good explained.

Ninth (author)artista2008-08-06

Are all those books stacked on the one "shelf" or do you have a lot of books connected to the wall and just filled the gaps? If so, how many are connected to the wall?

shooby (author)artista2008-07-15

This is how it should be done, with lots of books, attached lower to the ground. Like this, it's subtle, looking almost as though the books are stacked on the ground, until one inspects further. Good job Artista. With a stack of 6 books in the middle of the wall, it's too 'Disneyland'. People might scratch their heads at it, but in the end of the day you have a stack of 6 books that you don't care about sticking out of your wall.

archenteron (author)artista2007-11-29

That looks so good.

OmegaChicken (author)2008-08-02

Here's my attempt. I used some nice, gilded, leatherbound editions of the Homeric epics with just god-awful, rhyming English verse translations. I couldn't stand ever reading them, besides I have better translations and I know ancient Greek anyway, so I don't even need them! HA! In your face, publisher. On to the project, I didn't have a drill, so I couldn't put pilot holes in the pages, but I found that simply placing the screw that holds the pages together more into the center of the page instead of toward the corner, I got less "wrinkle" on the sides. There was still a lot of wrinkle on the edge of the pages, but that faces the wall anyway so there's no problem there. All in all, not a bad first attempt. In fact, this is the first project I'd done with On the plus side, most of my literature is heroic prose or poetry, so the shelves match their contents. Don't ask me why I mounted them like that. Shoulda done the red one a little higher. Awesome Instructable!

chrislrob (author)2008-06-15

My first instructable! Most excellent!

daveraven (author)2008-03-24

Thanks a lot for this great instructable! The directions and pictures were very clear. Here are pics of my shelf:

offseid (author)2008-01-08

Great Instructable! Here's mine. A possible modification would be to make the shelf book a "secret compartment" or hollow book!

volvoman37 (author)2007-05-03

i read this one, decided i needed some decorations, and went to town on it. simple, effect is great. thanks for this!

Trainwr3k (author)volvoman372007-08-30

Hunter S. Thompson, nice. Good instructable btw I plan on doing it.

tomfoolery (author)volvoman372007-08-17

Dude, not to be mean but the books in your pictures are way to high. I would sugest making it about eye level. Unless your just realy tall.. Btw, GREAT instructable!

tn. (author)2017-01-28

i went to the thrift shop and bought some books that had pretty covers but quite frankly will never be read (DanBrown? please!)

my plan is to run them up and down in rows but with gaps to place my Upper Song and Han dynasty pottery, collector's plates, etc. with any luck, it will look like a solid wall of books with niches holding my modest collection of interesting objets d'art.

TerrieF6 (author)tn.2017-07-07

Pictures? Would love to see how it turned out!

tn. (author)TerrieF62017-07-08


tn. (author)TerrieF62017-07-08

It's a work in progress. What do you think?

tn. (author)tn.2017-01-28

btw, i was concerned about the books bending over time, so i bought smaller (2-hole) brackets and i'll use two per book.

tn. (author)tn.2017-07-08

My picture didn't attach :(

undanganpernikahan (author)2017-01-05

Fantastic space saver.

Camolution made it! (author)2016-10-30

This was a great instructable. I am not what you'd call "handy" but I put four shelves together after practicing on one old hardback. I really like how it turned out in our bedroom, and the wife loves the theme.

CoolStuffMachine (author)2016-07-20

This is such a great idea! If only I had books that were big enough!

JarrodL6 made it! (author)2016-05-15

Researched a lot of options for this "look." Liked this instructable the best. Happy with the results!

JarrodL6 (author)2016-05-10

My version. Thanks for the idea and guidance on the how-to!

anna0101 (author)2016-03-15

that looks awesome. Good for a Harry Potter theme library!

TerryH33 (author)2016-02-07

Great Job! I cant wait to try to do this myself.

andrew_bentley (author)2016-02-01

Looks really awesome. Although I don't think bookshelves are that ugly looking.

DmitriK1 (author)2015-12-29

This is genius!!

RowanCant (author)2015-10-27

Or, connect the bracket to the wall via a remotely switched electromagnet and switch it off when people walk up to look at it closely.... :)

JayaF (author)RowanCant2015-12-14

Ahhahahahahahahahahah! Oh yes! +1... I'm almost tempted.... the look on hubby's face! Now, to get him out of the house for three days, so I can carve up the wall... ;-)

KatK9 (author)2015-11-01

Is there a way to make this work without putting holes in the wall? I rent so I cannot use nails - will it support the weight of the books if you use a 3M hook on the part of the L-bracket that goes on the wall? Or is there another way to do it that is not permanent on the walls? Thanks

dorxincandeland (author)KatK92015-11-01

I use two of the 3M sticky things and it works pretty well.

inklayer (author)2015-10-22

Making multiples of these? Check out your local thrift stores for bottom books. There are many you can pick up for $0.25 to $0.50.

Bobby T (author)2015-10-07

I need to have this. Great decor idea.. Thanks !

Aryan is awesome (author)2015-08-24

I like this bookshelf, but can you please make a one that you can put and remove books in

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