I really, REALLY needed a new bookcase (all of the books you see in this picture were either in a box, or crammed into shelves sideways on top of other books), but there were two problems. First, the only place I could fit another bookcase was in the spare bedroom, which is so small that I didn't want to overwhelm the space. Second, quality boards that are wide enough to make the sides of a bookcase are expensive. I quickly learned in my college woodworking classes that any boards more than four inches wide tend to get snapped up out of the supply room first. (In fact at one point an eight-inch wide board that I'd carefully planed and sanded was stolen and presumably chopped up for someone else's project. The perpetrator was never caught, NOT THAT I'M BITTER OR ANYTHING.) The paint-grade boards I bought for the shelves set me back more than thirty dollars, and I'd need something a lot nicer for the sides. Then at the Habitat for Humanity Restore I found a set of folding louvered doors, which would be wide enough for a bookcase AND the open design would work much better in a small space. Cost? Ten dollars for the set. And we're off!
Fair warning, this instructable is slightly image-heavy and VERY detail-heavy. I'm going to write this for the benefit of anyone who doesn't have much experience with woodworking, so feel free to skim.