After a few weeks, I can honestly say they have been a GREAT addition. I have five children (and yes, I know about birth control). The kids who can read are reading more, and the kids who can't yet read are asking to have books read to them way more often. The rain gutter book shelves don't look like I anticipated they would. They look 10X better. Depending on how high you install them, they can take on the appearance of a chair rail, can be used to keep things out of the reach of inquisitive younger siblings, or make an attractive shelf that can hold a multitude of things.
The gutters can be cut to size, they can be painted just about any color, and are super easy to install. Please check out the pictures.
You are going to need:
vinyl gutters (they come in 10 foot sections).
screw driver or drill
I used a laser level that made things a whole lot easier.
I'm pretty sure anyone can do this.
First: Plan out how long your shelves are going to be.
Second: Decide how many brackets you will need. I used one gutter bracket for every 24 inches give or take a few inches. I tried to space them evenly for the length of gutter I was going to hang.
Third: Calculate how many end caps you will need. You will need a left end cap and a right end cap for every shelf you plan on hanging. We decided to eliminate the caps in the kids rooms to save on cost. We knew we could always go back and add them if we didn't like the way they looked. So far, no complaints.
Fourth: Start hanging gutters. I didn't bother drilling into the studs because I knew we weren't going to add that many books.
Fifth: I don't know how to instruct beyond this point.
Check out the pictures to see what you think and don't be afraid to let me know by adding a comment. Thanks!