Introduction: Smashed Mutant Octopus Book "shelf"

Picture of Smashed Mutant Octopus Book "shelf"

I was looking through websites when I came across a link to this. I was like "Wow, I want one of those! In fact, I could make one!" So here it is!

Step 1: What You Will Need....

Picture of What You Will Need....

So for this you'll need:
A wooden dowel (I found one in my mom's closet full o tools and things)
Duct tape (Very easy stuff to find)
Surveyors tape but preferably something stronger. (Mine was $2. You can get it at someplace like Ace. It isn't sticky, it's just for things like tieing on stakes to outline something on the ground like where a house will go. You could also use other things instead.)

Step 2: Take the Tape And....

Picture of Take the Tape And....

The wooden dowel found was 21 inches long and I used roughly 15 pieces of surveyors tape that were 2 feet long. You can use more or less and make the pieces longer or shorter.
So cut all the peices of surveyors tape you need and then tear off a piece of duct tape as long a your dowel. Put it on one end and take a piece of surveyors tape and loop it over the dowel and tape it down. Keep doing this until you have put as many loops on it as you want it to have. Put them close together without too much of a gap between them.

Step 3: Smashed Mutant Octopus

Picture of Smashed Mutant Octopus

So by now your bookshelf should look like a smashed mutant octopus. The loops might not exactly stay on very well so take a piece of duct tape and rip it in half and stick it down on the underside of everything. Put the tape on the bottom by putting the loops around the ends of the dowel so that you don't accidently tape the surveyors tape to the dowel.
If you find that it still doesn't look like it will stay on put some very thin pieces of tape between each of the loops to hold everything on a little bit better.

Step 4: Almost Done!!

Picture of Almost Done!!

Yay! So you're almost done, but if you try to put a book in your book "shelf" it will just turn to the side and fall out. Soo take some pieces of surveyors tape and tie them to the very top of the loops. Now the book should stay in.

Step 5: Bam!

Picture of Bam!

You're done. This project cost me less than $5 but might cost more dependion on how big you want ti and stuff like that.
Enjoy your smashed mutant octopus bookshelf! If you have any questions just ask :D

Step 6: Individual Book Holder

Picture of Individual Book Holder

Kiteman told me about [¤t_bullitt_id=296 this] one. It holds only one book but it's really easy to make.
So take what ever you're using, (surveyors tape, caution tape, cloth, etc.) and if it might rip because of the thumbtacks/nails you should put duct tape on the end. Put the ends together and put a thumbtack (I wouln't suggest thumbtacks) through the ends and hang it on the wall. There you have it! Put books in it just like you would the other one.


iti (author)2011-08-11

I love this. I didnt understand how it worked. The item is held in place by friction between the loop and the wall. Cool.

You could make one using almost antything:

towel racks come to mind, and come in many designs, colors etc.

Closet rod w/holders and support for wall to wall.

oh and those metal curtain rods! They are so easy to install.

Hmmm, perhaps the loops could be replaced with a copper wire, or copper tubbing, or baling twine, or ...... =)

The Ideanator (author)2010-08-28

Dude, I like this. whenever I get a place of my own, I'm going to do this. Do the books/DVDs/CDs/etc. have a tendency of moving around or falling out?

Sunbanks (author)The Ideanator2010-09-01

They usually stay, if you don't knock them around much.

Wasagi (author)2009-04-09

I noticed your DVD, and I would like to say that I have a Fear of Music... (Did anyone get that reference?)

Doctor What (author)2008-08-14

The wall it's on, looks... emo... You're not emo are you? Please, god, no.

ringofrizz (author)Doctor What2008-10-10


Sunbanks (author)Doctor What2008-08-16

No, I'm not. That's just my cork board and the cloth on it is left over from when it used to be my brother's room... He also painted the walls gray....

Doctor What (author)Sunbanks2008-08-16

Grey walls? EEEWWW.

Sunbanks (author)Doctor What2008-08-16

They're not that bad, really, they're so light colored they look sort of blueish. But once we move I'm definitely not going to paint my room gray or blue.... Actually I don't even know what color I'll paint it .... Do you not like emo people or something?

Doctor What (author)Sunbanks2008-08-16

No. I like emo people. But I just don't like seeing people unhappy. It may suprise you, but I mainly hang out with emo people. I don't know how, but I guess I'm too geeky for the geeks.

jessieg03 (author)2008-09-04

Thanks so much for this Instructable. This was a great idea! I had to make one as soon as I saw it. I made four rows for mine though because I have somewhat of a book addiction and very little space. I just stapled ribbons to pieces of framing board that I spray painted. It turned out like this:

Sunbanks (author)jessieg032008-09-04

Yours looks so cool like that! And you have Twilight :D I love those books!

noxvox (author)2008-08-27

I like this very much. To make it look even more like an octopus, you could add a semi circle or domed head with massive googly eyes. BTW, did you make the contact paper tree? Very pretty. You should do one on that as well, if you like. :)

Sunbanks (author)noxvox2008-08-31

Thank you :D That's a really good idea! I wonder what I could use to make it... Yes I did :D Thank you! It wasn't very hard, I just found a picture of a fractal tree on the internet and looked at it so I could draw it on the back of the contact paper and cut it out. You know, I think I might sometime.

Grey_Wolfe (author)2008-08-29

I have that ruler. makes a pretty good straight edge, considering.

Sunbanks (author)Grey_Wolfe2008-08-31

It does make a pretty good straight edge, I was surprised.

kathrynmichelle (author)2008-08-18

this is awesome. I'm making this to hold my dvds in my dorm room. so, instead of tacking it to the wall, I'm using those adhesive hooks. I hope my room mate doesn't mind. ha ha!

Sunbanks (author)kathrynmichelle2008-08-18

Thank you! That's a good idea, especially because they're probably a lot stronger than thumbtacks. Hehe if your room mate does mind you can wrap their bed in the left over surveyors tape :D

fearghus (author)2008-07-12

I would think that rather than taping the bands to something, it would be better to take a long piece of wood, and drill holes in it for bolts/washers/wingnuts, and secure smaller pieces of wood to the longer one, that way you could use the bolts and the wood pieces to clamp the bands to the wood. This would allow you to vary the length of the bands if needed, and would let you replace bands. It would also be a lot more versatile and sturdy.
T T T T T T T T T <bolts
<individual wood
++++ ++++ ++++ ++++ ++++ ++++ ++++ ++++ ++++ <Bands clamped

kathrynmichelle (author)fearghus2008-08-18

I like that idea, but for something more substantial like leather or rubber. Surveyors tape does not deserve wood clamps. also, because it is just surveyor's tape, it can be cut. When a band gets stretched out by a heavy book or something, just cut it off and tape a new one over it.

fearghus (author)fearghus2008-07-12

Aww, I had a diagram but it formatted it differently. Ignore the TTTTT's and the line and the +++++'s

Doctor What (author)2008-08-18

Yay! I'm making this tonight!

Sunbanks (author)Doctor What2008-08-18

Yay! What are you using to make it?

Doctor What (author)Sunbanks2008-08-18

Pink duct tape and pink surveyors tape! Not to copy you, but that's all that's in the shop.

Sunbanks (author)Doctor What2008-08-18

That's totally rad :D You might want to double up the surveyors tape.

tdbtdb (author)2008-07-14

I'm wondering how the surveyor's tape will hold up over time. I suspect it will tend to stretch, and that since it is rather cheap colorful plastic, that it might cause discoloration on the book covers. It might be a bit more effort, but you could use some vinyl or leather salvaged from the upholstery of a discarded couch or chair instead. Also, instead of tying the loops on the dowel, you could have a more adjustable arrangement by looping them through instead. Tie the tape (or whatever) in a loop. Pass the loop behind the dowel, then pass one end of the loop through the loop on the other side and tighten. Hmm, a picture would help here. Also, books are heavy, so be carefull how many you have compared to the strength of the attachment to the wall. Make sure that dowel is attached to studs in the wall, not just drywall.

anniedemesa (author)2008-07-11

what if we slip plastic bag handles,different sizes, with a side slit open to hold the book inside. I think it would take care of the books even better....just an idea...

TATTERH00D (author)2008-07-11

I bet that bits of old bike innertube would work well too...and would be recycling. looking at the original concept linked to in the introduction, it seems that the loops they had were stretchy, thus holding the books so that the tops were flush with the bar...and thus creating the optional horizontal storage space they mention.

Sunbanks (author)TATTERH00D2008-07-11

Yeah, actually I think that would probably work the best. It makes sense too that it would be stretchy, I was wondering how they got the books so even with the top...

steve5006 (author)2008-07-11

hmm Surveyors tape strikes me as a rather poor material choice for this since I've got some heavy book but good job on fleshing out the idea. BTW for the naysayers about pink surveyors tape comes in other colours than just pink

Sunbanks (author)steve50062008-07-11

Surveyors tape was the only thing I had to use at the time :\ In step 6 I used some of the green surveyors tape that I had lying around. My dad took the rest of the roll because he needed it so I went and got some pink.

Morgo (author)2008-07-11

This is brilliant! I'm a bibliophile running out of shelf space, and I am a leatherworker. I'm thinking I might be able to pull this off in leather.

hac (author)2008-07-10

Nice idea, I'm definitely going to try this because I desperately need something like this and it looks very easy to make. Of course, I think I'll use a different color. ;)

Sunbanks (author)hac2008-07-10

Thanks, yeahhh I'm not sure how many guys on this site really want a pink thing hanging on their wall :P

Sunbanks (author)2008-07-10


wallzer (author)2008-07-09

It would be a good idea to make the shelves stiff, possibly using something like paper mache, wire, or even thin wooden dowels so that your books wouldn't be leaning all to one side . Turning the shelves on their sides when they are rigid would also be a great idea!

aspen42 (author)2008-07-08

Cool project. It would be a nice way to store/display books I keep but don't access frequently. It could also be a nice way to hold cookbooks etc in the kitchen. I think I am going to try it by cutting out strips from various colors of strong plastic bags and see if it holds up or if it stretches out over time. We'll see how it goes. Thanks!

Sunbanks (author)aspen422008-07-08

Thanks! It would be cool to have one of these in the kitchen instead of shoving your cookbooks in a drawer like we do :P I hope it all works for you!

jessyratfink (author)2008-07-05

Does it damage the pages at all? That's what I'm worried about. Or warping the book's spine. :(

If I ever come to your book store in Kentucky (Louisville), I hope to see some of these.

Sunbanks (author)jessyratfink2008-07-05

No it doesn't, as far as I know. Here you can see more easily how the books fit in it and it doesn't look as though it would damage them. You could use DVDs instead of books too though.

Kiteman (author)Sunbanks2008-07-05

This is really clever (although the pink doesn't really float my boat - maybe hazard-barrier tape, or strips of old denim).

You need to add a photo from the side, then you don't need to keep linking to the other site.

One of the comments on Core77, though, redirected to an even simpler version.

It's probably worth an extra step or two to add that as well.

Sunbanks (author)Kiteman2008-07-05

Hehe yeah you might want a different color. I'll add one as soon as I can, when I was making this for some reason I never thought of taking one from the side. Ooh yeah, that would be good to add too!

GorillazMiko (author)2008-07-06

Now that is cool.

+5/5 stars.
(added to favorites)

TeacherOfTheWays (author)2008-07-05

very cool!

LinuxH4x0r (author)2008-07-04

Cool! I'd do it with fabric. (surveying tape stretches)

Sunbanks (author)LinuxH4x0r2008-07-04

Thanks! I forgot to mention that you could use other things....

shangrilarcadia (author)Sunbanks2008-07-05

You could also do it with cut up strips from grocery store plastic bags to recycle and be more green

Sunbanks (author)shangrilarcadia2008-07-05

Ooh yeah! That's a good idea, I never would have thought of it.

=SMART= (author)2008-07-05

Very nice !!, Its great when you can make something instead of buying it, saves more money and it makes it a bit more special :D Great Work

About This Instructable




Bio: I love to sew, as I'm sure you can see from my ibles ;) I also love lawn flamingos, going to the beach, dinosaurs, and ... More »
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