Introduction: Tree Branch Bookshelf

I've found myself in a new apartment that I've decided to theme with a touch of nature everywhere you look. My plan is to build most of my furniture/ decorations myself and I started with this branch bookshelf.

It was insprired by a quick google search that lead me to the work of Olivier Dolle's branch bookshelf. I immediately fell in love with it and I knew I had to make my own!

I recently aquired a new couch that came in a gigantic cardboard box that was the perfect size and amount of material for a 10' long shelf!

Making it out of cardboard is a neat way to upcycle, easy to work with with no fancy tools, and is free! It also made it really light so I didn't have to worry about heavy duty hardwear in the wall to support it.

Lets get building!

Step 1: Preparing Your Cardboard

First gather up all the cardboard you can. It helps if you can get a single sheet to be the front and the back so you don't have to frankenstein and patch the cardboard together as much.

Trace out your design, I stayed with straight lines instead of more natural curvey ones. Go ahead and make some neat angles, it works well if you design little sprouts on the branches to act like a book end.

Sketch out a design out like and get ready to cut like a madman! You can use a utility knife, hobby knife, scissors, whatever you have on hand. I prefer to use a heavy duty utility knife. I recommend you change out the blade frequently to save yourself some struggle as cardboard dulls the blades quickly.

I taped it up on the wall to get an idea of how it would look and I was pleased with the result.

Now to cut another one! Trace the first one and start cutting again so you end up with a front and a back face.

Step 2: Build Up the Frame

Now that we have the two faces we need to build up the structure.

I had some honeycomb packing material that worked great to stack up and start building up the depth. I decided to make it 6'' thick to be able to fit most books and DVDs. I then cut out a bunch of cardboard strips that were 6'' thick and framed it up around the outside.

After getting all the pieces I needed I looked to my best friends that I always call on when working with cardboard: Hot glue and packing tape!

Lots of gluing and taping later and we have a solid structure. Don't forget to put in supports!

Step 3: Making It Pretty!

You could leave it looking rugged and raw at this point but I was a little sloppy in my frame assembly. Thus, I decided to cover it up and make it look a bit more uniform

You could go nuts at this point and use fun wrapping paper, spray paint, designed contact paper etc. I wanted to keep it basic so I went with brown shipping paper.

I used the brush to thinly spread the glue around in workable patches. Working one large strip at a time I essentially did a big paper-mache. I covered both sides so I could flip it around and put it on another wall if I was feeling like redecorating. If you had a specific place in mind you might only need to cover one side.

Step 4: Hang It Up

Finally I mounted my new cardboard construction on the wall using a couple of 3'' L-brackets it balances on. The bookshelf gets a lot of support from the base of the branch that creates a nice wedge against the wall.

Fill it with books and DVDs and enjoy the little extra touch of outdoorsiness in your home!

(I put more books on after the picture was taken; so far I have about 10lbs of books on it and it has been holding strong!)

Comments

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andy_dc2000 made it! (author)2016-07-23

I made it for my daughter and she hung it !!!

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ElizabethG35 made it! (author)2015-10-31

Hi, this might be a stupid question, but what would you use for supports?

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AlinesCardboard made it! (author)2015-06-12

Hi! So inspiring! I made one with used cardboard too! For the finish I creased kraft paper and applied it with decopatch.

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AbbiePhilpott made it! (author)2015-05-28

I love those kinds of shelves, been watching them on Pinterest a lot lately. This is a fool-proof way of doing one that I will definitely try out.

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Alex-Zoidis made it! (author)2015-05-25

How did you glue it on the wall

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ajutant made it! (author)2014-11-04

Mine is not quite as nice as the one in the pic but I am happy with the out come. Thanks for post this!

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Rimwulf made it! (author)Rimwulf2015-05-24

That looks cool

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CrazyClever made it! (author)CrazyClever2014-11-04

I think it looks awesome! I love seeing people's projects and I'm glad you are happy with it. Keep on creating!

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MelannieF made it! (author)2015-02-06

hi how many pounds of books can it hold?

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satoko68 made it! (author)2015-01-13

Wrapped in packing paper as done, or even a wood veneer glued to the cardboard, would make this quite strong! I absolutely love this idea, it looks stunning on your wall, & will use something like this when building a new storage rack for my hobby supplies.

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ForteFigaro made it! (author)2015-01-05

Making one for my cats! Thanks for the inspiration

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brabham55 made it! (author)2014-10-14

what about a whole tree... would be awesome

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jreidy1 made it! (author)2014-09-30

Maple veneer plywood!!!

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FranklyDesign made it! (author)FranklyDesign2014-10-01

This man!

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wobbler made it! (author)2014-09-30

I like the end result, but there is something slightly ironic in how only humans can take a tree, mash it up and then glue it back into a tree like it was at the start and call it upcycling.

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joanad made it! (author)2014-09-30

Wonderful. I love this type of organic handiwork.

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BadZombie made it! (author)2014-09-27

cool I don't know how much I trust cardboard, I would try this with wood.

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spark master made it! (author)spark master2014-09-30

If you used all cardboard and yellow outdoor wood glue, you would have a much stronger unit. Also a few layers of tyveck between the cardboard layers would be very helpful, but perforate the stuff so the glue oozes through Additionally one should use some cardboard cut with the corrugations 90 to the fist layer, creating plywood cardboard.

but heck it is as good as any Ikea shelf as is! very cool looking and good for minimalist shelf space. Nice for a kids room that will be redecco'd a few times in say 5 years. Also really cool for a classroom.

A few final coats of waterproof varnish etc, would keep it stronger for a while as well. Plain white glue and cardboard will absorb water from the air.

nice lo tech project

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Danger is my middle name made it! (author)2014-09-29

It looks great! I love the placement in the room coming out from under that overhang. Nice job!

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rwisecup made it! (author)2014-09-28

Totally cool! My wife and I have a nature theme in our house. This would be great! Now to convince her to let me make this...

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David Catriel made it! (author)2014-09-28

Very cool idea. Thx for sharing!

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lindarose92 made it! (author)2014-09-28

Wow, that's awesome! I didn't realize it was made out of cardboard when I first saw it! Great job! :)

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MicioGatta made it! (author)2014-09-27

Wow.... this is amazing, congratulation!

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CorruBladed made it! (author)2014-09-27

One of the most creative cardboard creations, as a cardboard enthusiast.

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MsSweetSatisfaction made it! (author)2014-09-27

This is so cool, I need it! Also one of the prettiest upcycles ever! Thank for sharing!

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BLR_RAVI made it! (author)2014-09-27

lovely idea..looking great

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tomatoskins made it! (author)2014-09-26

Well this is beautiful. I really like the idea nature. I'd love to see what else you make for your house.

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Bio: Half crazy, half clever....you can decide. I enjoy experimenting with new materials and new mediums whenever I can, constantly striving to be a jack ... More »
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