Introduction: Kids Wall Display Bookshelves

About: My name is Mitch. I make videos about the things I make and what I learn along the way. I have a Youtube Channel called Made by Mitch. I also love the coffee and the outdoors.

My kids’ books usually end up all over the house. Am I the only one with this struggle? The books in my kids rooms are on normal shelves but the only problem is, they can’t see the books until they remove them from the shelf and it usually doesn’t get put back. My wife saw these really cool display shelves on Pinterest that we thought we would give a shot. They were pretty simple to make and didn’t take too long. I thought they looked really cool too. In this post, I will show you the steps I took to make the shelves. Enjoy!

Step 1: Materials and Tools



Step 2: Cut the Wood

The first thing I had to do for this sign was cut all of the wood to the size I would be using. I used the miter saw to cut everything to length. It is helpful when you can set up a stop block for repeatable cuts that way you know they will all be exactly the same dimension. My shelves were 24 inches wide. Here is my cut list for the three shelves I made.

(1x4) 6- 22-1/2” 6- 6” (Dowel) 3- 24”

Step 3: Cut Out the Place for the Dowel Rod

The next thing I had to do was cut out the place where the dowel rod would go on the front of the shelf. I wanted the front rail to be recessed into the shelf so it would look a little better. To do this I put the two end pieces side by side and I clamped them together and to my workbench so they would not move. I also put a sacrificial board underneath the boards so there wouldn’t be any tear out in the bottom when drilling. Once they were clamped tight, I measured where I wanted the dowel to go, and then I used a ¾” forstner bit to drill the hole between the boards. You have to make sure the boards are clamped together very tight so they don’t move when drilling.

Step 4: Sand

Next it was time to sand everything. I used a random orbit sander to get most of the boards sanding them all the way to 220 grit. For some of the smaller pieces I sanded them by hand. I used spray adhesive and attached a piece of sandpaper to a large block of wood and run the smaller pieces of wood along the block and that works very well with the smaller pieces.

Step 5: Assemble the Shelves

After the pieces were sanded I could assemble the shelves. To do this I started by attaching the bottom piece to the sides using a corner clamp. The clamp held the pieces perfectly in place while I attached the boards together. I pre-drilled the holes and used a countersink bit before screwing the boards together with 1-½” screws. You don’t have to used screws if you don’t want. You could use finish nail or something else if you prefer, but I was going for the look of the screws on the sides of my shelves. After attaching the sides, I then attached the back piece also pre-drilling and screwing. All that was left to assemble was the front rail. To do this I clamped the shelf to the workbench holding the dowel in place so it wouldn’t spin or move when drilling and screwing. After attaching the front dowel, the shelves were assembled.

Step 6: Apply Finish

Next I could apply finish to the shelves. For this project I put on three coats of spray shellac letting them dry for 10 to 15 minutes between each coat. Spray shellac is great for smaller projects like this. It drys really quick and protects the piece very well. Make sure you are in a well ventilated area when you use this though because the fumes are a bit overwhelming.

Step 7: Hang the Shelves

The shelves are done at this point and it is time to hang the shelves. To do this, the first thing I did was find the studs in the wall I was hanging the shelves in. Next I found the center point of the wall and shelves to see where the studs would be in the shelves and then I marked them. This is unique to your situation and wall but this is just what I did to hang. I could only hit stud where the shelf was, so I used self-tapping drywall anchors to hold the other side. These work great and I definitely recommend using them if you can hit a stud. I believe the ones I used were rated for 75 lbs and that is plenty for these small bookshelves. After I marked on the shelves where I would drill, I just held them in place and pre-drilled through the shelf and wall. Then I put in the anchors and screwed the shelves in place. This was pretty simple. I hung one at a time measuring about 7 inches in between each shelf, but you can use whatever distance you would like between them.

Step 8: Complete

After the shelves were hung, the project was complete! Make sure to check out the video for the full how to experience and if you have any questions on the steps leave me a comment or send me a message. You can also find me around the web.

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