Introduction: Rustic Book Shelf or TV Stand

About: I like to design and build random things.

My son designed and built this shelf to match a desk design which he built earlier (shown in last step). This is a simple design, easy to make and is relatively low cost (under $50). As with the desk, the design is very beefy and should hold up to any abuse you would like to throw at it. Also, these pictures are obviously not from his room.

Quick video:

Step 1: Tools/Materials


  • Table or Miter Saw
  • Drill/Bits
  • Pocket-hole jig (optional)
  • Tape measure
  • Sander


  • 2" x 12" x 20' (x1) *
  • 2" x 4" x 8' (x3)
  • 1" x 4" x 12' (x1)
  • Deck Screws (x50)
  • Glue
  • Wood Filler
  • Stain or Paint

* 2"x12" should be 1.5”x11.25”. Purchased board only measured 11" wide. Verify this dimension before cutting the pieces

Step 2: Drawing

You will be building to this drawing. Note that everything is color coded for easy reference.

Step 3: Cut Lumber

We used a table saw for all of the straight cuts. A miter saw was used for the 45 degree angles

Step 4: Pillar Assembly - Step 1

Attach 3 pillars to the supports as shown. Nails or screws can be used. Countersink the holes if screws are used. Note that glue is used in addition for every joint on the build.

Step 5: Pillar Assembly - Step 2

Add the angled supports as shown. We used deck screws (3.5” long) for this attachment. Build 3 pillar assemblies this way. These will be used for the bottom row.

Before assembling the next set of pillars, you must decide on the shelf attachment method. For the first set of pillar assemblies, this isn’t an issue since access is available from the bottom and the middle shelf will be covered with another pillar assembly. A clean method is to use a pocket hole jig on the angle supports before building the pillar assemblies. This will allow you to attach the pillar assemblies to the shelf from the bottom sides. If you don’t have this option, a nail gun or standard holes/countersinks can be used. Wood filler or plugs can be used to cover the screw heads.

Step 6: Pillar Assembly Attachment

Attach 3 of the pillar assemblies to one of the shelves as shown. Since this is the bottom side, we used deck screws for the attachment.

Step 7: Attach Feet

Attach the feet to other side of the shelf. We used nails for this attachment. Make sure to avoid the screw locations.

Step 8: Turn Assembly Over

Should look like this.

Step 9: Add Second Shelf

Attach next shelf to the top side of the pillars. Countersink the holes if screws are used.

Step 10: Add Additional Pillars

Now comes the tricky part - how do I connect the next set of pillars? If you took the pocket-hole jig approach mentioned in STEP 5, the mounting method will be with screws through the sides of the angle supports. Other options: nail gun (3.25” nail) between the pillars, screws/countersinks either from the ends (easy access) or between the pillars.

Step 11: Top Shelf Attachment

Attach the top shelf. Pocket-hole jig approach or nails/screws.

Step 12: Sand & Finish

Add wood filler or plugs if screws were used.

Sand completed shelf.

Paint or stain. To match desk, we used PolyShades Classic Black Satin Stain and Polyurethane from Minwax.

Step 13: Matching Desk

The matching desk design was from the Ana White website. A smaller, modified version of the desk is documented here.