Introduction: The Bed Bookshelf

About: A tinkerer at heart, and computer scientist by trade. I'm particularly interested in embedded systems, robotics and computer vision. In my free time I love working on any creative projects from music, to art, …

Do you have some or a lot of empty space on your bed? Do you end up filling up said space with a bunch of junk? Do you wish I didn’t start off this instructable like a television ad? If the answer is yes to any one of those this instructable is for you! Introducing the bed bookshelf: It’s easy-to-make, fun-to-build and encourages you to read more (especially if you keep all your books in the wardrobe like me). Plus it doesn’t look half bad :).
Are you sold yet? Great! Let’s see what we need to build one.


For this project you will need:

Foam board x3 (Depending on how long your shelf will be, you might need more or less. Can also use cardboard)

Double sided tape


Craft Knife and

Paints/markers/Pens (Anything to decorate it a little. Also Optional)

Step 1: Measure Length and Width of Base and Mark on Board

I wanted the bookshelf to cover over half of my bed so I needed about one and a half of the foam board, whilst width-wise I used a book as a reference and added some extra space. If you want exact figures this would be 130x22cm but I figure it will vary with different beds.
Mark the width and lengths on the foam board and get ready for the next step.

Step 2: Cut Out the Foam Board

Draw straight lines on the foam board to mark where you want to cut and use a craft knife to cut the board to the right size.
Pro Tip: I have found to get straight cuts when I pass the knife over the marked area several times with little pressure applied rather than trying to cut in one fell swoop.

Step 3: Glueing Base Pieces Together

If you have more than one base piece then you will need to glue them together. If not you can skip to the next step.
Cut out smaller pieces that will cover over the two boards and use double sided tape to stick the smaller piece to both these pieces. Stick two more similar size boards to either end of your base so it remains level.

Step 4: Bookshelf Wall

You will use the same length measurements as before for the wall’s length. As for the width/height, you can make it as long as you want it to be. In hindsight, since the bookshelf isn’t sitting on a completely solid surface, you may want to make the length of the wall a little longer than intended, and place it to start below the base of the bookshelf that way when the weight of the books press down on the base and make a slight depression on the mattress, the wall will still look natural and not too short as mine ended up being (see last picture).

(Optional Step): You can get decorative and add art and quotes to the bookshelf or keep it minimalist

I stuck the wall of the bookshelf separately to the base in my setup. It seemed more modular at the time. You could also try sticking them together, and in this case you won’t have to make the length of the wall longer than desired.

Step 5: Side Wall

Cut out a piece of cardboard that will be the side wall, holding the books up. Use the base width and wall height to measure out this piece of cardboard and glue this piece to the base.

Step 6: You’re Done!

Go ahead and grab some books to start your new collection!

Step 7: What Next

So initially I wanted to make this using laser cut parts but wanted to test the theory first. I’ve used it for a bit and it does work for the most part :) but of course there is room for improvement and here are some of the thoughts and ideas that I had for it:

Perhaps use super glue for the side wall of the shelf to improve its stability

Find a way to easily remove the beddings when needed. It’s not that big a deal right now because I don't have so many books ;)

Add LED back light.

Make it (more) modular

Have a docking station for my phone next to the lamp

Well that was it. Thanks for reading this instructable, hope it was helpful and if you decide to make one I’d love to see it. If you would to vote for this too, I'd be really grateful. Anyway, till next time!

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