Inverted Bookshelf

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About: I like to make things for the internets. I also sell a pretty cool calendar at supamoto.co. You'll like it.

The inverted bookshelf turns a bit of your living room upside down as it hangs all of the books from the bottom instead of supporting them from below. It's a satisfying optical trick and doesn't damage any of the books. In fact, you can take books in and out of it whenever you want.

Step 1: Materials

In addition to the basic materials for a shelf of wood and brackets, you will also need elastic webbing and a staple gun. The elastic that I'm using here can stretch beyond 200% of its original size and is certainly strong enough to hold the books here.

optional: glue gun

Step 2: Measure It Out

The key things you need to figure out are how wide your books are and what length of elastic is good enough to support all of the books against the board without crushing them against it.

Measuring out my books, the average width was one inch and the ideal length of elastic turned out to be 14 inches.

Step 3: Staple the Elastic to the Board

Now that you have a length and a width, the next step is to staple gun two pieces of elastic down the middle of the board. I'm going to be suspending 12 books here, so I used just over 14 feet of material for each side.

Start each piece of elastic with the excess facing in. Staple this in place and fold the elastic back over to start running it down the board. Measure out 14 inches, staple it one inch farther and repeat until you get to the other end and fold the excess back inside again before stapling it.

Step 4: Insert Books to Test

I slid the books in and even the heaviest book was perfectly snug. It turned out that two straps was too much for the smaller books and started to compress them, so I only used the front strap and squished the other strap behind it.

Step 5: Add Brackets and Attach to Wall

Now that you know that the shelf itself is stable, add a couple of brackets to the other side of the board. Then simply screw it into the wall.

Note: This was intended for a short term installation. To make it more permanent, I'd recommend hiding a couple L brackets on the underside.

Step 6: Sit Back and Enjoy

You can leave it as is or go for some more realism by gluing some toys, bookends, or even a fake drink to the bottom of the board to complete the look!

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    394 Discussions

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    trocheetrochee

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    Here are pictures of my final product. I painted the invisible shelves with acrylic paint and a glue gun. Since the book's cardboard cover was easy to pierce with the staples, the project was easy as pie. I would recommend, when creating the invisible shelves, to screw through the outer cover, since the weight of the hanging books will just peel the cover down. I used an elastic band instead, but in hindsight it would be easier to use screws.

    Cell Pics 083.jpgCell Pics 084.jpgCell Pics 085.jpg
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    Kaiventrochee

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    Wait... how did you paint an invisible shelf? I can't really tell what in the picture is painted...

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    Foaly7trochee

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    Awesome fusion of instructables (I call that type of project Fusibles), dude!

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    deboraesc

    3 years ago on Introduction

    I wonder if the brackets could have been placed under the wooden piece, thus hidden by the books. Has anybody tried?

    Hi how are you? I found very interesting your tutorial, I translated it into Brazilian Portuguese and posted on my blog with additional tips on what I found the tutorial, so that people of my country could know, however, did not forget the credits and informed at the end of post the original tutorial has his credit, also put the direct link of your post

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    AikkuL

    3 years ago on Introduction

    That's great idea. You can use book shelf twice. =) Thank you for sharing this.

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    singerboy41

    3 years ago on Step 6

    Not to be disgusting, but as dust is mainly dead skin cells, would dust in books not mean that you do read them alot?

    This is a good idea especially for when you have books in a humid place. By giving more space between each hanging book you allow for air to circulate and remove humidity which leads to molds forming. very interesting !