Rain Gutter Book Shelves




Introduction: Rain Gutter Book Shelves

About: I'm a middle school science teacher going on 15 years in the classroom. I've taught 6th, 7th, and 8th graders. I'm constantly looking to improve my instruction and Instructables is one of the places I sear...

Believe me, I was skeptical too!  When my wife mentioned that she wanted me to install some book shelves I was psyched.  I thought I was going to be able to break out my new compound miter saw that I got for Christmas.  When she told me they would be made of vinyl gutters... I cried a little on the inside. 

After a few weeks, I can honestly say they have been a GREAT addition.  I have five children (and yes, I know about birth control).  The kids who can read are reading more, and the kids who can't yet read are asking to have books read to them way more often.  The rain gutter book shelves don't look like I anticipated they would.  They look 10X better.  Depending on how high you install them, they can take on the appearance of a chair rail, can be used to keep things out of the reach of inquisitive younger siblings, or make an attractive shelf that can hold a multitude of things.     

The gutters can be cut to size, they can be painted just about any color, and are super easy to install.  Please check out the pictures.  

You are going to need:

vinyl gutters (they come in 10 foot sections).
mounting brackets
end caps
screw driver or drill
measuring tape

I used a laser level that made things a whole lot easier.

I'm pretty sure anyone can do this.

First:  Plan out how long your shelves are going to be.

Second: Decide how many brackets you will need.  I used one gutter bracket for every 24 inches give or take a few inches.  I tried to space them evenly for the length of gutter I was going to hang.

Third: Calculate how many end caps you will need.  You will need a left end cap and a right end cap for every shelf you plan on hanging.  We decided to eliminate the caps in the kids rooms to save on cost.  We knew we could always go back and add them if we didn't like the way they looked.  So far, no complaints.

Fourth: Start hanging gutters.  I didn't bother drilling into the studs because I knew we weren't going to add that many books. 

Fifth: I don't know how to instruct beyond this point.   

Check out the pictures to see what you think and don't be afraid to let me know by adding a comment.  Thanks!



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    15 Discussions

    This is a great idea! I will be trying this the first chance I get!

    Thanks for sharing. And congrats on being selected as a finalist in the paper craft contest!!

    Great idea! Also, you can use the housing from venetian blinds, for smaller items. If you make them long enough to attach to the studs in the walls, you can put more stuff in them. OR mount them to a board and attach the board to the wall.

    That's a great question. I never tested the limits because I didn't want to put any extra holes in the walls (security deposit reasons). They are more sturdy than you might think. We were able to line up about 25 books without any noticeable stress. Thanks for looking!

    Thanks for the vote! Unfortunately I received a message informing me I didn't follow all the rules for entering in the furniture contest. I can't figure out what I did wrong. Oh well! I can't get mad at such an awesome site.

    Well I hope it will be eligible in another contest! Still got my vote! :] Look forward to seeing more ideas!

    This... is..Brilliant!

    I'll be showing this to my recently-pregnant future roommate. We were trying to figure out how to keep the kiddo (and the cats!) off of the shelving...

    And given that they have gerbils as well, this would be a wonderful springboard idea for how to let the rodents run their bedroom without risk of child-or-feline danger zones! LOVE IT! definitely got my vote :D

    1 reply

    Would also be an awesome shelving idea for the workshop. Perfect bucket-pocket for boxes of parts, screws, ...

    Thanks for sharing!

    1 reply

    I agree. I was also thinking of making some sort of charging station for small electronics (cell phones, kids DS, ipod) so they wouldn't be all over the house and we wouldn't lose the chargers. Thanks.