A few weeks back I was scrolling down my Facebook timeline when I came across a post someone had shared. It was for some cool superhero bookends and floating bookshelf. The only thing was that they were about $30-$35. I then thought to myself: "I can make that for way less!" So, here we are. Let's check out my method for making a DIY Superhero Floating Bookshelf.
Note: Always use proper safety equipment when using sharp tools and power tools.
Step 1: Materials and Tools
These are the materials and tools needed to complete this project:
- 18" x 12" 22 Gauge metal sheet (magnet should be able to stick to it!!!) [only item I had to purchase]
- Silhouette printout of a superhero (preferably Superman)
- Black Marker
- Silver marker
- Black Spray Paint
- Tin Snips
- Rotary tool or Sand paper (much faster and easier with a rotary tool)
- Strong Magnet
- Drill and Drill Bit
- Screw (size will depend on drill bit size you use)
Step 2: Cutting the Silhouette
You don't have to use Superman as your superhero, but the effect does look better when it looks like the character is picking up the books. A simple Google search for "Superman holding up" should provide you with enough images with the desired pose.
Because the size of the image was more important than the quality, I quickly copied and pasted the image on a word document and then resized it to the desired height by dragging on one of the image corners.
Print out the image and cut around the silhouette of the superhero.
Step 3: Prepping the Metal
Before you cut the metal, I suggest you place the superhero cutout near a corner to gauge the width of the strip that will be cut out. Note: I made the mounting bracket out of the same strip, so I made sure it was wide enough to support longer books. For this particular project, the strip I used was three inches wide by 12 inches long. The first five inches were used to trace the superhero cutout and the rest was used for the bracket.
Step 4: Cutting the Metal
In this step, I'm showing how I cut the sheet to make the 3" x 12" strip. The third picture shows where I cut near the feet of the superhero tracing. This was roughly five inches from the top of the strip. The last picture shows a rough cut around the perimeter of the outline. I then proceeded to cut along the traced outline to get as close as possible to the shape that looked good.
Step 5: Smooth Out the Metal
Once I cut along the outline I had to sand the edges because they were sharp. You can definitely use regular sand paper, but I found it particularly useful to use a rotary tool. If you're familiar with tin snips, you'll know that when you usually cut metal, the strips left over are usually bent after you cut. This is just the result of the type of tool you just used. I took a hammer and flattened out the cutout from both sides.
Now it's ready for painting!
Step 6: Paint and Draw the Superhero
You can paint the superhero any color you desire, but I think using black paint with either white or silver detail looks best. The reason I used the silver marker was because the original superhero bookshelf I saw, had the cape lining cut out from about the torso to the knee. The silver detail recreates this effect of separating the cape from the body, giving the cutout some dimension.
Note: Before you paint the cutout, bend the tip of it's top hand 90-degrees back. This will keep the cutout wedge between the magnet and the back cover of the book.
Step 7: Making the Bracket
Instead of purchasing another item, I decided to make the bracket out of the same sheet of metal. The reason I went with 22 gauge metal was because it is strong enough to hold 4-5 books.
As mentioned before, the a seven-inch strip remained, so I measured three inches from one end. This is the point where I used the ruler to bend the strip at a 90-degree angle to make an "L" bracket. I then drilled a hole in the middle of the short side. This side will be against the wall, and the longer side will have the books resting on it.
As for the size of the drill bit, it can be any size as long as you have a screw that fits through the hole.
Step 8: Assembling the Shelf
To assemble the superhero floating bookshelf, I screwed the bracket to the wall and then placed the first book, except for the back cover on top of the bracket. The back cover will be left flapped open, but because I used a magnet on the hand of the superhero cutout, the magnet will help keep the cover up. Stack a few more books to hide the rest of the bracket.
Note: I used book with a hard cover, but because I had a really strong magnet, it worked just fine. I do, however, recommend using a paperback book, at least for the first book.
Step 9: Enjoy Your New Shelf!!!
This is a super neat project that can be done in a couple of hours, and the best part of all is that you can make multiple of these out of the same sheet of metal for the fraction of the retail cost for one of these superhero floating bookshelves. If you make multiple of these, they would make great Christmas gifts!
If you liked this I'ble, please vote for it and to see more cool DIY projects, check out DIYgiveaways.com and my YouTube channel. I'll be giving away this Superhero Floating Bookshelf to one of my YouTube subscribers at the end of the month. Thanks!