Tiki Book Shelf

Introduction: Tiki Book Shelf

About: currently using this tool to find other artists, and mask makers to expand my knowledge and share ideas. Love mid century modern design!!! Anything vintage upcycled!

If you love all thing tiki, like me, you need a place to put your collection. This is how I built a shelf to compliment my tiki mugs


Blond wood or hardwood plywood.

1x top grade pine various sized and lengths


trim nail gun

propane torch

drill and screws

pocket jig

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Step 1: Planning Layout and Structure

If using plywood for your vertical pieces I have found if you sandwich 2 pieces over 2x4s it will make a sturdy shelf that can hold anything. I had lowes rip blondwood into 2' wide pieces. You can also have them cut them length wise for shelve if you dont have the saw to do it. NOTE lowes employees will not cut accurate in most cases, have them clamp a stop to the saw if cutting shelves. This way all shelves will be the same making it easier to make the shelf square. I used a nail gun to sandwich the sides over the 2x4s. Now for the shelves. I did not have patience to dado out grooves to slip the shelves in, so i cut cleets to nail to the risers to hold the shelves. Thus can look messy but is solid structurally. Later I will add trim to hide this. If you want you shelves evenly spaced, the easiest way to add cleets in to have 2 pieces of wood cut the distance between shelves. Set the pieces on the shelf, put the cleet on top, and nail it to the risers. Level even space every time without tons on measuring.. I also had pocket holes in my shelf bottom to screw to the risers. I used 1x pine for the top and bottom framing with pocket holes in each direction.

Step 2: Now to Give in Flare

To give it tiki look and to cover up my my structure, I made trim. You can take any 1x lumber, I like premium pine, to cap off all the faces of the bookshelf. I put on the riser trim first then the shelves trim. I cut the 1x and test fit it prior to routing any designs. I sketch the design on the wood in pencil. I then clamp it to my workbench. I use a plunge router with an open back. I can preset the depth and see exactly what im cutting. Its like drawing with 2 hands. Go slow if you force to router itll skip when hitting hard patches causing you to no follow the lines. In the pic I show various depths and test cuts.

Step 3: FIRE!!!

I stained the shelves, but opted for more traditional finish on the tiki pieces. I used a propane torch to burn the wood to make the carvings and grain pop. Its very simple. After i lightly wire brush it and wipe it with a damp cloth. I then finish nail each piece on the shelf

Video attached showing how easy it is to burn the patterns.

Step 4: Complete

There you have it, a shelf fit for a tiki lounge. Have fun building.

Step 5:

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    2 Discussions

    Kink Jarfold
    Kink Jarfold

    2 months ago on Step 5

    When in the Navy I spent time in Hawaii and saw so many Tikis. Well done. I especially like the designs around the edges.


    3 months ago

    Nice project! I really loved the draws on the wood. They are fantastic!