I've found myself in a new apartment that I've decided to theme with a touch of nature everywhere you look. My plan is to build most of my furniture/ decorations myself and I started with this branch bookshelf.
It was insprired by a quick google search that lead me to the work of Olivier Dolle's branch bookshelf. I immediately fell in love with it and I knew I had to make my own!
I recently aquired a new couch that came in a gigantic cardboard box that was the perfect size and amount of material for a 10' long shelf!
Making it out of cardboard is a neat way to upcycle, easy to work with with no fancy tools, and is free! It also made it really light so I didn't have to worry about heavy duty hardwear in the wall to support it.
Lets get building!
Step 1: Preparing Your Cardboard
First gather up all the cardboard you can. It helps if you can get a single sheet to be the front and the back so you don't have to frankenstein and patch the cardboard together as much.
Trace out your design, I stayed with straight lines instead of more natural curvey ones. Go ahead and make some neat angles, it works well if you design little sprouts on the branches to act like a book end.
Sketch out a design out like and get ready to cut like a madman! You can use a utility knife, hobby knife, scissors, whatever you have on hand. I prefer to use a heavy duty utility knife. I recommend you change out the blade frequently to save yourself some struggle as cardboard dulls the blades quickly.
I taped it up on the wall to get an idea of how it would look and I was pleased with the result.
Now to cut another one! Trace the first one and start cutting again so you end up with a front and a back face.
Step 2: Build Up the Frame
Now that we have the two faces we need to build up the structure.
I had some honeycomb packing material that worked great to stack up and start building up the depth. I decided to make it 6'' thick to be able to fit most books and DVDs. I then cut out a bunch of cardboard strips that were 6'' thick and framed it up around the outside.
After getting all the pieces I needed I looked to my best friends that I always call on when working with cardboard: Hot glue and packing tape!
Lots of gluing and taping later and we have a solid structure. Don't forget to put in supports!
Step 3: Making It Pretty!
You could leave it looking rugged and raw at this point but I was a little sloppy in my frame assembly. Thus, I decided to cover it up and make it look a bit more uniform
You could go nuts at this point and use fun wrapping paper, spray paint, designed contact paper etc. I wanted to keep it basic so I went with brown shipping paper.
I used the brush to thinly spread the glue around in workable patches. Working one large strip at a time I essentially did a big paper-mache. I covered both sides so I could flip it around and put it on another wall if I was feeling like redecorating. If you had a specific place in mind you might only need to cover one side.
Step 4: Hang It Up
Finally I mounted my new cardboard construction on the wall using a couple of 3'' L-brackets it balances on. The bookshelf gets a lot of support from the base of the branch that creates a nice wedge against the wall.
Fill it with books and DVDs and enjoy the little extra touch of outdoorsiness in your home!
(I put more books on after the picture was taken; so far I have about 10lbs of books on it and it has been holding strong!)