Build a Bookcase to Fit Your Style and Needs

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Building a bookcase is relatively simple, even for a novice woodworker. In its basic form, it has a framework called a carcase (that includes the sides, a top, and a bottom) and a shelf or two inside. You'll learn to build that basic bookcase design with nominal-size, right-off-the-rack lumber. If you're up to more of a challenge, you can add a back to the carcase and some adjustable shelves. And to really impress your friends with your woodworking skills, we've included a built-in-look bookcase. Don't let its size or features scare you -- it's a lot easier to build than it looks. And you can customize the unit to match any decorating style.

Projects in Bookcases

Craft a step at a time
For a whimsical yet practical way to encourage children to learn to store their books, we have included a children's book rack. And for yet another variation on a standard bookcase design, look at the ladder bookcase project. It combines the storage of a traditional bookcase with the look of the ladders used in many high-ceilinged libraries.

As with all projects featured on this website, you'll find step-by-step photos to follow plus tips to help along the way. Study the exploded view and detail drawings that show how parts go together, as well as the materials lists, which provide dimensions for each part.

Wherever possible, the projects are broken down into subassemblies to help construction proceed smoothly so you can plan and divide your project into manageable time segments.

Practical parts
All bookcases in this section were designed with materials you'll easily find at home centers and lumberyards, including the specified moldings and hardware. Remember, however, that you can always substitute other materials. For instance, you might choose walnut instead of the painted birch plywood shown in the built-in-look unit. Remember that few retail suppliers carry a full line of moldings in other than the most commonly marketed woods. Check your local stores as you plan a project.

Wish-list Projects

Making these dreams come true is simpler than you thought -- print these instructions to begin!