10 Novel DIYs for a Better Bookshelf

Accumulated over time and filled with memories, your personal library is a lot like your circle of friends. So, to treat your favorite reads right, upgrade your bookshelves with these brilliant DIY tricks and transformations.

  1. Aim High

    Super tall bookshelves


    For the look of custom built-ins at a fraction of the cost, opt for bookcases that climb as close to your ceiling as possible. This clean-lined set neatly fills its allotted space; a mix of glass-enclosed and open shelving keeps it interesting.

    Related: 11 Totally Unexpected Uses for IKEA Furniture

  2. Let There Be Light

    Bookshelf lighting


    Quit fumbling in the dark for your favorite read with this luxury addition: classic brass picture lights. Installing these to the tops of your built-ins illuminate the contents of the shelves and adds color contrast to the rest of the room's deep hues.

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  3. Play Dress Up

    Line bookshelves with patterned paper


    Up the style quotient of a standard shelf by adding rich color or pattern to its interior. Here, cheery polka-dot adhesive shelf paper was applied to the inside of a thrifted bookcase, but you can achieve similar results with a little paint, scrap wallpaper, or fabric just as easily.

    Related: 10 Insanely Creative Shelves You Can DIY

  4. Add Architecture

    Bookcase diy architecture


    Bored of plain white laminate bookcases? Transform a row of them into more of a refined old-world library. These DIY genius side-by-side units are unified with strips of flat molding, then finished with simple arches cut from MDF.

    Related: 9 Space-Smart Ways to Fit Two Rooms in One

  5. Trim it With Tape

    Bookshelf with washi tape edges


    For a super-fast way to add color and personality to utilitarian shelving, sticks strips of patterned washi tape to the shelf edges. Add a dab of white glue to keep it well-adhered.

    Related: 10 Ways to Give Furniture a Fast Facelift

  6. Give it a Leg Up

    Raise bookshelf on feet


    Give a little bookcase a major lift by outfitting it with new legs! This piece used to be a nightstand with drawers, but was repurposed and raised to provide necessary storage for bedtime reads. Take a page out of the DIYer's book by boosting charm with a coat of fresh paint in a cheery color.

    Related: Beyond Ikea - 10 Other Places to Get Affordable Furniture

  7. Contain the Clutter

    Organize shelves with baskets


    Of course, a bookcase often holds much more than books. To keep papers, supplies, tools, toys, and any other clutter out of sight but still neatly at hand, pick up a set of attractive baskets in quiet shades.

    Related: 8 Organizers for the Little Stuff You Always Lose

  8. Hide the Extras

    Diy invisible bookends


    To support a line of books with minimal fuss, try this fool-the-eye solution: Simply tuck your thin metal bookend between the sturdy cover and pages of whatever read caps a row in your collection. Or, craft bookends that fully blend in by removing all pages from an old hardcover and replacing them with a wooden block and thin metal bookend glued between the covers. When placed at the end of a row, it makes the books seems like they’re standing at attention all on their own.

    Related: 10 Surprisingly Simple Woodworking Projects for Beginners

  9. Chase the Rainbow

    Books organized by color

    Flickr via seeminglee

    A bookcase arranged by color reduces visual noise and turns even a crowded library into a work of art. If you don’t have a sharp visual memory, you may find it a little more difficult to locate specific titles, but the setup works especially well for favorite old tales you can't part with—plus the eye-pleasing pay-off makes it all worthwhile.

    Related: 10 Ways to Organize Your Home with Color

  10. Label with Love

    Color coded books


    To help a family library stay organized, consider sticking color-coded labels to the book spines. The colors brighten up the shelf and make it easy for kids to re-shelve their reads in the proper spot.

    Related: 10 Mini Makeovers You Can Do in Minutes

  11. See the Kitchen of the Week


    These innovative and beautiful kitchens may inspire your next renovation or redecorating project. Take a look to see the latest images and inspiration.