Easy way to add a Built-In Bookcase

I love when I vision comes to life. When I started working on this third floor, I felt that because it wasn’t a main living space that guests would see – I wanted to take risks!

While this project isn’t really risky, it is just more out of the box thinking I guess?  When we moved in, and even a year later I wasn’t really sure what to do with this space, let alone this wall.

My goal for this room is to make every part of it special and unique!


The Project

I truly feel like I was able to accomplish that with this built-in bookcase. The next phase of this project is to find an old Victorian cast iron fireplace insert, or truly just the front piece of it. I want to “hang” it or mount it onto the wall beside the built-in bookcase and frame out a mantel around it to make it look like a faux fireplace! Why? I just think it would add ambiance to the room and make it feel more special. Sure, it won’t actually work, but that doesn’t matter to me. It’s more about the unique feeling you get in the space. PLUS that part of wall beside the bookcase? It’s actually the chimney from the other floors, so I think it works, and the style of cast iron fireplace I am looking for will match the others in our house! Just you wait and see!

Shop the project


The Plan




I made this is the most simple way I know. It’s not fancy. I think what gives it that little extra something is the beadboard wallpaper I used on the back wall of the bookcase, which ties in with the rest of the room.

  1. Install the beadboard wallpaper
  2. Install the base and baseboard
  3. Determine how many shelves you want
  4. Cut the shelves (I used a mitre saw)
  5. Cut the supports to the same depth of the shelves (if your house is new, if it’s old with uneven walls, you might want to cut it a little bit shorter than the depth of the wall)
  6. Determine where the studs are and if you need wall anchors for the shelf supports
  7. Install the supports. Start with one side (ensure it is level front to back, so your shelf isn’t tipping backwards or forwards), hold up the second side with the shelf on top and use a level to ensure it’s perfectly straight and level. Side to side, front to back.
  8. Once all of the shelves are installed, install the trim around the edges. I used a Brad Nailer for this.
  9. Then install the lip on the shelves
  10. Fill & Caulk
  11. Paint
  12. An extra step could be installing hardboard to the sides to cover the supports, I didn’t do this, but maybe I will one day?


Did you know I have a YouTube channel? I included the DIY in this vlog in case you want a better look at how I did this!


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