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Bookcase Plans - Plans for Book Cases

Updated on October 20, 2014

Bookcase Plans- Finding Plans for Book Cases You Can Build

When looking at your bookcase needs, one way to get a bookcase that not only exactly fits your needs, but also fits your budget is to build your own bookcase. Finding a book on how to build a bookcase is not hard to do, and you can even find some at your local library. There are a variety of uses for bookcases making them one of the more desirable of home furnishings.

Types of Bookcases

Select the Type You Want

Lets take a look at the different types of bookcases you might want to build.

Built-in Bookshelves - One of the more popular choices for building are of course built-in bookcases. These are units that are built into a wall or some other area like a fireplace. Especially popular for studies or dens, that can be used to feature items other than books. Almost any collectables ranging from antique cameras to model planes or cars are great on display on built-in bookshelves. Not only are they attractive, they also add personalization and warmth to your home as well.

Barrister bookshelves - For more than a hundred years, officials, lawyers and the like have accumulated large numbers of books in their libraries. Since these were quite expensive they invested in bookcases that would do a great job of protecting that investment for them. Barrister bookcases were designed to do a better job of that than just an ordinary bookshelf. These units are designed with doors for each shelf, usually with a glass pane. A typical barrister case will have the door hinges on the bottom, and it will swing down to allow access to the books.

Corner Bookcases - Just the ticket for hiding away in almost any room in the house, corner bookcases come in a variety of sizes and styles. A simple white shelf can be great in a kids room, or a fine wooden corner shelf standing several feet in height can serve as a display unit in the dining or living rooms.

Ladder Bookcases This is becoming a really popular style. These ladder bookcases often appear to be a ladder leaning against the wall. They are built by using the largest shelf on the bottom, and then increasingly smaller shelves as you go up. Usually there are three to five total shelves. Some are even tapered into a corner so they look like a pyramid.

Simplest for the home carpenter, the standard three shelf unit is a popular yet functional unit. Simple to build, this is a great starter unit. It will look good in the game room or one of the kids rooms. This simple style also allows you the flexibility to paint the shelves any color you want, other than the standard white, black or wood finish.

Plans can be found online for free at sites like Shopsmith, or you can buy books of plans from many book retailers. Another approach that is becoming quite popular is to download book plans after purchasing them online. Check out Amazon to download some plans.

In Addition to DIY, You Can DESIGN it Yourself!

In our first home we quickly ran out of space after having 3 children in 5 years. We decided to add on a playroom for the kids, we hired a carpenter to put built-in shelves in the playroom. The unit covered the entire 20 foot wall and had storage cabinets in the lower third and book shelves in the upper two-thirds, floor to ceiling. The carpenter designed a space in the middle where we put a roll-top desk. This room was greatly enhanced with the unique shelf unit and the room was used by all family members. It was also a great selling point when we grew out of that house.

We had never done anything like this before but that room became our favorite room in the house and I believe the personal style we put into designing the shelves was the reason. I recommend this process!

Fill the Shelves

Not Just With Books!

It's very trendy these days to fill your book shelves with items other than books. You can add knicks-knacks, pictures in frames, keepsakes, collectibles, and just about anything you desire.

If you are planning on filling the shelves with only books, one idea to help make your collection attractive on the shelf is to alter the direction of the books. Place some books horizontal and some in the traditional vertical position. You can also add volume collections like encyclopedias or vintage collections. You can have the "classics" all together or a grouping of one of your favorite authors - all these ideas add personality and richness to your shelf appearance, and reasons to make you smile every time you walk past the book shelf!

Need Some Books for Show?

Check Out Half Price Book stores

One of my favorite places to spend some extra time is the Half Price Book Store. There are locations all over the country and if you can't find this brand store, there are usually similar type stores near big cities and in little ones too!

What's Your Favorite Source of Book Case Plans?

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    • JoanieMRuppel54 profile imageAUTHOR

      Joanie Ruppel 

      4 years ago from Keller, Texas

      @OhMe: It is not easy for me to let go of books either! There's a bookcase in every room of the house, or a stack of books at the least - even in the bathrooms!

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 

      4 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      I am getting ready for a yard sale and have realized just how many books we have in this house. Having another bookcase would be wonderful or I could part with some of them but that is so very hard to do.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Great Lens!

    • RosaMorelli profile image


      6 years ago

      Oh dear! I'm snowed under with books - hundreds and hundreds of them filling every nook and cranny of the house, and my housemate is a movie fan and has as many DVDs as I have books! I look at it all in despair sometimes. If ever anyone was in need of the advice in this Lens, it was me. Thanks for the ideas and laying out all the different options (and books!) that will help me finally clear some space! :)

    • JoanieMRuppel54 profile imageAUTHOR

      Joanie Ruppel 

      6 years ago from Keller, Texas

      @VatsalMakhija: Ha Ha! I know this is the current technological craze but I just love the feel of a book in my hands.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I like books and bookcases, but I've moved to Kindle! Don't tempt me!!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Hi, nice blog. I love to reading through your blog, keep on posting.

      Wall Cabinets

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Hi, nice blog. I love to reading through your blog, keep on posting.

      Wall Cabinets

    • randomthings lm profile image

      randomthings lm 

      6 years ago

      I love your lens, and I like the DIY attitude...but I fear my best bookcase plan would be to buy it already made! LOL

    • JoyfulPamela2 profile image


      6 years ago from Pennsylvania, USA

      Well, we have tons of books that need a home, so any of these look really nice. :)

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I love your ideas for easy conduct book. I want to setup bookcase in my child study room and you are well teach of all type of bookcase. I most like Corner Bookcases which is looking wise too good compare to other...Thanks


      Curio cabinet lights

    • kathysart profile image


      6 years ago

      I'm not sure but I do need to replace the bookshelves that I have now. Thanks for the ideas! Thumbs up and blessed.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Ha, that's actually a really good suggestion of corner curio cabinet. Thanks so much for this corner curio cabinet lens!

    • JoanieMRuppel54 profile imageAUTHOR

      Joanie Ruppel 

      6 years ago from Keller, Texas

      @pmseou: Glad you liked it!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      have fun.. wishing you all the best.

    • PromptWriter profile image

      Moe Wood 

      7 years ago from Eastern Ontario

      One that I can't get enough of (and don't have enough space for) is book cases. I usually have them filled up in no time!

    • BFunivcom profile image

      Allan R. Wallace 

      10 years ago from Wherever Human Rights Reign

      They look so much better than the book cases I built in college; cinder blocks alternating with 1x12 boards. College chic ...


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