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Hand Craft or Build a Corner Bookcase

Updated on June 30, 2009

Ever wonder how furniture gets made? Are you tired of shopping for furniture only to find bland factory made pieces that don’t meet the standards of the room you want to put them in? When manufacturers can pump out hundreds of mediocre pieces of furniture at the touch of a button it becomes increasingly more difficult to find pieces that have character of their own. The best way to get a unique piece for your home is to hand craft it.

In this hub we’ll be discussing how you can build a custom one of a kind corner bookcase for your home or office. Corner bookcases are great storage units that can hold any kinds of items you want, they don’t necessarily have to be just made for books. You can make one for every corner in your house and decorate them with plants, books, pictures, and all sorts of other fun things to give your house a character all its own.

The process of building a corner bookcase is simpler than you think. Bookcases and shelves are some of the easiest furniture pieces to put together and you don’t have to be a master woodworker to figure out how to build one of your own. Just follow these basic steps and you’ll be well on your way to owning a brand new one of a kind corner bookcase. 

corner bookcase
corner bookcase

Some of the Required Tools

·        A hammer

·        Nails that match the thickness of the wood

·        Screwdrivers, flat head or Phillips is dependent on the type of screws

·        Screws/Brads

·        Power drill with assorted drill bits

Some of the Required Materials

·        Three pieces of lumber

·        Wood buffer or sand paper

·        Some L brackets

·        Plywood or thin hardwood

·        Wood stain or paint

Design Your Corner Bookcase

Before gathering the materials you’ll want to determine what style of corner bookcase you would like to build. Corner bookcases come in all shapes, sizes, and practical layouts. You could build an open face corner shelf bookcase or maybe a tall thin angular corner bookcase, or maybe a short rotund corner bookcase. It is really up to you. Try to match the décor of the room with the style of the bookcase you’re planning to build. In this lesson we’ll be explaining how to build a small angular corner bookcase but once you get the hang of working with the wood and materials on your own you can do what you like.

You should always be sure to gather the materials and lay them out on a workbench or in the garage before beginning work on the piece. It’s always a pain to start something only to realize midway through that you don’t have everything you need. In order to maintain motivational flow it’s a good idea to make a check list of your materials and then check them off as you buy them.

After you have the materials and have chosen a style, you need to figure out where to put your bookcase. I like to have a bookcase in my bedroom for my books and one in the living room for decoration. I own a lot of books so I can always use more shelving space for them.

Now that you’re adequately prepared it is time to begin construction; just follow these simple steps to get started:

Build a BookCase

Build the Corner Bookcase

1.      Organize your tools and materials for easy access during construction. A work bench will work wonders or you can just use the floor. You’re going to be working in this space for a few hours so make sure that you are comfortable and don’t mind making a little bit of a mess.

2.      Use the power drill with a medium sized drill bit to punch holes into the four corners of the plywood pieces. These are the holes you’ll be using for the screws later on to connect all of the pieces together so make sure you don’t cut them too wide.  

3.      Time to measure and cut the foundation of the piece: the shelves, bottom, and top. These are the most important measurements you’ll make because they are what determine the size and shape of your bookcase. I usually cut the wood at angles to make it fit the corner I want it to. You’re building freestanding shelves here but you want to use the same principles as you would if you were attaching the shelves directly to the wall.  

4.      Smooth out the rough edges of the cuts by sanding the wood down. This will provide a nice clean surface for when you eventually want to paint or stain the corner bookcase.

5.      Paint and stain your wood. Normally I like to color the wood pieces before I actually put the corner bookcase together. I just don’t like to have to paint it once it’s all put together because the corners and crevices are difficult to reach. Choose a color scheme that goes well with the rest of the room you’re putting it in.

6.      Figure out the heights of the shelves. Think about it in terms of the books you plan on putting in there. If they are all paperbacks you can make the shelves closer together but if you have a lot of hardcover books or maybe some coffee table books you’ll want to make the shelves more spread apart to allow room for them. Attach the L brackets at the heights you determined.  

7.      Put all of the pieces together and give yourself a pat on the back. You just finished making a beautiful piece of custom furniture. 

Keep up the good work!

This little bookcase building guide might not be the most detailed in the world but it is designed to give you a better idea of what you’re getting into when building your own corner bookcase. Woodworking is a great pet hobby and it isn’t very hard to start up. Continue doing research and you’ll be able to make a bookcase that really stands out from the rest. Just have fun with it.


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    • werebear profile image

      werebear 8 years ago from UK

      Wow that's a relly good hub i need a corner bookcase for my huge cd collection.