More Than Storage: Interior Decorator Approved Ways to Style and Organize Your Bookshelf


By Katerina Tiapula

The simple idea is to stick the cardboard together to help organize the books. But while doing that you really can take it much further. You can make a shelf for each set. The Harry Potter books can be on a shelf decorated with wands, castles and broomsticks. The Narnia books can look like the wardrobe. You could make the shelf to complement the room following a colour theme or a favourite character like Pokemon, Spiderman or Barbie.

What you need:

  • Corrugated cardboard
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • For decoration:
  • Paint, tissue paper, coloured paper, stickers, glitter, sequins etc.

What to do:

To make the shelf

  1. Cut out the bottom of the shelf. It should be wider then the books you intend to place there. For paper back books, you’ll want more then 15cm. somewhere between 15cm and 20cm works well for almost all books.
  2. The length should be determined by what you want to put there. If you are making a gift keep is shorter.
  3. The shelf featured is 16cm x 33cm it was the length and width of the flap on the top of the box I found.

Laying the cardboard lengthwise in front of you, mark about 5cm from the left and right side.The thickness of cardboard varies so lay a piece on the mark and trace the thickness out. Stop about 2cm from the outer edges.

Now cut that piece out with scissors. You may need a sharp edge for that, but be very careful not to cut all the way through the cardboard. You want to cut out only two layers of the corrugation. Do this on both the left and right side.

Measure a length of cardboard to now fit inside the hole that you cut. The height should be about 16 cm. Of course, you can make it any shape or height so long as it is not too short for the books. You’ll need one for each side.You also need a small piece triangular in shape for balance.

Now the gluing:

  1. Fill the holes with glue and the edge of the cardboard piece that you are fitting in. You need a fair amount so don’t be shy with it.
  2. Stick the piece into the hole and hold it there for a minute to make sure it sets a bit.
  3. Spread a good amount of glue on the two edges of the cardboard triangle. Stick it on the base and the side so that it is glues to each.
  4. Do both sides this way so that your triangles are facing out and you have a nice balanced shelf.
  5. This needs to sit and dry over night before decorating. The glue will be transparent so be generous with it at this point.

To decorate your shelf all you need is a few good art supplies like paint, glue and paper and a very active imagination.


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