Making simple bookshelves

Last week, I did some heavy unpacking and decluttering. One of the obstacles we’ve had to an organised space is a lack of bookshelves. We also had many boxes. Cardboard boxes.  Free materials are perfect for our budget right now. I had aspirations to create something amazing and beautiful like the designer cardboard bookshelves I’ve seen, but what we really needed was functionality.

I filled one very sturdy filing box with tall report binders and stacked another type of box on top. It fit perfectly under our window and the spare room was supplied with a small bookshelf.  The next day, I pondered the less-sturdy filing boxes that we had in copious quantities and I hit on the perfect design. If you too move home using office boxes, then this is the project for you!

Here’s how:

Making these shelves may seem like an obvious process, but I wasn’t sure whether it would be sturdy enough until I tried them. The side reinforcement and horizontal (complete) lid placement are essential to the shelves being strong enough to hold the books and in keeping it from wobbling apart.

For each set of two boxes, one lid will be sacrificed as side reinforcement so chose the one that has ripped while moving. Set the box on its side with the top facing you and in ‘landscape’ view, with it being wider than it is tall.  Unfold the lid and cut along the bend on the long edges.  Once this is done, try to place it in the side of the box and check whether you need to trim the long edge any more for it to be able to stand up inside the box sides.

When it is the perfect size, you will then place it in ‘landscape’ view again and cut it in half:

Place these two halves in either side of the box, to reinforce its side ‘walls’ and you have the bottom shelf! Place the second lid on top and then stack the second box on top of that. If you want to make a wider set of shelves, repeat! Books can be stood up in the traditional way or if you have too many books and need to have them stacked, just make sure that the stacks are towards the ‘walls’ of the shelves- on either side when facing the box.

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