We shared recently some pictures of our two new brick book shelves that we built in one afternoon for less than $40.00. We told you we would be sharing a tutorial on how to build a brick book shelf for your own home so here it is.
Yes, most people could probably look at the shelf and see how to make your own, but we do tutorials here as you know, so we wanted to put together this quick tutorial to show you how we built these beautiful brick book shelves.
Now, there are of course a million ways you can do this project. You can use many different types of bricks, material for shelves, stain colors or paint, different sizes to fit your needs, etc.
We chose this particular style and size to fit the needs of the room we put them in so be sure to do the same. Take this information and be creative.
What You Will Need
- Bricks – Choose Your Own Color, Size and Style – For ours we used simple red bricks from Lowes $0.49 each. We used about 40 of them but this will vary depending on the size book shelf that you are building
- Shelving Board – We chose 3/4 x 6 shelving board from Lowes
- Skil Saw or Hand Saw – Unless you buy your shelving board already pre-cut in the size you need
- Wood Stain – Choose your color – We mixed Minwax Dark Walnut and Golden Oak together to get the shade we were looking for
- Sandpaper – 150 grit
- Foam Paint Brush or Clean Cloth
- Furniture Wax or Polyurethane
- Clean Cloths
Cut the shelving board into 2 foot sections (remember this is what we did on this book shelf. If you need a bigger book shelf adjust according to your needs)
Use sandpaper to smooth and round the corners and edges of the board. This step may be optional, but we do this whenever we cut shelving board. The smooth, rounded edges give it a very nice, professional looking finish.
On this step we used an electric sander, and if you have one it is highly recommended. It will save you a ton of time and effort. However, if you don’t have one it is not mandatory. You can sand it by hand.
Use foam brush or a clean cloth to apply the wood stain to the newly cut and sanded shelving board. Apply liberally and wipe off the excess to quicken the drying time
When the stain has completely dried, seal the shelves with furniture wax or polyurethane. We used Minwax Furniture Paste. Wipe on with a clean, cloth. Let dry 10-15 minutes then buff with a new, clean cloth
Assemble your bricks and begin stacking them to put the shelves onto. For ours 2 bricks on each side of the base was sufficient as we were making small book shelves. On a longer book shelf you may need to add more to the sides or middle for stability.
***Stability is everything on these and it pays to go slowly. We’re not using mortar or any kind of sealant so the bricks are merely stacked. You do not want this bookcase coming down on a curious toddler
As you can see on ours we used 6 bricks on each side of each shelf. Doing it this way you could not go any higher than 2 shelves and maintain stability.
If you want to go higher than 2 shelves then put the appropriate amount of bricks needed to allow room for your books on the bottom shelf then subtract at least 1 and maybe 2 bricks per side for each shelf as you go up.
So for example on our bookcase we have 6 on each side for each shelf. If we were going higher we might do 12 total bricks on the bottom shelf, 10 on the next shelf up, then 8 on the next.
This will all depend on what size bricks you are using, how long and how tall the shelf will be. Just play with it and do what works for you. If it’s unstable then it’s unstable. Keep trying until you get it pretty stable. You don’t want to take a chance of it toppling over.
That’s it really. It’s very easy and very cheap to make. I personally don’t know where you could get a bookcase with more character and rich, rustic style for so little money and effort.