nursery bookshelves

We made a set of nursery bookshelves to store, organize and display baby books.

Nursery Bookshelves DIY

Well, it looks like we are actually going to finish this nursery before baby makes his arrival! It didn’t seem like we were going to make it but he decided to stay put for a little longer and is now four days past his due date which has given us plenty of time to finish all of our last minute projects including the nursery wall storage, baby clothing rack and now our nursery bookshelves. (Plus, we have one more project on the way to share that is AWESOME.)

If you couldn’t already tell by the massive shelves we built in our library, we like to read, a lot. Both Brent and I are looking forward to reading to our son right away, even if he doesn’t understand what we are reading just yet. It was a given we would incorporate bookshelves into the nursery.

The nursery has two small walls that are at an angle so we thought that making bookshelves that ran vertically up the wall would be a good use of space.

Nursery Bookshelves DIY

A popular trend right now is using the IKEA spice racks for baby books so we took that idea and built our own larger, beefier version so we could fit more books on them and fill up the wall.

To see how we built our nursery bookshelves, check out the video or follow along with the steps below.

How We Made Our Nursery Bookshelves


  • (1) 1″x6″x48″ select pine (makes 1 shelf)
  • Wood glue
  • 1 5/8″ wood screws
  • 1 1/2″ finishing nails
  • Sherwin-Williams ProClassic® Waterbased Paint in Bright White
  • Nap roller
  • Painters tape
  • 3″ screws
  • Miter saw
  • Clamps
  • Drill
  • Nail gun
  • Level

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Nursery Bookshelves DIY


1. To begin making the nursery bookshelves, first we made all of our cuts using the miter saw. We made the following cuts:

The bottom piece of the shelf: 1”x6” cut 20” long
The two side pieces of the shelf: 1”x6” cut 4” long
The mounting plate on the back of the shelf: 1”x2” cut 10” long
The front rail of the shelf: 1”x1” cut 20” long

Because we were making four shelves we cut multiple of the same pieces at one time to make sure they were all the exact same length. We clamped a board to the fence of the saw to help make the cuts the same.


Nursery Bookshelves DIY
Nursery Bookshelves DIY

2. To assemble the nursery bookshelves, first we used our drill to drill two pilot holes into the back of the bottom piece of the shelf and attached the mounting plate piece with wood glue and 1 ⅝” wood screws to the bottom piece of the shelf.

Nursery Bookshelves DIY

3. Next, we attached each of the side pieces to the bottom piece with wood glue and 1 ½” finishing nails.

Nursery Bookshelves DIY

4. Finally, we attached the front rail to the side pieces with wood glue and 1 ½” finishing nails. We used a scrap 1”x2” to rest the rail on while we nailed it from the side boards with our nail gun.


Nursery Bookshelves DIY
Nursery Bookshelves DIY

5. Once all of our nursery bookshelves were assembled, we used wood filler to fill the holes and then painted the shelves with Sherwin-Williams ProClassic® Waterbased Paint in Bright White and a nap roller for a smooth finish.


Nursery Bookshelves DIY
Nursery Bookshelves DIY

6. Before hanging the shelves, we marked the wall studs with painters tape. Then we centered each shelf on the wall and made sure it was level. Finally, we screwed the shelves into the wall over the studs with 3” screws.

Nursery Bookshelves DIY

The nursery bookshelves were super simple to build and turned out great. We love filling the nursery bookshelves up with books. We have been receiving books as gifts and it is so fun to add them to the shelves as we start a collection for our baby boy.

STAY TUNED: We have one more large DIY project in the nursery to share that is pretty unique and fun as well as a tutorial on how we converted a regular chair into a rocking chair, AND the full tour of our outdoor modern nursery is coming up in the next few weeks. There are still more nursery posts on the way!

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