How to Make Durable Kids Bookshelves

What You'll Need
Piece of oriented strand board (8 feet by 4 feet by 3/4 inch)
Tape measure
Miter saw
Wood filler
Right-angled square

Kids bookshelves provide a perfect area for storing favorite stories, comics or magazines. You can buy and assemble these in flat-pack format or, alternatively, you can make them yourself. Making your own kids bookshelves is not a difficult job and the results will last for years. A well-made model could even be passed to your grandchildren!

Step 1 - Cutting to Size

All the pieces for the kids’ bookshelves will be cut from the single piece of oriented strand board. Start by measuring and cutting a piece that’s 3 feet by 3 feet; this will be the back of the bookshelves.

After that, cut four pieces, each 1 foot by 3 feet to make the frame of the bookshelves. To finish, you’ll need to cut two more pieces of 1 foot by 34 ½ inches. These will make the shelves.

Step 2 - Frame

To make the frame, use glue on the corners to put the four 1 foot by 3 feet pieces together into a square. Make sure the corners are at 90 degrees. To strengthen the join, use nails on each corner. However, don’t drive them all the way in. Leave about 1/8 inch showing above the board.

Step 3 - Adding the Back

To add the back to the kids’ bookshelves, lay the frame down and place the 3 feet by 3 feet piece of board on top. Align the back so that it covers the frame fully and check that the corners are square.

Nail the back into into place, spacing the nails about 6 inches apart. Again, don’t drive the nails all the way home and leave around 1/8 inch showing.

Step 4 - Shelves

You will be adding two shelves to your kids bookshelves. To do this, turn the bookcase over. Measure 12 inches down from the top and mark along the sides and back of the bookshelves.

Apply glue to the edge of the shelf and slide it into place, making sure the top of the shelf fits exactly against your measurements. To fix the shelf more firmly, drive nails through the side to hold it in place.

For the second shelf, measure up 12 inches from the bottom of the bookshelves and mark as before. Glue and set the shelf in place then nail into position to keep it secure.

Turn the kids bookshelves over and nail through the back to the shelves, spacing the nails about 6 inches apart.

Step 5 - Finishing

To finish, drive all the nails home and cover any holes with wood putty. Allow  to dry then sand the kids’ bookshelves smooth. You can bow paint the shelves or just stain them.

Get input from your kids on how they want the bookshelves to look and paint it in the colors they choose. They’ll be more likely to keep their books tidily on the shelves if they have the pleasure of choosing the color themselves.