Nov 9, 2010

This book's going in the gutter! (Gutter bookshelf, that is...)

While working on Adelaide's room, I was trying to figure out what to do with a wonky-sized corner.  The wall facing the doorway has a window, but the window is not centered (drives me nutty!).  To the right of the window, we have the dresser and wet pail.

To the left, we had a 3-ft span.  I was originally wanting to do some sort of corner bookshelf/bench/cubby thing, but I realized when doing all the measuring and figuring, that the vent would either have to be covered up or blocked.  It is the only vent in the room so that's not an option.  I don't really want Adelaide to freeze in the winter or burn up in the summer.

So, after seeing lots of examples of this on other home/mommy/school blogs, I decided to make some bookshelves out of gutters!  I loved the idea for the simplicity of the look, the easiness of the project, and the cheapness of the whole thing.  

For $20, I was able to purchase the 10-ft vinyl gutter and 6 endcaps (3 left and 3 right) to create our three 3-ft long bookshelves.

After cutting them to size, with a bit of scrap left over, I sanded the pvc-like edges clean and attached the end caps.  I caulked along the inside of the caps to make sure they adhered really well and let them dry overnight.

The next day, Kevin and I measured exactly where we wanted them on the wall and found the studs so they would be nice and sturdy.  We predrilled holes in the gutters, and then screwed them into the studs, with a couple of other screws on the ends to add support.


Adding books makes them look so fantastic, right?!  And the idea behind these gutter bookshelves is that Adelaide will see the fronts of the books, instead of just the spine, therefore being more interested in reading the books.  The first is only 18 inches off the floor, so definitely in her reach, when she gets to moving around.  Nicer books will stay on the top shelf, and Moma will have to pull those down for reading to her :)

We still plan on making another bookshelf/cubby piece of furniture out of birch plywood, but that's still a work-in-progress and will go on the wall to the left of these bookshelves.  This child already has a lot of books, and will surely collect many more (just like me!).


  1. What an awsome idea!!! Thanks for sharing. I would love to install wall shelves in baby's room but as we are only renting at the moment we can't do much :(
    I love how the face of the book faces outwards. Definitely has more eye appeal to a little one then jst a bunch of spines. Can't wait to see how the whole nursery looks once ur done.

    Not long now till or babies are here :)

  2. I hated renting for not being able to decorate the way I wanted to. Once we bought the house though it took a couple of years for me to begin really changing the paint colors, etc... but now I'm on a roll!

    I'm sure you'll find good ways to personalize the space for your little one! :)

  3. Oh wow! I saw your nursery on Spearmint Baby and immediately spotted the bookshelves as something that might work in our nursery. I thought that they MIGHT be gutters, but surely not. Thanks for giving more details on this part of your nursery. Our LittleDude is almost 5 months old so we'll be wanting him to have access to books soon--they're just stacked on top of the tall chest in his room for now. I LOVE this idea! Might have to make a trip to the hardware store this weekend :)

  4. [Erin] Thank you! The bookshelves were amazingly easy, really! It took me all of a couple hours, total, to complete it. And I love how affordable of a project it was! It's super sturdy too - holds a lot of book weight!

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