Shelves Made of Books

Do you have more books than you'll ever be able to read? If you want to use some of your excess books creatively for low-cost decor, you can make a bookcase, bookshelf or end table out of them. Put that outdated encyclopedia set to good use or devise a conversation piece.

Book Mantel

There are plenty of ways to use your old books.

Book mantels provide an interesting way to display specialty books. Secure three or four sturdy books of equal size together with flat-plate brackets to form the shelf of the mantel. Secure this shelf to the wall by using triangular brackets made of two sets of three smaller books cut into triangular wedges that form right angles with the shelf and the wall. Use books that are in good condition and face the binding side outward.

Floating Books

If you secure a large, sturdy book to the wall with hardware such as L-brackets, you can stack more books on top of it. It will look as if they are simply floating in midair. Use metal brackets that form a 90-degree angle. Attach one side to the wall and the side part to the book.


Believe it or not, you can make a bookcase out of books. This works especially well with sturdy books of the same size that have identical covers, such as encyclopedia volumes. The frame and the shelves are all made out of books. Use plenty of L-brackets and straight metal bars to attach the books to each other.

End Table

If you have some attractive, large books that you don't want to read again, you can stack them up and turn them into an end table. Stack them to the desired height, arranging them so covers adjacent to each other make a pleasing display. Attach the books to each other with glue if you don't want them to shift out of position. You can have a piece of glass cut to fit the top if you like, or use a framed mirror.

About the Author

Carolyn Rumsey has been writing professionally since 2006, with work appearing in collegiate and commercial publications. She has had articles published in "The Daily Gamecock" and has been a guest blogger for Merge Web Design in Greenville, S.C. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in visual communications from the University of South Carolina.