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How to build easy reclaimed barn wood bookshelves!

DIY reclaimed barn wood shelves tutorial

The more I thought about the more I really wanted something modern, easy and minimal for the book shelves in my office. It was already a small room so I didn’t want a free standing unit – what I really wanted was floating book shelves but didn’t want to go to all of the work (or cost) so I figured out a solution and I went to the store and bought L brackets. After that a trip to our barn for some barn wood was all I needed to create a run of shelves for all of my books in my office!

submitted by: Grandma’s House DIY


  • L brackets
  • screws
  • a level
  • a drill/screw driver
  • pencil for marking
  • tape measure
  • barn wood cut to length


Using a pencil, a measuring tape and a level I got to work drawing my lines along the wall where each shelf would hang and finding my studs. I knew I would always have a stud in the corners to hit but I also knew I had to find at least ONE more for these shelves to be able to hold any kind of real weight. With the lines drawn, I put up my brackets using three inch deck screws into the studs. (I really didn’t want to be in bed some night to hear the crash of my barn wood book shelves falling to the floor.) I pulled the boards out from the wall about two inches just so the last screw hole in the bracket would still sink into full wood but also so the shelves would still be as deep as possible. It dawned on me that books certainly did not need shelves that ran flush to the wall, a gap across the back wasn’t going to effect anything. These are true 2x6s meaning: they are actually 2 inches by 6 inches as opposed to the 2x6s of today which are 1 1/2 inches by 5 1/2 inches. But, really, any wood you choose will work for this project, I just wanted thick enough boards so I would be able to screw up into the bottom of them without having to use bolts and nuts however, doing it that way on your own barn wood book shelves would be fine as well.

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